Restaurant Review: Amma’s Food Festival at South High Kitchen & Bar, Malad West, Mumbai
If you love authentic Mangalorean delicacies, then head on to the Amma’s Food Festival at South High Kitchen & Bar in Malad West and Lower Parel, Mumbai. We recently tasted few of the exotic Mangalorean dishes that had a feel of home-cooked food, just like how a Mangalorean grandma would lovingly cook for her family. All the dishes are made with great care and we loved the fact that the Mangalorean dishes at South High were not overly spicy! The Amma’s Food Festival by South High Kitchen & Bar is from 29th Oct to 25th Nov for lunch and dinner at Lower Parel and Malad West Outlets.
Gone are the days when South Indian cuisine only translated to idli, dosa, vada, sambar, etc. Each region in the South India has their own rich cuisine and some of these heirloom recipes are a closely guarded family secret. The trick of adding the right blend of spices is what does all the wonders. For example, the must-try starter at the Mangalorean Food Festival, the Marwai Pundi, is a popular dish in Mangalore. It is a dish made with clams which are tossed in a coconut-rich South Canara spice blend.
In the Main Course, do try the flavourful and piquant Black Pepper Marinated Mutton Curry , paired with Semige or rice vermicelli, which is the same as Idiyappam. Another interesting dish is Bangude Puli Munchi, a traditional, spicy Mangalorean Bunt style fish curry, cooked with Mackarel. The dish is quite fiery and uses a killer combination of tamarind and chilli paste.
If you never tasted Madikeri Mutton Curry, then do give it a try. Made with South Canara homemade spices and succulent mutton, this dish is enough to send one to food coma! We loved the Prawns Gassi with Kotige, made in a traditional way with plump, fresh prawns in a thick coconut-based curry with robust Mangalorean spices.
Apart from the regular fare, there are mini meals, which are enough for those who have a small appetite or are practicing portion control. Kori Roti, a spicy dish of Tulu Udupi – Mangalorean cuisine, is a combination of red-chilli-based chicken curry and crispy, dry wafers made from boiled rice called as Rice Rotti. Another interesting dish, the Yetti Chutney Ganji, which is actually roasted dry prawns mixed with grated coconut and mixed green spices, is an acquired taste. We tasted a small portion of this and loved it. We can bet that for those who love dry fish, they will love it with porridge brown rice.
The vegetarian dishes have a good variety here. Dishes like Basale Pundi – Tulunad has mini rice balls soaked in spicy coconut gravy with leafy vegetables. The rice dumplings are called Pundi Gatti in Mangalore. The Areepuda Pathradde, Mangalorean style Arbi leaf roll sauted in coconut and spices, is another favourite among vegetarians. For the main course, we were recommended to try the Veg Gassi with Moode, a coconut-based vegetable curry. Bende Puli Munchi (Okra in tamarind and chilli paste) is another Mangalorean vegetarian dish that’s worth a try. This is served with a choice of South Canara bread.
The desserts were extremely flavourful. The traditional Mangalorean special Godi Payasa is a filling meal in itself. A wholesome broken-wheat kheer/payasam that has an inviting piquancy from a generous amount of cloves added to the dish. This Payasa comes with Mangalorean Sweet Ghatti. A Ghatti is a rice cake is stuffed with jaggery & coconut along with spices wrapped & steamed with banana leaf. However, in place of Ghatti, we were offered Puran Polis to go with it. The Kashi Halwa was bang-on, with pumpkin as the key ingredient.
The Amma’s Food Festival by South High Kitchen & Bar is from 29th Oct to 25th Nov for lunch and dinner at Lower Parel and Malad West outlets.
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