Friday, 26 February 2016

Benne Masala!


On a second visit to Bangalore, this time turned out to be more relaxing. Besides, I got to relish food from a famous and old hotel.Whatever new cuisine that catches our fancy, we still cannot let go of our native's cuisine. South Indian cuisine will continue to be at the top in my list of favourite foods. And in South Indian cuisine, the Dosa is my most cherished food. The thin and 'usually' subtle crisp dosa is a rice pancake which is served with piping hot sambar and chutney.

So I was very much intrigued and curious when my brother told about this place - CTR - Central Tiffin Room (Shri Sagar) in Bangalore, noted for its Benne Masala Dosas. Getting to the place was as usual irritating, what with the city's sluggish traffic. The Uber ride left us far ahead of the exact place and we had to ask for directions. The street was too crowded and was filled with shops of all sorts. It reminded me of
T Nagar in Chennai. Finally after finding our feet in the wave of people, we found the hotel. We were completely taken aback. The building looked decrepit but also sort of quaint. Inside, it was jam packed. As soon as we entered, the smell of butter hit our noses. Waiters were bringing trays of plates filled with the most picturesque and seriously attractive dosas. We were given a table within 5 minutes. It seemed as if all of the customers inside were eating only one thing. DOSAS! We ordered three sets of Benne Masala and two filter coffees. The waiter was sort of irritating when he asked repetitively, "Is that all?", as if subtly telling us "Eat fast and get the hell out". It took less than 2 minutes for them to bring. No words can do justice to the below picture.



It was both fluffy and unbelievably crispy. It is magic because both cannot be achieved when a dosa is made. It goes without saying that it was delicious. The dosa combined with the thick white and green chutney proved to be food brought from the seventh heaven. Sadly, there was no sambhar. Not that the sambhar made here is of any good. It is good but not as good as the sambhar made in Tamil Nadu. The reason being, Udupi sambhar has an hint of jaggery which totally sweetens spoils the dish. Apart from that, they don't add small onions and garlic. These are ingredients which are crucial for that hot sambhar. Agreed, Udupi sambhar is unique in its own way. If this dosa was served with sambhar made in, say, Saravana Bhavan, the result would be a food made by the Gods. 

Not satiated with one dosa, we ordered another dosa. We were shocked when they refused saying that all are over and they actually were beginning to close the shutters. The time was just 9:30.  Only now we understood why the waiter was pestering. Disappointed, we started sipping the filter coffee. Ah, our happiness was brought back in an instant.

Next time, we decided, we must come to this place for brunch in an empty stomach and have unlimited dosas.

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