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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

July 18, 2009

Khana Khazana: Belgaum Khau-gallis

Belgaon-Belgaum-Belagavi: It may carry several pronunciations but is quintessentially the same old place where I grew up and have fond memories of. It may still be a sleepy old town, by Bangalore standards (that is), but in many ways exhibits a unique flavor in many other aspects of its facets. A confluence of various cultures it could still be the second most cosmopolitan city in the state after Bangalore. And among the notable features of Belgaum is not only the cool temperate climate, sweet water (now available 24X7 in many parts of the city) but also its veritable delicacies.

Belgaum is my favorite place for 2 reasons; its the place where I grew up - home, school/college, club, friends et al., but also great cheap food. The city may be a potpourri of various influences but it still retains originality in the quality and taste of food in some of its quintessential eateries. Madhavashram, Amba Bhavan, Uday Bhuvan, Prakash, New Grand, Ghanis, Ajanta, Zuber, India Bhel House are all venerable names in this lexicon that belong to my list. It has its own list of Khau-gallis where one can still find cheap, tasty and hygienic food.

Belgaum city Khau-gallis- Khana Khazana

The Savaji food rules the Belgaum taste buds, hot fiery dishes cooked in a concoction of grated coconut & red chilli powder, garlic etc with generous amount of oil that necessarily has to float on top of the gravy (also called cut) comes in Mutton or Chicken variety. The Savajis trace their culinary history to the Maratha rulers and their influence is still widely spread in North Karnataka, from places like Hubli upto Gulbarga where the food is quite popular. I am disappointed that there are hardly any such eateries in Bangalore, frankly there is a overkill of Andhra style food here. A lot of culinary dishes that you find in North Karnataka has strong affinity to Maharashtrian food - Rotis or bhakar, Zunka, Poha, Amti etc etc is quite common (like the dress code).

Then there is this Mughlai food in Belgaum, and some of its exponents could be the best in business in this part of the Deccan region outside of Hyderabad. Zuber’s, Niyaz and Ghani’s biryani are worth giving a hand and leg for, its flavor and taste, quite distinct from that of the Hyderabadi types.

For Veggies the numerous Khanavali’s (aka Basappa Khanavalis)in Belgaum give a unique peek into the culinary culture of the shaivaites that the various Mutts propagate in this region. Jowar Rotis in accompaniment of fiery red hot or blackseed chutneys, served with zunka and raw onions are its forte. Usually accompanied in this palate is this delectable side dish of Brinjal cooked in a gravel like masala ground with groundnut,sesame seeds, coconut etc. Finally for the desserts it is the famous Belgaum Kunda (a brownish milk based sweet), Dharwad Peda or the Gokak Kardant (Cake of dry fruits & coconut) that can signoff the treat

All about Belgaum (AAB), a local popular website has published a useful list of popular delicacies in Belgaum city.
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