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Food for the Gods, yours for a price

At Naivedyam's new branch in Rohini, MADHUR TANKHA looks into the food chain's culinary specialities that retain the authentic South Indian touch while blending in flavours that appeal to the North Indian palate... .



Have a South Indian bite at Naivedyam in Rohini.

NAIVEDYAM, A South Indian food chain, has recently opened shop in the North-west Delhi neighbourhood of Rohini. Offering authentic, feather light crisp idlis, dosas and tangy chutneys in its own innovative way, Naivedyam is the brainchild of Shekher Bangera, a young entrepreneur from South Karnataka who has been running branches at Hauz Khas, Kalkaji, West Patel Nagar and Daryaganj. Naivedyam is a Sanskrit term for offering of food to the Gods before commencement of puja. Though he hasn't departed from the traditional modus operandi of South Indian cooking, Bangera has improvised too. Since most of his clientele comprises North Indians rather than those who have migrated from the southern part of the country, he says he had to innovate some dishes. "North Indians relish heavy stuff. So I have to add cashew nuts and raisins in some of the dishes."

All the chefs at Naivedyam - who dexterously prepare different types of dosas - hail from the coastal town of Mangalore.

As an appetiser a guest is offered a glass of complimentary buttermilk with curry leaves. Just like one takes a cup of soup in a Chinese eating-joint before the main course so that one's appetite is increased, similarly buttermilk is served on the house so that customers can eat heartily.

One then goes in for heavy-duty stuff - a thali, which comprises hot puris, rice, raita, rasam, sambar, two varieties of vegetables and - the icing on the cake - the sweet, which changes everyday. In desserts one can get Kesari Bhath, Payasam and Mysore Pak. The thali is a complete meal and as no South Indian meal can be complete without curd there is a cup of fresh curd.

Rava Masala Dosa is for those who don't mind the calorie intake, as it is stuffed with cashew nuts and raisins. Even if you want to cut down on cholesterol, once in a blue moon you can go in for this type of heavily prepared dish. As Delhiites have a fondness for paneer items, there is a new introduction - Paneer Masala Dosai.

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