Exploring culinary delights of South India
Road trips generally offers more to a traveller than journeys covered by others means of transport. And when you know you it is going to be a food themed road trip, that too in breezy winters, it further accentuates the excitement to extremes. A trip by road principally determines the true essence of a city and you explore the region with much curiosity and intrigue. It was in last December that we decided to go on a food trip to south India but due to thick fog, our trains were cancelled at the last minute. We had to eventually rent a car from a self-driving car rental agency in the region. One thing that car rental service saves you from is the excessive wear and tear of your own vehicle when the journey is a long one. They are well maintained, budget friendly and makes a fitting choice for a hassle-free driving experience.
HYDERABAD – THE CITY OF NIZAMS
Now coming back to the road trip, the first city to be explored was Hyderabad. The city of Nizams and overwhelmingly chivalrous in its spirit, the city has been famous for its classic food spread and delectable cuisines all over the world. It is also recognised as the food capital of India. A paradise for non-vegetarians, Hyderabad spoils you for the choices of Biryanis. Among other famous delicacies, Haleem, Qabooli, Sheer Khurma, Dum Pukth and Boti Kebabs are to name a few. It serves you a perfect melange of Arabic, Mughlai and Awadhi preparation that are too authentic and pure in their taste. The local street foods of Hyderabad also extend a variety of snacks and munchies. Whether it is a keema samosa in Patthar Ghati or egg bondas in Golkonda Fort, you would taste authenticity dripping from every nook & corner of the city. The famous eateries in Hyderabad include, ‘Bawarchi’, ‘Dakshin’ & Minerva Coffee shop, delivering a wide range of starters and main course recipes.
KARNATAKA – THE CITY OF LIGHTS
A quick flight of 1.5 hour and you step into the state of Karnataka, known for its humble food culture. Fortunately, the city too had local car renting service which made our lives easier as of again and we enjoyed the drive to our heart’s content. The state of Karnataka carries a vast variation from general conception. A typical Mangalorean bhajji or lip smacking Bisi bele Bhath are a must, when in Bengaluru. The Udupi, Dharwad and Mysore region of the state has a legacy of its own and hides a repertoire full of rich culinary heritage which is transparently laid on their dining tables. The cooking practices in Karnataka involves an apt usage of mildly flavoured spices that aren’t too heavy on one’s stomach. Unlike Hyderabad, it exhibits a great range of delicacies for vegetarian people too, namely Allugedda, Mysore Masala dosa, Haal bai and the classic filter coffee. Apart from numerous food joints, Mavalli tiffin rooms, also known as MTR, is a place too hard to miss. It serves recipes right from the heart of Karnataka and leave you asking for more.
CHENNAI – A COASTAL DELIGHT
The last city to be mapped was the city of Chennai. A city which is home to the good old idli sambhar, vadas and dosas. But it’s a real pity for those who restrict the food history of Chennai to just this. In all honesty, Delhi & Mumbai would offer you everything that a local bistro in Chennai does. Still you’d clearly draw a profound contrast between the authenticity served in south India and other cities. Threaded along the coastal line of India, the city is more inclined to the usage of Coconut products bamboo shoots & sea food, since it is indigenous to the region. You’d be pleasantly surprised to experience the Chettinad style of cooking in the country sides which offers both veg & non-veg preparations, chicken Ghee roast being a local favourite in masses. Amongst the restaurants, Firdouse house in Devraj Nagar and Maplai in Nungambakkam are undeniably the best to have classic south Indian meal.
South India is a vibrant destination for food lovers and has massive culinary treasures in its keep. But the original essence of the South Indian food is found only in homes and is neatly preserved in the hands for grannies and moms. Tell us your food story and in case if you have none, its time you enroute South India asap.