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Mangalorean cuisine

Published: 15th June 2013 09:16 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th June 2013 09:16 AM   |  A+A-

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On a chilly morning, as the mist-kissed dales of Mangalore adorn a lush green cover, the scenic splendour of the rugged coastal strip breathes to life the mauve horizon. As scented blooms blanket the green foliage with pride, the red soil, drenched in the elixir of heavens, reverberates with radiance and pride.

While soaking in one of nature’s finest creations, a Mangalorean family gathers in the open portico of their traditional tiled house. In a far corner, the mother roasts a few neer dosas with generous amounts of ghee.

Wafting through the air is the heady aroma of cardamom, cumin and cinnamon; and soon, the house is filled with a sweet and citrus scent of bangude gassi (mackarel curry). Slow cooked in a spiced creamy sauce, the fish curry brings out the sweetness of the crispy dosas.

Tangy and soaked in spices, Mangalorean cuisine is an intoxicating mix of velvety textures and luscious flavours. And, for every Mangalorean, finding the right place that serves authentic sukka, kori rotti and gassi in Bangalore is no longer a formidable task.

Located amidst wide boulevards and exquisite bungalows in Kormangala 6th block, Anupam’s Coast to Coast offers a coastal retreat to anyone interested in tantalising their taste buds with authentic Mangalorean sea food.

Nothing like a spicy prawn masala or bandase (squid) ghee roast to unleash a sheer moment of joy. And, what better way to spend your weekends than indulging in a scrumptious traditional meal?

Nostalgic ambience

One look at the restaurant; and you are hit by a wave of nostalgia. With the decor matching every inch and crux of a typical Mangalorean restaurant, you can’t help but be awe-struck. While the tables are covered in rich blue and coral linens, the dimly-lit interiors are adorned with vintage photographs of toddy-tappers and palm trees.

The walls embellished with intricately decorated wooden panels add a lovely bit of warmth and depth to the place.

From the chef to the waiter, the staff primarily consists of Mangaloreans.

“One of our most popular dishes is chicken ghee roast and that is usually paired with neer dosa. We have been serving Mangalorean food for the past seven years. Though we serve everything from Chinese, Punjabi to sea food; most of our regular customers come in for their dose of coastal cuisine,” said Rajesh, manager of the restaurant, with a beaming smile.

Reservations start as early as Friday, for, the 35-seater restaurant is a hot favourite amongst the locals.

Cuisine

Amidst constant chattering and giggles, a group of young lads, cannot contain their excitement when the waiter ceremoniously places dishes like Anjal, Kaane and pomfret fry, marvai sukka and silver fish on their table. Infused in a buttery blend of spices, the tenderly fried fish are carefully coated with crumbs and flour. The soft and crispy crunch of the exterior soon makes way for a feathery light interior that soaks in the distinct texture of the fish.

Packed with aromatic flavours, crab sukka is a rich concoction of coconut paste drenched in a blend of coarsely ground spices including coriander seeds and garlic. On the other hand, the texture of chicken ghee roast is a stark contrast with respect to sukka.

Crumbly and firm, the roast is a culinary gem of the restaurant. Served simmering hot, the chicken is cooked to a crisp yet fluffy perfection. “We usually serve this dish with dosa or pundi (rice dumplings). A lot of people prefer to eat it with rice as well. Fish pulimunchi is another dish that is popular amongst our customers,” said Rajesh who further added that the refreshing tanginess of the pulimunchi is best experienced with soft appams — fermented bread made with rice batter and coconut milk.

Though primarily a non-vegetarian joint, the restaurant has gone all out to provide a sensational culinary experience for the vegetarians too. From potato gassi, padengi gassi to kanele (bamboo shoot) sukka, the menu boasts of an impressive array of spicy vegetarian curries and stew.

Fiery red and silky in texture, their signature dish, the paneer ghee roast, melts in your mouth leaving a warm lemony flavour. Seasoned with fresh herbs and spices, the dish goes extremely well with dosa or pundi.

m akshatha@newindianexpress.com

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