Ever wondered how Kerala’s cuisine differ from India’s other cuisines? The epicurean heaven, just knows the trick to play with those spices!! Kerala is home to a number of lip smacking dishes, spices being the integral part. The flavor that comes with each dish differ , from the doses of coconut milk added if that’s the need, the aromatic powerful fragrance of curry leaves to the proper blend of pepper and chili powder. Let me take you to yet another unique restaurant Kalavara,that serves authentic kerala food, with all the taste flowing in from the state. My visit to Kalavara happens almost everyday, the reason being the foodie in me just wants something real, if there isn’t something particular my mind craves for!
Location- Kalavara, the restaurant sits at the corner of first crossroad, walking from Bagmane tech park’s back gate. The restaurant mostly attracts employees working at the tech park, for its location. The restaurant would be a natural on the go stop over for any Malayali, familiar with such ‘kada’ or shop throughout kerala.
Ambience- You enter the place listening to some Malayalam music. Kudos to them for starting their authenticity right from there. Followed by a kathakalis photo on the wall, welcoming you to have God’s own countrys food. The seating and ambience are of any shop in kerala that aims at serving real food, without much hype. The Ambience can be worked on a little by putting up some art work on the wall. The budding restaurant that it is, I already see them working on the ambience since my first visit.
Food- Name any kerala food and you will get it here. The mornings here start at 7 am, with breakfast including tea(black tea and milk tea),Idly, variety of dosas, sambhar and chutney, appam, puttu, egg curry, ompelete etc. The lunch sees vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals, that includes rice, morru curry(kerala styled seasoned buttermilk), curries differ, thoran(coconut stirred vegetable) which again differs and Fish(variety of fishes, both curry and fry), chicken . Parrota and chicken curry is also included for the lunch menu. The dinner menu again serves all the above along with kothu parrotta added to the menu. Let me review some of the foods I tried, if that should be your first try here!
- Puttu with kadala curry and Puttu with Chicken curry – Puttu here is prepared with coconut shell also called chirtta puttu(rice cake steamed in coconut shell) in kerala. The steamed cake shaken into the plate that takes the form of the coconut shell looks nothing but beautiful, I should say. The softness of the steamed rice cake melts in the mouth. The dish can be had with kadala curry, chicken curry, fish curry etc. The curries served were a perfect blend of masalas. The chicken lightly fried were just succulent enough when rightly blend with the gravy.
- Appam and chicken curry – one of the favorites among Keralites , appam is one of the traditionally cooked dish in kerala. A bowl shaped pancake, made with fermented rice just has a number of ways to be eaten! They are served with sweetened coconut milk,kadala curry, coconut chutney, potato stew etc. Appam at Kalavara are spot on. The crisp, the softness , the fermented sourness with a mix of sweet after taste, everything falls in place!
- Masala Dosa, Idly, Vegetarian and non –vegetarian meals – I swear by the quality and authenticity of the food here. Trying a black tea on the run here, and then you would want to count on to this place for your everyday breakfast, dinner or lunch!
Kalavara, scores high on the food part. Talking about the variety of food here and its availability almost throughout the day is appreciated. With people coming in from the tech park nearby I see that the restaurant managed by just two people, without having to wait for a long time is something that adds on to its integrity. The ambience can be worked on a bit, but for a growing restaurant I see that the when base “the food” is set right, everything else just follows!