During a recent walking tour through old Bangalore, my guide Ameen led me down an alleyway and into this unassuming restaurant, Akshmi Natraj Refreshment. It's not a fancy or expensive place, and its one that I would probably pass if I were on my own, but I've learned, especially where food is considered, that it is unfair to judge a book by its cover, so to speak.
Here what I ate:
Idli w Masala Vada (above) - The white fluffy idlis are a quickly fermented mixture of rice and dal flours, steamed in trays. This plate was served with a masala vada and tomato and coconut chutneys.
Masala Dosa w chutneys - A thin and crispy pancake made from quick-fermented rice flour. It is cooked on a flat pan with ghee and filled with a mixture of onions, potato, coriander, and turmeric. Served alongside tomato and coconut chutneys.
Obbattu - We have this in Pune and know it as "puran poli". It's a sweet dish of maida roti filled with a mixture of chana dal, jaggery, and elaichi. It's cooked with ghee on a tawa (flat pan).
Filter Coffee - I have been consistently pleased with the quality of the coffee in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is strong and flavorful. I guess to be expected though considering this is tea and coffee country!
A while after breakfast, I stumbled across a street vendor selling sweets. My belly was full but it looked too good to pass up so I grabbed a slice of this beautiful coconut dilpasand (below), a pastry filled with shredded coconut, sugar, and cardamom.