Savya Rasa is one of my favourite restaurants in Pune. As I have always mentioned, this place is a must visit not only for dining but for an experience of different regions of South India. Right from the artefacts, paintings, wall art, servers just look anywhere and you will be transported to the distinctive world. You can check the photos in my last blog post of Savya Rasa. Currently, Savya Rasa has come up with the feast of flavours from the Kongunadu, the western part of Tamil Nadu and some areas of Karnataka and Kerala.
The Festival named Kongunadu Food Festival showcases the most cherished offerings of Kongu flavours from the delectable cuisine. The uniqueness of which is the use of eccentric flavours from the extensive use of sesame seeds, groundnuts, dry coconut, ginger and roasted turmeric. Most importantly, it does not involve marination thus fresh taste and texture.
The menu is A La Carte. The Chef has come especially from Tamil Nadu to prepare the authentic 52 dishes from the region of Kongu Nadu. Also, a special menu with additional dishes that are called 'Best Of Savya Rasa' will also be showcased during the festival. What a great idea!
The Festival Menu has...
Welcome Drink, Veg and Non-Veg Starters, Kongu Street Food, Mains, Rice and Desserts. We started our meal with the jaggery and ginger based drink, Paanagam. If not a sweet thing fan, go for Neer Moru, which is a traditional creamier version of buttermilk. I loved it personally.
Starters I tried were...
- Thulasi Vadai
- Sola Saapadu Urundai
- Kalan Perattal
Thulasi Vadai were lentil savoury fritters with some holy basil. The perfect plate of starter in the monsoons. It was crisp from outside and medium spiced fritter was just addictively scrumptious because of the crunch and spices. Highly Recommended.
Sola Saapadu Urundai were again a surprise package. I never had those type of dumplings made with slow cooked sorghum millet with butter, buttermilk, shallots and sprinkled with sambhar powder. Gooey, soft ball packed with taste and I loved the crunch of shallots. Highly Recommended.
Kalan Perattal was stir fried fresh button mushrooms with the spicy green chillies, curry leaves and shallots. Medium spiced. Recommended.
You can also get to taste the street food of Kongu. We tried Nippattu Settu which was the south indian street version of sev puri. Rice crackers at the base topped with healthy beetroot, carrot, onions and chillies. I bet you can't just stop at one. It had the chatpata flavour of chaat and super delectable. Highly Recommended.
Next was the Thakkali Sevai. Rice noodles or sevai or sandhagai were tossed with tomatoes and spices. Just the quick, easy yet scrumptious snack. It was tangy as tomato was the main ingredient. Easy on stomach, light to digest. My favourite too. Highly Recommended!
I was so mesmerised and overwhelmed by the dishes served but we had main course too! So we tried 2 curries and 2 types of breads.
Karipala Kozhumbu, a jackfruit or mock mutton curry made for vegetarians. I personally avoid the jackfruit but tasted the delicious coconut base curry of it with a strong presence of coriander too. I loved it. Highly Recommended. Went well with dosai. Though, it would have tasted better with Neer Dosa or Appam.
Another curry, Murungakkai Vazhaipoo Kuzhambu, with the unique combo of drumsticks and deveined plaintain flowers cooked in coconut based gravy and handpicked spices. Loved the aroma of coconut and the curry was just yummy. I had this with Kambu Dosai which was my one of the favourite. Its made with finger millet ad rice batter with chopped shallots, green chillies and coriander leaves. The butter over the dosa made it more scrumptious. I could had it like that only. Loved every bit of it. Highly Recommended!
Ragi Kara Roti was also one of the options. Yore-griddle-fried ground pearl millet bread made with chopped shallots, green chillies and curry leaves. The roti was bit chewy and might not be suitable to everyone's palate.
The Kambu Dosai taste was lingering but had to move on to Avarai Paruppu Sadam or the traditional rice preparation with beans, rice and dal. It was more like khichdi and is given as prasadam in many of the temples. I loved the use of freshly ground spices. Highly Recommended!
Desserts too were traditional. Served as offerings in palani temple, Palani Panchamirtham, is rich and made with dates, bananas, raisins, honey, sugar and added cardamom. Just the way, the prasad should be. Served along with Beniyan which is a deep fried dessert from Keeranor. Loved the combination. Not too sweet though.
Seembu Paal or the Baked milk dessert is the dish made with the first milk of cow. It is quite nutritional. Though, I am not much of milk-lover, so had to skip this.
Over in all, a wonderful experience. This place is close to my heart and never cease to amaze me. Do visit atleast once and am sure, you would want to visit again and again.