As Onam, the 10-day Harvest festival nears its end, I put together a list of seven of the best South Indian joints where you can enjoy a grand feast. You’ll know where to find me over the next couple of days. Ahem.
Savya Rassa, Koregaon Park
A culinary joy ride right to the heart of the south is what you can expect at Savya Rassa. Serving up some of the best and most authentic picks of Chettinad, Malabar and Mangalorean cuisines, Savya Rassa starts off the meal with tangy rasam and fried papads. I’d definitely recommend the Milagu Kozhi Chettinad, a rich chicken coconut curry dish delicately flavoured with black pepper, star anise, and curry leaves; Meen Manga Curry, cubes of tender fish cooked in a spicy and tangy mango and coconut gravy; Erachi stew, succulent mutton cooked in the most delectable velvety coconut milk and black peppercorn stew, best enjoyed with soft, pillowy appams, but hey, go ahead and treat yourself to a fabulous Bun Parotta and thank me later.
The Coconut Tree Bar & Kitchen, Magarpatta City
For the seafood loving heart, The Coconut Tree Bar & Kitchen comes as a welcome treat. Located conveniently in Magarpatta City, Coconut Tree offers some of the best seafood I’ve had the pleasure of eating in Pune. Go here for the Andhra Banana Leaf Potli, your choice of meat marinated in spicy Andhra spices, steamed in a banana leaf- robust and intensely flavourful, absolutely delicious; the Pulli Munchi Ghee Roast and the Chettinadu Roast you just can’t go wrong with; the Varakal Dry, i.e., crab or fish prepared in a creamy green paste, fresh cream and butter is just off the hook. Enjoy with Neer dosa and/or appams. If I were you, I’d do yourself a favour and order a portion of the special Potli Biryani for research purposes.
Anna Idli, Baner
Sometimes the heart desires a steaming hot cup of filter coffee with idli podi. Some other times, the heart desires a big bowl of Bonda soup, Kesari Bhat and mayyyyybe some Bisi Bele Bhat. In which case, Anna Idli is your best bet. Straight up no-nonsense and fantastic South Indian food served at lightning speed for days when you don’t want to wait to inhale your food. The Curd Rice has a special place in my heart and is served up all day, errrday, and is comfort food just the way you want it.
Coffee House, Camp
Coffee House is one of the first places I “ate out” at in my life. Yep, I was there at 0 years old and ever since then, it’s a love affair like you wouldn’t believe. If you’re looking for instant service and superb South Indian, then head on over to Coffee House. Be sure to order the Mysore Masala Dosa, filter coffee and if you swing by at lunch time, you need to try their Paneer Piece Pickle with Butter Naan. Just… trust me.
South Indian Canteen, Sadashiv Peth
Home style Tam-Brahm food with a healthy dose of nostalgia. This modest little eatery is a favourite amongst locals for its honest-to-goodness Tamil idli/wada-sambhar, meals, upma and Pongal. Authentic, pocket-friendly and generous portions are the best words to describe South Indian Canteen. One bite into the steaming hot wada sambhar and you’re sure to be transported to Trichy.
Coconut Grove, Mangalwar Peth
For some of the best Surmai Gassi, Neer Dosa, Sol Kadhi, and Kori Roti, Coconut Grove is one of my all-time favourites. The Andhra Chilli Chicken might not be for the faint-hearted, but it’s big on flavours and well, if it’s not the kick-you-in-the-face delicious, it’s not Andhra. Special mention goes to Clams Sukkha and Chicken Ghee Roast. So fabulous!
Dravidas Bistro, Dhole Patil Road
You haven’t enjoyed a hearty south-Indian meal in Pune until you’ve eaten a Grand Satvik Thali at Dravidas Bistro on Dhole Patil Road. Serving food made from entirely organic ingredients, Dravidas Bistro is purely vegetarian and completely delicious. So much so that even hard-core carnivores swear by this place. Who wouldn’t like to be served a grand satvik thali complete with poriyal, rasam, avial, iddiyapam, sambhar, tomato rice and papad. A true feast if there were ever once. Wash it down with some filter coffee, or even their freshly-pressed health juices and cleanses.
So, where are you celebrating Onam this year, Pune?
Feature Image by Ramesh NG