Go to any of the downtown ‘Military’ Hotels if you are the types intent on exploring tasty food mindless of the ambiance and you will find this staple as regular as the ‘barood’ in military barracks. Why the word ‘Military’ is associated with these hotels is something that still beats me, there is noting remotely connected with the green beret though. In many cases the word is spelt as ‘Miltry’ just like the local neighborhood pull cart guy claiming his specialty on ‘Chinase’ . The vague explanation I get to hear is that the word signifies to what is generally called ‘going Dutch’ in English.
Coming to the brass-tacks that is the eating part, a word of caution though. If you are the type new to this ‘food gulping business’, a bit of practice or mental preparation is needed before you take the plunge. The subconscious mind orders the Premolars to masticate but you are attempting to send it down the oesophagus like a ball rolling down the bowling alley. And you hope it succeeds as the ball of ragi is sufficiently lubricated in the accompanying gravy (soppina saaru or Mutton curry as the case may be). If there is a mixup of voluntary & involuntary muscular actions , as may happen often for the faint hearted, then the experience is similar to a paper stuck in a printer jam.
Nonetheless it is worth an effort , and what would you tell the waiter if you pass the test in flying colors and repeat the feat ?