Southern Spice TraiL
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The South Indian food festival at Taj Chandigarh goes beyond dosa and sambhar.
When it comes to the peculiar dining habits of Chandigarhians, there's little doubt that South Indian fare is relished with excitement on both sides of the Madhya Marg. The city's many foodie areas are dotted with outlets, both stand-alone as well as food courts that dish out the likes of dosa-sambhar and vada-sambhar in large numbers. It wouldn't need a survey to reassert the fact that in a family of four, at least two members will happily settle for a crispy rava dosa or idli dunked in sambhar on a meal out. That said, South Indian fare has been restricted to just snacky fast food with the exception of Swagath in Sector 26. If one wants to have an authentic, main course, South Indian meal at a restaurant, it's almost always during a food festival. So it's with a lot of expectations that we arrived at Taj Chandigarh that's hosting a food festival at its Cafe 17.
The Cafe is always a pleasure to visit during the monsoons as the large glass panes let in the light and provide a view of the water body outside. The menu is served promptly and don't be fooled by its slim presentation. Inside, the three pages offer a good selection of cuisine culled from four states in the south — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. To make it simpler, there are two options. One could choose a vegetarian or non-vegetarian pre-set menu or order a la carte. Those familiar with South Indian cuisine, will instantly spot popular dishes such as Chicken Chettinad, Avial (a Kerala dish made from a mixture of vegetables, curd and coconut), Chicken 65 (an Andhra delicacy) and Meen Varuval (typical Chettinad fried fish).
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