Sunday, May 31, 2009

Karavali Capers

Papadums and Chutney at DakshinSo here I am, in California again. On my way, I stopped briefly for dinner at Dakshin in Mumbai's Grand Maratha hotel. They had an ongoing Karavali seafood special menu this week:
“showcasing the rich culinary heritage of the South and featuring the finned, scaled and shelled treasures of the West Coast of India - cuisine from the homes of the Malayalees of Kerala, Bunts of Mangalore, Coorgis of Karnataka and the Portuguese of Goa”.

As I went through the menu, a platter of papadums were put in front of me along with a variety of chutneys. I ordered a hot glass of rasam instead of a drink.

Pappadums at DakshinI began with Manji Kolavaithina, a whole white pomfret marinated with green chilly, ginger, lemon which is wrapped in a banana leaf and baked. This was excellent stuff! Lots of flavour and taste, but mild compared to my hot, spicy rasam.

Manji Kolavaithina at Dakshin
Manji Kolavaithina at DakshinThe Allepy Fish Curry, with pieces of pomfret simmered in a spicy, tangy gravy was finished in coconut and was delicious with the appam and malabar paratha. As you can see, I stayed with delicacies from Kerala this time.

Allepy Fish Curry at DakshinI finished off with a warm dessert made of rice flakes in a creamy jaggery base with shredded coconut and garnished with slivers of almond. If I remember correctly, this dish is called Bellam Paramannam and is used as an offering to the Gods.

Bellam Paramannam at DakshinThe flight to San Francisco via Singapore was eventless. The business class section was only half full. They handed us a package with a single-use thermometer, gloves and a surgical mask to use - the only swine-flu effect I saw during this trip so far.


Final_Transit said...

Oh boy! I am drooling over the food, especially the curry! And your description makes me drool even more!

Vamsee Modugula said...

As usual - loved your post. South Indian food is the best!!
That curry looks yummy!

Have fun in the bay area.

Vijayendra Darode said...

Good review as always. I realized one thing, Shantanu, that the Manji Kolavaithina (whole white pomfret marinated with green chilly, ginger, lemon which is wrapped in a banana leaf and baked) is very similar to that famous Parsi dish Patra Fish.

I've had the opportunity to have Patra Ni Macchi (as it is called by Parsis) at my in-laws place in Dahanu. Look at the receipe here and you would agree:

Isn't it interesting to see how a recipe travels from one place to another and consumes the flavor of that particular region/state/culture! I also wonder if anybody would take the pain of preparing a food map or road map for a particular recipe, as in where did it originated, traveled and developed across regions.

Shantanu said...

@Final Transit, @Vamsee: Thank you.

@Vijayendra: Hmm, that's interesting. Yes, the history and proliferation of Indian cuisine does interest me very much.

Rajesh said...

Very nice review. The food in all the Dakshin's are amazing. I found it very tasty both in Mumbai and Bangalore.

Sig said...

Oh my, now you've got me drooling, that fish curry and the fish in banana leaves especially!

Shantanu said...

@Rajesh: Yup, I love Dakshin. This time they had a special menu for the week, so these dishes are outside of their regular menu.

@Sig: Yes, tasted great too!

Srivalli said...

wow..what a lovely have a wonderful space here..nice reading abt the other reviews!

Shantanu said...

@Srivalli: Thanks and welcome here.

raj said...

Nice blog to know about south indian food.
Work from home

Indraneel Majumdar said...

Patrani Machchi has a lesser use of lemon whereas Manji uses more lemon, strictly a local preference..something like what mustard is to Bengali fishes!

Shantanu said...

@Rajshekhar: Thank you.

@Indraneel: This is useful information. Thanks!