The last year was an exceptionally delicious one for me, filled with discoveries of new places (and rediscoveries of old ones) and surprising recipes.
1. Avarekai Mela
The year 2015 started off with the Avarekai Mela, which takes place on the famed VV Puram food street each year and just grows bigger and better. The sheer variety of dishes, sweet and savoury made from the local flat beans is mind-boggling. My picks at this mela last year were the heavenly uppittu, the curd and avarekai kodbale and the avarekai gulab jamun. The festival, which lasts for a week or so, began this year on 7 January.
Some of the offerings at the Avarekai Mela 2015
2. Krazzy Folds
Another highlight of the year for me was Krazzy Folds, a quaint little restaurant in Jayanagar. Excellent food, great value for money and the plating makes you feel like you are in a star restaurant. The service is always spot on no matter the crowd and the Sunday breakfast...! Life cannot get better than this.
The soft shell tacos at Krazzy Folds
3. Haleem outside Masjid-e-Eidgah Bilal
We love our Iftar raids around the city during Ramzan, and it's something we have been doing for almost six years now. In 2015, we discovered several stalls lined up outside the Masjid-e-Eidgah Bilal close to Bannerghatta road. The mosque is a beauty in itself and the food dished out outside - particularly the wood-fired haleem -- saw us come back at least four times. I can't wait to see what 2016 brings.
The wood-fire set-up for haleem at Bilal
4. KT chai and Rhimjhim coffee at Laxmi Nivas
This next discovery is not really in Bangalore, but on the highway just outside of Mangalore. Laxmi Nivas at Kalladka is famous for its KT chai (aka Kalladka chai) and Rhimjhim coffee. The establishment already has a cult following and we may have been late to the party. Both the tea and coffee are served in layers with the milk at the bottom and decoction on top. The coffee, in fact, does this amazing little dance with the layers jostling each other. Hands down the best coffee and tea to start a road trip with.
KT chai and Rhimjhim coffee at Laxmi Nivas
5. Mutton kadai at Hotel Garuda
You know how you sometimes take a chance on a place and it turns out to be a great choice. On this same road trip from Mangalore to Bangalore we stopped at Hotel Garuda at Sakleshpur. We chose dishes that sounded familiar. A surprise package came in the form of what the restaurant calls mutton kadai. Juicy hunks of mutton, fried in bhuna masala and cooked on a slow fire. The mutton is then transferred to clay pots that are placed on wood fire to give it that final, delicious touch. The result is a luscious gravy, fiery red but mildly spicy and wholly satisfying!
The mutton kadai at Hotel Garuda, Sakleshpur
6. Military hotels
And of course, our love for military hotels in Bangalore does not cease. We continue to look for new places and try them and 2015 found us at Kaveri near Nandi Hills for a pork-based meal. We also visited New Govind Rao at Cottonpet. The idlis and kheema ball curry as well as the mutton pulao are to die for. But then, anything at any of the military hotels is worth an arm and leg.
The idlis and kheema ball curry at SGR
7. Bread-and-jam pudding at The Park
And if you ever find yourself at the lunch buffet at The Park Hotel, Bangalore, be sure to check for the bread-and-jam pudding. It is not really a dessert you see that often in a restaurant, but it is so homely, delicious and just spot on.
The bread-and-jam pudding at The Park Hotel
The year gone by has been amazing in terms of culinary experiences. I have had plenty and have detailed them out in blog posts over the year. See a round-up here.
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