On cold rainy days like these, my mother-in-law, (whom I prosaically call Aunty) would suggest a warming Mutton Curry for dinner. As a child, mutton was never on my wish list for special Sunday lunches. I found the meat chewy and stringy and never got accustomed to the strong flavor of an older sheep. Whenever my mother made mutton at home, there would be a general consensus that I would not be partaking of any. My mother herself never bothered to expand her repertoire of mutton dishes (save the Mutton Chops recipe and an occasionally Curry) because excluding herself and my grandmother, no one really cared for it. My vegetarian father was happy with his Buss Saaru (Greens and lentil curry) and I was happy with my chicken kabab and that was that.
I’m not certain we can call this Biryani in the purest sense of the word. But the debate on what constitutes Biryani has been raging for decades and I don’t have the time or the inclination to delve into its subtleties. For me, Biryani will always be a one-pot meal of rice and meat cooked together with spices, served with aplomb on a Sunday afternoon. Sundays would be incomplete without Biryani in our house, though logically it had no place in Andhra-Karnataka cuisine.
Bisi Bele Bath – the Kanndigas answer to dal kichidi, but with so much more pizzaz! As a Bangalorean, you can’t escape this dish – every Udupi restaurant or darshni worth its salt, will inevitably list it on its menu. There is nothing more satisfying or comforting that digging into a plate of steaming hot (bisi) lentil rice (bele bath). The accompanying chips, mixture or boondi just adds to the heavenly experience. And to top it all off is Ghee…the mother of all flavour enhancers and my personal favourite fatty item 🙂
Bangalore is birthing restaurants almost every day because our craze for novelty is insatiable. Being the cosmopolitan city it is, diverse influences from all the people who call it home, has made it the most exciting city on the culinary map of India. People here are willing to experiment with their food and that is the single biggest factor supporting restaurants that specialize in novel cuisine – be it Korean, Japanese, Bengali, Chettinad, Vietnamese or Persian!