For a quick taste of Karnataka

For a quick taste of Karnataka

The Karnataka Sangha Food Centre in RK Pura­m is a name you would have heard often in foodie circles. However, if you are planning to visit it any time soon, a reality check is necessary. Allow Metrolife to do the honours.

Firstly, this KFC (Karnataka Food Centre and not Kentucky Fried Chicken) is 100 per cent vegetarian.

What you can look forward to however, is an astounding 22 varieties of Dosa which includes ghee masala, paper masala, paper plain, mysore rava dosa, coconut rava plain and more; 10 kinds of Utthapam – including plain, onion, tomato, vegetable et al; a special kind of rice for every day of the week – pongal, curd, lemon, puliyogare, bisibele bhaath and three varieties each of idli, vada and upma.

The variety is huge but the taste is not as expected. For instance, the dosa is absolutely fresh and crispy but the masala inside is lame. The accompanying chutneys, which form the litmus test of a good dosa, are almost tasteless.

Also, considering that chutneys go with every aforementioned vegetarian item, do not expect the coconut and groundnut concoctions to set your idli and vada on fire. Lest we forget, the sambar curry is also watery. But perhaps, our North Indian taste palate is used to thicker, buttery curries.

In any case, it comes as no surprise to see the crowds at KFC which only increase as the day passes. And remarkably, the customers are not as many Kannadigas as non-Kannadigas. Loyalists here include people who stay or are working in nearby areas as well as those coming in from far off states. They make it a point to stop by at KFC, they say.

The favourite at lunch and dinner is the ‘South Indian fixed meal thali’ containing poori, rice, sambar, subzi, coot, rasam, pickle, papad and curd. “Strictly served for single person only. Extras will be charged,” the menu reads.

The other preferred dishes are Maharaja thali which has butter milk, kosambri and payasam added to the items in the ‘South Indian fixed thali,’ and the Tiffin thali which has an idli, dosa and vada each with a small serving of upma.     

The faith of the customers seems to be in the purity and hygiene of the food here. Dr. Yam Nathung, all the way from Arunachal Pradesh on a business trip to Delhi says, “I like the fact that the food here is non-spicy. It suits my taste. I feel that the food’s quality is good, it is hygienic and cost-effective. It makes for a good meal.” Another businessman- Shriram Munde of Pune says, “The service is good. The staff is all Kannadiga but they understand Hindi and are polite and helpful. I like KFC for these reasons.”

UA Sareef, the manager at KFC, explains the philosophy behind the food, “We want to serve quick and light food. No excessive oil or spice. Simple food which can be had on the go.” But Karnataka cuisine does have much more potential than the one being explored here.  

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