Monday, November 29, 2010

Kerala in Munich

After having seen a couple of ads about a new ‘South Indian’ restaurant, which is a rarity in Germany (read, never heard of in Germany), we decided to go there with a couple of our friends to check if we could finally find something other than Mughlai kofta, Chana Masala and Palak Paneer !

As soon as I got in, I was impressed – finally an Indian restaurant with no huge paintings/posters of the Taj Mahal or skimpily clad women doing household chores, instead there were some beautiful statues of Natarajar, Krishnar, Pullayar, potted banana trees (with banana leaves), tasteful hanging lamps and red draperies that did not shout the color. I was even more impressed when I saw Idli, Dosa, Uttapam, Kesari, Tamarind rice, Lemon rice etc. in the menu…I was fervently hoping that it was some franchise of Saravana Bhavan that for some reason did not choose the same name (its silly I know, but hunger can do weird things to you!).

Our German friends were not there yet. So we ordered the usual mango lassi and started looking at the menu in detail to make sure we had some suggestions for our friends to whom we had promised that there was more to Indian food that just Nan, paneer and kofta ! While we were at it, the waiter brought some appalam (the South Indian rice appalam and not papad) and I was once again impressed. The 3 kinds of chutney dips were also a welcome change from the usual mint and mango chutneys that one usually gets in all other restaurants.

Among the 4 of us, we tried a lot of the dishes, so here is a quick run through them
- Uttapam with sambar: Sambar was perfect, Uttapam was decent
- Vada with sambar: same sambar, same perfection, Vada was crisp but needed a little more salt
- Masala dosa: dosa was perfect (how did they get the dough to ferment in winter ??), masala needed a little more salt (I am guessing the chef has high BP)
- Chola Bhatura: Chole was really good, pooris were too hard, I would NOT recommend it to anyone, well at least anyone I like ;)
- Spicy lamb: I was told it was very good
- Kesari: Too dry, very less sugar (was more or less like a German cake - maybe that was the idea!)
- Gajar Halwa: very good (was obviously made before and was just microwaved before serving, if I may add at a much higher temperature than necessary but its winter and I really don't mind)
- Beverages (Coffee, Tea): bad, would never try them again (Indian restaurants in Germany always serve bad coffee but this one even had poor chai and I was heart broken at there being no mention of South Indian coffee in the menu...schade!)

The waiter who served us first was very friendly and polite but the one who took orders for dessert and coffee was quite rude. It was obvious he was in a hurry and the tone he used was always ‘come-on, lets get this over with”…well I am going to give him the benefit of doubt this time.

Verdict: Excellent décor, good food, decent service

PS: As an ardent fotographer, I should've taken pics but like I said, hunger does weird things to you !


  1. Enjoy maadi.

    They use artificial yeast to ferment the dough. We do that atleast. :D

  2. @SK
    ipdi ellam oru matter irukka ? ahaa...

  3. @SG, are you really asking or making fun on me ?? :)

    If you are serious, for less quantity even you can ferment it if you keep it near the heater in your room for few hours. pulichudum. :)

  4. Thanks.. i didnt know that artificial yeast is used :)

    Nice article.. I jumped with joy when I found an Udupi restaurnat in Salalah :) amidst all the hanging forest life :) quite literally :)


  5. @SK
    I seriously dint know. I have tried heater/microwave/placing it a tub of hotwater, nothing has worked. Then I gave up !

  6. @SG, ok. I think you know the name in german. If not, its called Hefe. You get it in aldi, lidl, penny etc., in 20 g packets. half of it is more(?) than enough if we are making like 4 glasses of rice and dhal.

  7. Heater normally works for fermenting! Ofcourse india madiri pongadhu! Malli poo idli madiri varalanalum, u can get decent idlis and crisp dosas!

  8. @Dewdrop
    I can imagine, I totally jumped when I went to the Udipi restaurant in Sharjah !

    nandri hai :)

    @Priya H
    I am not a fan of idlis, but the 'heater dosas' I had were not worth the effort. Will try again though

  9. Thanks for the info. Maybe, we will keep this in mind once we start earning. :)
    The prices are too exorbitant. Anyways, we are having a great time here trying out new recipes which sometimes exceed our own expectations.:)

  10. Actually it just takes one full day to ferment here. I make dosa dough almost every week here. Thanks to heating systems inside the house, the fermentation is perfect and it does not get sour soon as well! :)

  11. @Indu
    cool ! I think at -15 even the heating systems cant do it, esp. when using the heater for a whole day is unimaginable for me, my limit with the heater is 3 hrs !

  12. I just put my maavu in the oven overnight- preheat it to 50 degrees, and reheat it maybe once maybe in the morning- by the time its lunchtime, it will have fermented beautifully.

    Perfect for idlis for lunch, and dosas for days after :)

    Indu (from Zurich!)

  13. @Indu (from Zurich)
    hmm...nice tip, will try it

  14. wrap it with quilt and place it near the heater...may be that would work....inga 3 degrees la that works...anga temperature is very low la....just give it a try...

  15. One of my Indian friends told me: There's hot. And there's Kerala hot. I found the foods @ the Kerala restaurants to be quite ... mild. Maybe I should ask them to spice em up Kerala style? Mhm - who knows.

    BTW, the Kerala is owned and operated by the Swagat owners brother. Now, Swagat (which is just around the corner) serves Kashmir dishes - north. I'm surprised to hear the Kerala food seems to be authentic Southern Indian anyway ...

    Well: Time to do some more testing tonight!!! :-)

  16. It was worth to me, thanks author for taking out some of your precious time and sharing your thoughts on this topic.


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