Rasam – The Real Taste of Kongunad
Rasam is the new restaurant venture of Sri Krishna Sweets (of course you’ve already heard of their Continental food) at Purasawalkam. Situated on Raja Annamalai Road, somewhat opposite Dharmaprakash Kalyana Mandapam and a couple of buildings away from M Ct M school, Rasam calls itself an authentic Kongunad restaurant. It is housed in the first floor of a beautiful old bungalow and if you are lucky you might get to sit near a window and if you peep out you might see some of Chennai quintessential potti kadais and if that doesn’t take you back in time, what will?
I’ve been to Rasam a couple of times, for lunch, and love their ambience and their service. Err…what about the food you ask? Well, it tastes like home made food – no extra spices, no overdose of oil – just the right ingredients in the right proportion.
They serve only thalis for lunch. There are two options – a regular and a special. The regular thali has fewer items than the special but its quantity is far more ideal. The special thali has, as its name suggests, various “special” items from Kongunad – sweet and sour.
Dinner options are better as you may choose to eat idiappams and the like with the groundnut paste flavoured khormas.
The service is polite, quick, yet not intrusive. The ambience, as I said, is very inviting and cozy, feels more like the well-done-up home of a cheerful acquaintance than a restaurant. I’d say service: 7/10, food: 7/10, ambience: 8/10. Recommended.
Kongunad cuisine is basically a collection of exotic recipes being created by the people residing in the Kongu region. The cuisine is quite extensive for a simple reason that the Kongu region is very vast and includes places like Ooty, Coimbatore (the present headquarters of Kongu Kingdom), Pollachi, Tiruppur, Udumalpet, Avinashi, Palladam, Kangayam (the previous headquarters of Kongu Kingdom) to Karur, Erode, Aathur, Salem, Palani Mettur and Dharapuram.
Some of the aspects that make Kongunad cuisine very special are as follows:
* The recipes have their own nativity and style. Besides, Kongunad cuisine is a collection of recipes from more than 50 cities n Tamil Nadu, (unlike Chettinad cuisine, which is the food of only one city of Tamil Nadu, called Karaikudi)
* Unlike other cuisines, Kongunad cuisine does not involve marination of any raw material. As a result the food has a different taste and unique texture
* Addition of roasted groundnut paste in curries and Khormas creates a very different flavour
* Turmeric is always added into curries as freshly grated and ground after roasting. This gives the product a deep yellow colour and an aromatic substance
* Kongunad cuisine is not very spicy and oily, which is not the case with other cuisines
* The cuisine is healthy and nutritious owing to use of considerable amount of pulses