Karama is a food haven for foodies. Just walk around and you will see something new and interesting. One of which is Chennai Spice. They recently opened October last year. I was sitting at the restaurant beside it on their opening day, grabbing a bite of Pav Bhaji before my flight to the Philippines. On our way to the parking, the server offered us their welcome drinks. It was amazingly good. I told them that I will definitely be back.
Wandering around Karama looking for a new thali place, I saw Chennai Spice on my bookmarked restaurants in Zomato. I recalled the staff and the menu as very inviting, so we drove to Chennai Spice for a new experience.
When we arrived, we were immediately seated since the restaurant was not full. We waited for the menu, but it wasn’t given to us immediately. We were given the below welcome soup served in a shot glass. It tastes like a hot pani puri. It was a nice way to warm out hungry bellies. When we saw the menu we ordered the vegetarian thali, however, it’s only served during lunch. We ordered the vegetarian specials and three types of breads.
I like that they put banana leaves on the plates, it feels like eating home cooked food. We also do this in PH, we wrap our cooked food in banana leaf like a tiffin usually done on family outings when cooking is a challenge. Another variation is everyone eats on a banana leaf on a long table with all the rice and viands at the center, we call it boodle fight.
We ordered chappathi, porotha and appam to be paired with our vegetarian curries. My favorite among the breads is the paratha as it adds taste to the curries, the downside is this is the unhealthiest since it’s been layered by coating with ghee or oil and folding repeatedly like a puffed pastry. The lightest is the appam which has to be eaten immediately as it loses its crispiness when exposed to the air for a long time.
Our vegetarian main dishes, Veg Kuruma and Kaalaan Thokku are two of the Chennai Spice’s best sellers. Veg Kuruma or kurma is a gravy dish with lots of spices like cumin seeds, cardamom, coriander seeds, etc. I was expecting Kuruma to have a thick gravy but Chennai Spice’s version was watery, vegetables is not as much as well. It looks more of a soup than a main dish curry. The Kaalaan Thokku is a mushroom gravy cooked with coconut milk, turmeric, tomato, onion, ginger, garlic, cumin and chili powder. A simple dish anyone can cook, but will taste different depending on the spices used. This is my first time having a mushroom curry and Chenai Spice’s Kaalaan Thokku will not disappoint you. It has a thick dark red orange gravy with a reasonable amount of mushrooms and garnished with coriander. The gravy must have become thicker because of the tender mushrooms. All the spices used were ground, blended and cooked perfectly that made us clean the bowl and our plates up to the last drop.
Soori Parota 2.00
Plain Aappam 2.0
Kaalaan Thokku 12.00
Veg Kuruma 12.00