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Delectable cuisine, tasty delight


IT IS often the whiff of sambhar that makes one realise that he is in for some South Indian treat. The distinctive tang of course is just a precursor to the tasty delights that one expects to follow. Familiarity doesn't spell doom and the routine Dosa, Idli and Uthhapam do well to cater to one's tastes. Things however are a shade different at The Radisson's NY café this fortnight as the restaurant showcases some of the best dishes from the southern part of the country. No, it doesn't give up on the coastal milieu. The dhoti-kurta attire of the staff reminds you of that even if the typical classical music with overtones of violin and the ornamented articles used for decoration don't. Nor does it give up on the ambrosia that has come to epitomise the delectable cuisine. It merely adds on to it.

An eclectic mix of the Chettinad and Palakad cuisines along with the Moplah and Udipi foods belonging to different regions and communities of the south is what sets the festival apart. One can relish the mouth-watering Meen Kozhambu, Meen Moilee, Kozhi Varutha Curry, Uppu Kari, Javarisi Payasam, Paalkati Pattani Masala and more but there is a catch. The menu differs from day to day and from meal to meal. So one might end up tasting the Uppu Kari, which is a variation of Mutton Curry and perhaps missing on the Paalkati Masala that is a paneer dish in gravy. It doesn't pinch so much, for the joy of tasting the unknown is what the buffet capitalises on.

Chefs Lakshmanan and Maheswaran, who have specially been flown from Chennai, ensure that even a familiar Arhar Dal has a twist in the form of Tomato Pappu, while Suraikai Kottu redefines Loki Masala. Excitement may die down midway for some, with the vegetarian offerings being slightly towards the blander side. Also one might find exception to the limited variety of Dosa or Uthhapam and none of them quite as fiery for the connoisseurs of spicy food. But the gunpowder chutney makes up for that and not many would mind focusing on other goodies such as Ellu Sadham that are Til rice and the Carrot beans Poriyal. The Chettinad fish curry and the sweet dish Payasam along with the regular buffet also keep the mood upbeat. So go ahead but only do so in case your taste buds are game for something lesser heard of.

S.M. YASIR

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