Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Woes of an idli-dosa-sambar craving Calcuttan.

One thing I don't understand is why Bengalis hate South Indian food. Also there are very very few places that serve authentic South Indian food in Calcutta, and even most of those who claim to be authentic have no idea what sambar tastes like (they assume they can get away with serving daal) , make strange half-cooked stuff they call idlis and dosas and not a trace of coconut is to be found in their chutney.

And this is incredibly sad for a person who has grown up in Bangalore, surrounded by beautiful crisp masala dosas, fluffy idlis and utthapams and fragrant rasam. And unfortunately, I have dosa cravings like I have chocolate cravings, and have NOWHERE to go.

Once I ended up trying to satisfy this craving at one of the mall food courts, after which I vowed never to try South Indian food in Calcutta ever again and I'm still looking for something to neutralize the taste it left in my mouth.

So really, why do people here hate South Indian food? Even if I find a place, I can't find a single person who will go there with me. Is it because Bengalis have a deep dislike for anything vegetarian, or they simply haven't tasted the real thing? I think it's some combination of both. But then, even all my friends and relatives in Bangalore/Hyderabad/Chennai complain about the food. All the time. I guess the palate is just not something they are used to.

Anyway, I don't mind going anywhere alone, strictly, but it's no fun eating in a restaurant alone and not have anyone to gossip with over it and talk about the food and the flavours and appreciate the beauty of it. There are 2 new restaurants I found out about, one is Sambhar on CIT Road, and the other is The Chennai Restaurant, on Prince Anwar Shah connector. I can't wait to try them.

I really must visit Bangalore soon, and when I do, I will make sure I stick to a strictly local diet. Idlis, dosas, vadas and utthapams ALL DAY.

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