Dakshin, one of my most favorite South Indian restaurants in Delhi, is doing a Karavali festival that is running until the 28th of February. Having tasted many dishes on the menu, I would like you to not miss Chef Velu’s phenomenal food.
KANE RAWA FRY
Karavali region is the South West coastline of India, It includes Malayali food from Kerala, Bunt food from Mangalore, Coorgi food and Goan Portuguese food.
My favorite picks from the menu are as follows:
A Konkan delicacy made of colocassia (arbi) dredged in rice flour and chilli powder, this dish elevated a simple humble vegetable to a different level. A tempura like crunch and a spicy kick makes this a very memorable dish indeed.
Another famous Karnataka chicken dish, this one is a boneless ghee roasted chicken that is coated in a thick and spicy masala. The masala sticks to every morsel of the chicken and each bite is heavenly. The ghee top note makes the dish, in my opinion and the comfortable Karnataka flavours are etched in your memory forever.
MALLAI YETTI PULI MUNCHI
It might seem like I’m in love with the Coastal Karnataka cuisine but this scampi dish is something you absolutely need to try here. To be honest, I love the flavours of the food at Dakshin. Puli munchi is a combination of tangy tamarind and spicy chilli and they enhance the delicate scampi meat flavour beautifully. Have it with a perfectly cooked appam or with a neer dosa and I bet you will not stop before you wipe your plate clean.
No matter how many times you have tried dishes from South India, such is the diversity of Indian cooking that dishes still surprise you. Sannas did that for me! I racked Chef Velu’s brain regarding this recipe and only then could I find out how complex making this simple dish is. Put simply, this is a steamed rice cake that is made with coconut milk and fermented toddy. It is a yeasty, sweet flavour that goes brilliantly with any curried dish. I paired it with dry gunpowder and curry leaf powder and it was wonderful – a meal in itself. It may seem simple but Chef Velu told us how complex making sannas is and how much technique it requires. Move over idlis, sannas is where it’s at.
KARAVALI MEEN GASSI
ANANAS KESARI BATH
Kesari Bath is a famous semolina halwa made in ghee but the flavour comes from saffron used but adding the ananas or pineapple added another dimension to the dish. Tangy, sweet and rich this was a satisfying end to the meal.
The Karavalli menu is unlike other festival menus as it is expansive and far reaching in the number of dishes, depth, variety and flavour of each. I cannot wait to come back and try the food all over again.