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Anyone for shark curry?


If you're looking for coastal food, check out Konkan.

WHERE IN the City would you go looking for shark curry? The answer is Konkan Restaurant, bang opposite The Koramangala Club. Shark curry is not printed on its menu, but it can be found, on some days, with 10 or 15 items chalked on a black board as the specials of the day.

Konkan is a welcome change from the usual "tandoori-Chinese-Continental" eateries that have cropped up in every locality in the City. Two people, Prasanna and Manoj Shenoy, who "are new to the restaurant business", decided to come together to offer Bangaloreans their native Mangalorean cuisine as they knew it best.

Konkan is a 35-cover L-shaped eatery with white walls, minimal décor, and blue white napery. The two men are ever willing to discuss food or off-beat restaurants of the city. Their hobby-approach shows in the quality of food, service, and ambience. With Konkan in the City, one no longer needs an invitation from Shetty, Rai, Hegde or a Bhandari to sample a chicken kori rotti curry cooked the traditional way — with coconut milk.

Konkan, as the name indicates, specialises in Mangalorean and Goan dishes.

The printed menu lists 40 items, divided into three sections — starters, main course, and the items under what they call a "meal in itself".

It is better to be familiar with the coastal terms. The menu offers something called "raw (white) rice" (Rs. 20). No, there is no need to fear any tooth or stomach damage, as "raw rice" is nothing but the white rice, served soft, the way we all know. What they called boiled rice is the red thick short grain variety that one should opt for with the fare served here.

The menu includes chicken, prawn, fish, pork, egg, and accompaniments such as raw rice and sannas (soft idlis fermented with Toddy). You can also order pork pepper fry. It is dry and is a marinade of pepper and spices. The kori adajina (chicken sukka) is a speciality that is cooked with coconut and spice. Fish curries are special and Mangalore is famed, of course, for the kane or Lady Fish. It can be ordered with the rice of your choice.

There is cabbage fugath and pork sorpotel with sannas and beetroot talsana salad. (Sorpotel, incidentally, has sautéed blood as its vital ingredient. So if squeamish about that, you can opt for pork vindaloo.

The kori rotti is papad like, crackling dry bread made from rice flakes. One dips the uneven bits of this rotti into the curry whereupon the bread goes limp. The fun is to tuck in while some of the crispness can be still felt in your mouth.

For a typical Mangalorean meal, have a rosachi kadi, in which you can sense the Catholic touch and combine with kori rotti or boiled rice.

For the vegetarians there is Mangalore cucumber curry (it is not really cucumber but moghem, an item acquired taste). The vegetarian section also includes vegetable kolombo (a sambhar like sauce), a choice of chana gasi curry, dal, tendli (thondekai) or cabbage curry, which are cooked in coconut and bafath spice base. Its potato chilly fry is a stir-fried spicy dish that is specially recommended.

In the "meal in itself' there is a choice of eight vegetarian dishes. One can choose from a combination of a main dish (like curry) either with a crisp kory rotti, sannas, or boiled rice, along with dal, one dry vegetable dish, talsana salad of beetroot, papad, and pickle.

Since the restaurant is small, it would be a good idea to reserve tables, especially over weekends.

An average meal for two costs Rs. 270. Look at the blackboard, to choose chicken tomato curry or a dozen other specials for the day. Konkan can be contacted on 5521530 or 98450-50701.

ARUN BHATIA

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