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Veggie delights

Udipi is synonymous with standard vegetarian fare and one can get a taste of some distinctive dishes at Mathsya, Egmore.


WHAT WAS once the exclusive domain of those matriarchs of old Madras, Woodlands and Dasaprakash, has now one too many players ranging from Vasantha Bhavan to Sangeetha to Saravana Bhavan and Komalas. The rates are more or less the same and the menu has anything from pav bhaji to mini idlis and sweet corn soup. Mathsya, Egmore, (ph: 28191900) figures among that list. What stood out in that sea of choices was a section of barely eight or nine Udupi dishes. Udupi, the fountainhead from where almost all popular vegetarian restaurant chains originated, is now merely a brand name. Now you do understand why I was excited seeing bajjari dosai and Mangalore garlic rice on the Mathsya menu?

Most of the items come as part of the Udupi special thali (Rs.79), making the choice easy. The dosais that came with the thali were good. The brown kara uppu puli dosai as the name suggests was a perfect blend of promised flavours. Bajjari dosai that came with coconut and jaggery towards the end of the meal was a wonder made of raw rice. The kadubu's (the cylindrical idli) lightness and intriguing texture would make you long for a second helping. Bisi bele bath hullianna and chithirannam too were tasty.

The standard fare was packed with lovely surprises like the Sixer (Rs 37) made with kokum extract. Despite the violent red shade, it was a very pleasant drink.

Among the umpteen variations of masala dosais, the Raja Raja Cholan dosai (Rs.44) was indeed a royal fare. Even the vegetable cutlet (Rs.30) left a mark. The charm of Mathsya lies in the fact that it still has some individuality.

MARIEN MATHEW

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