What do Anil Kumble, Vishwanathan Anand and Amitabh Bachchan have in common? They are all vegetarian and proud of it. Whether it is for health reasons, to save the planet or do their bit for animals, a number of Bengalureans too seem to be going their way. Veg food is now preferred for highend quality dining and is not just limited to cafes and darshinis.
South Indies and Higher Taste are proof of the fact that there is a customer who enjoys fine dining veg, maybe for the unique ness of the concept.
Chef Aditya Fatepuria of Higher Taste at Iskcon believes there is a trend of people turning to vegetarianism off late. "At the restaurant, we go deeper into the concept by providing Sattvic food," he explains. "It is veg minus the use of ingredients like garlic, onion and eggs which create tamas (heat, desire) in your body. Sattvic equals wholesome."
Food is made and served within four hours. Aditya says the popular dishes are Nellika sharu (Gooseberry soup), for starters there is Kakori seekh kabab, inji vadai (ginger flakes vadai) and zafrani kofta. For main course there is Elaneer Caraisu (tender coconut curry). The base of the curry is ground cashews which are mixed with tender coconut water and tender coconut pieces and boiled. This goes well with rice or dosa. Rajabhojanam is another signature dish which is very popular. This `food of the kings' is a curry made with delicious nuts -cashew, pista, almond and raisins. Paniyarams or rice dumplings are another favourite with guests, according to chef.
"We have them in different forms. Plain, sukku (ginger flavoured), and idiyappams. "Kaikari idiyappam is a specialty which uses specially ground masalas. "The masalas that we have developedare the basic for the food. The entire experience is very aromatic." For desserts, the Nendrapadam dosai (sweet banana pancakes) and a paan ice cream which "is a mouth freshner cum digestive cum dessert is a must-have!" adds Aditya.