Thursday, April 30, 2015

Curry Leaf--A chance discovery

Got up in the morning, a little early for the weekend at 7 am, and went to the ATM to draw some money. A side-ways glance showed me a small board showing ‘Morning Tiffins.’ Had been eyeing this board for some time and curiosity drew me to the place. As I walked in , thinking of the traditional dosa-idli-uttapam, I came across this!

I almost let out a cry of joy at seeing this. My kid just LOVES Kerala food and I went back home, restlessly waiting for him to wake up.
Finally, we went there at around 9.30 am and ordered the puttu with kadla curry. We ordered for the full one and divided among the three of us. We could have a choice between a puttu made with white rice or the one made with brown rice (the Chemba). We ordered the white one and a Kadla curry. They have a half-portion or full portion available for almost every item.

Pic courtesy: Curry Leaf

Th puttu was deliciously made with a steamed combination of coconut and rice flour and went beautifully with the accompanying Kadla curry (black chana cooked in coconut oil with the sharpness of ginger-garlic and masalas). Just loved this combination of bland and spicy.
The next were the appams. The appams disappointed us slightly as they tasted almost like the regular dosas. We were told that the batter hadn’t been allowed to rest for a while as it ought to be and hence didn’t taste right.

Appam with kadla curry and vegetable stew

The vegetable stew that accompanied it didn’t look all that appetizing but taste-wise it was great! A recipe of mixed vegetables cooked in the creaminess of coconut milk rendered a special taste to the stew and went very well with the appam.

Vegetable Stew
Wanting to not leave out anything from the vegetarian menu, we next ordered for the kappa. Kappa is tapioca and tasted like the sweet potato without its sweetness. The texture was also very similar. It was garnished with a tadka and served with tamarind-red chilli chutney. This combination was fabulous!

Kappa with chutney

The icing on the cake was when we were able to conclude the meal with a coconut pudding. The pudding was jelly-like but in a very different way to a panna cotta. It had a wiff of coconut flavor from the tender coconut, but not enough to render an authetic flavor.  The sweetness (from condensed milk?) was overpowering.

Coconut pudding

In every dish I find that the bland is compensated with a spicy accompaniment.  I also found that there is hardly any use of oil. This breakfast doesn’t sit heavy on the stomach.
The only drawback for me was they cooked in regular oil instead of the famed coconut oil in the Kerala cuisine. The owner told us that it was because coconut oil may not be palatable for everyone. Had we known, we would have insisted that he does.Our total bill for three for breakfast came to 280/-
Never knew that this place which advertises tiffins more than its name, Curry Leaf, had this gem of Kerala food hidden within. The timings are 11 am to 11 pm everyday and from morning on Saturdays and Sundays. It is a tiny place (15-20 people capacity) and runs more on a small but faithful clientele of Kerala food lovers. In fact, they had opened it that day in the morning just because some of them had planned to gather there before they left Hyderabad
They will re-start, after a short break, from May 10th.This place is next to the ICICI ATM to the left of AXIS bank on the Secunderabad-Tarnaka road.

I am no authority on Kerala food and therefore cannot say if they serve an authentic one. But what my experience doesn't tell me, my taste buds do...and what they tell me is that Curry Leaf is worth many more visits.
Recently had their Parota which was quite nice:

Parota with Kadla curry