Karavall, Taj Gateway, Bangalore

Karavall, Taj Gateway, Bangalore

Forget zooming up and down  the coastal towns of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa to explore the various cuisines of this region. Instead head straight to Karavalli at Taj Gateway in Bangalore to explore new and old dishes from these coastal towns that are a patchwork quilt of Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities. There are the Moppalas of Northern Kerala, the Syrian Christians of Southern Kerala, Bunds and Havyaka brahmins from Northern Karnataka,  the Hindu and Christian communities from Goa. Each of these communities have  their own signature dishes using the rich repertoire of spices that this area is famous for right from peppercorns to cardamoms. It was the whiff of spices that brought the Europeans to this part of India a few hundred years ago and among them the Portuguese left a strong stamp on the cuisine of Goa.

Karavalli is located right in the heart of Bangalore on Residency Road. The restaurant has won many awards and made it to variou lists of must-eat places in Bangalore and India. So, is it any wonder then that on my annual visits to Bangalore I make a beeline to this restaurant? I either have a thali or a simple meal of appam and stew and wash it down with a decadent cup of ada pradhaman and filter coffee.

Executive Chef Naren Thimmaiah, Karavalli, Taj Gateway

Executive Chef Naren Thimmaiah,Taj Gateway

This time around I got to meet and talk with Chef Thimmiah, the executive chef of Taj Gateway.

Continue reading


My 5 best vegetarian foods to eat in Bangalore are: filter coffee, idli, dosa,vada and coconut water.  Technically speaking coffee and coconut water probably qualify as drinks. Now that I have shared the list let me share why they made it to my 5 best vegetarian foods to eat in Bangalore.

Every year on my annual visit to Bangalore the first thing I do is to head straight to Haati Kaapi’s kiosk’s right at the airport.There is nothing like a strong cup of filter coffee made from local coffee beans to get your day started. Filter coffee is different from the way coffee is brewed in the US. Filter coffee is brewed in a slow drip method and the decoction or brew is then mixed with milk along with a liberal dose of sugar. Those first 2 cups of filter coffee from Haati Kaapi are  just the start of my coffee affair in Bangalore. Continue reading


I was craving for some Mexican food from San Jose’s La Victoria Taqueira in Bangalore after seeing all those Superbowl 50  tweets about salsa and burritos. If only there was a local taqueria from where I could order a veggie burrito and get some nachos with some guac it would be wonderful I thought. While I was dreaming of Mexican food I realized with a rude shock that our trusty on-demand chef Kamakshi did not get our lunch order. Due to a technical glitch she never got the WhatsApp message we sent her the previous day. She was my Plan A for our lunch and I had no Plan B!  “Oh, let us look what FreshMenu has,” my husband suggested. And lo & behold! it seems Freshmenu, a Bangalore-based startup, has somehow read my thoughts. Oh, wait that can’t be I told myself. That is some good old marketing to coincide with all that Superbowl buzz out here in Silicon Valley of India or Bangalore.

FreshMenu had a vegetarian burrito bowl (Rs. 200 or approx $3.50)  with all the works – refried beans, corn, tomatoes and cottage cheese. Wait a minute cottage cheese? Hmm that is an interesting add-on. I also ordered a passion blueberry mousse (Rs. 60 or approx $1). Am not sure what this mousse is made of or how many calories it contains, but am mighty curious to know what it tastes like. We logged in to our FreshMenu account, placed our order and then waited for the food to appear at our doorstep in less than 45 minutes. It took us all of 3 minutes to look up th menu and place our order.

While waiting for my Mexican burrito bowl and the mousse I got thinking about my current trip to Bangalore and living a truly on-demand life. I get my grocery, food and car without much friction from these on-demand companies like BigBasket, FreshMenu and Uber. But then I said to myself “Hang on a minute. In my previous trips to Bangalore I did lead an on-demand life. I got my food from Kamakashi’s kitchen or my mom’s kitchen, my grocery from the local corner or kirana store and our transportation from our local tour and travel company, Ola cab or the good old auto rickshaw.” And then there were times when I’d whip up breakfast and lunch in our kitchen using our Philips induction stove and not the traditional gas stove top. Continue reading

Christmas in Bangalore at Taj Vivanta

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Bangalore has a long tradition of celebrating Christmas with Christmas cakes, plum puddings and other Christmas goodies. One of the places where you get to see Christmas celebration and goodies is at Taj Vivanta on MG Road in Bangalore. We … Continue reading