Free Press Journal

Happy morning with a South Indian breakfast


Thengai and Thakkali Chutney

GITA HARI goes gaga over Thengai and Thakkali Chutney among other delicacies at Tuskers.

After a no-hassle drive via Chembur-Santacruz flyover link, we reached Tuskers restaurant looking as fresh as ever and with anticipations of digging into a delicate South Indian breakfast, which we were treated to. Walk into Tuskers the pure vegetarian Indian restaurant of Sofitel with soothing interiors and you are pleasantly greeted by a hostess in Kerala mundu sari. On being ushered to our table we were guided to the buffet section that offers a range of items attractively displayed in ethnic vessels. Around ten mouth-watering breakfast items with live stations for dosa/uttapam/appam with accompaniments of sambar, chutneys and gun powder makes it an irresistible weekend proposition.

Generally a looked-forward-to breakfast for a North Indian would be desi ghee soaked aloo parathas, matri, chole-bhature, puri-bhaji or pau-bhaji, batata vada, kothimbir vadi, bajji-pau, pohe (for Maharashtrians) or dhokla, fafda, thepla, kachori, khandvi (for gujjus) and a smattering of samosa, pattice, sabudana vadas from central regions. What is common among these are, besides being incredibly tasty, they come in ghee-drenched, greasy, fried avatars when the first meal of the day is supposed to pep you up with the right amount of nutrition and zing to keep you charged to face the intriguing day ahead. Here comes the south Indian menu at Tuskers to the rescue. Be it the Semiya Vegetable Upma which is a mildly spiced preparation of vermicelli with vegetables, Appam with Vegetable Stew or Idiyappam with rasam, each dish was delicious.

Besides Thengai (coconut) and Thakkali (tomato) chutneys on the counter, special chutney of the weekend is placed attractively on a kalash circled by marigold flowers on each table – it was the innovative coconut-sesame chutney we got to savour on our visit. Authenticity of Tamilian menu was evident in Wundu podi (lentil powder), Karivepala podi along with ghee and Molgapodi for Kanchipuram idli/dosa. Another of Chef Muni’s special snack was Keera Idli in which spinach is ground along with the batter to give a healthy twist. Vella Ellu Kozhukatta – steamed rice dumpling with white sesame seeds eaten with Kadala Curry is yet another new addition from Chef’s repertoire.

On the flip side, Bissibele Bhath was too meekly spiced for our palate when we expected a robust dish in keeping with its origin (Kannada) where it is infused with lots of flavours and Rasam Vada was served cold while it is usually enjoyed in a piping hot manner. For that sweet ending, Rawa Kesari in clarified butter, garnished with nuts was good but a spray of cardamom powder would have added to its divine flavor.

All the yummy dishes washed down with unadulterated filter coffee (yes, no instant mixes here) did wonders to begin the weekend in a fun mood, gastronomically. Guests can relish this refreshing breakfast from 7am-11am each weekend and priced at Rs.711+ Chef E. Munichandrudu who shares some of his signature recipes with FPJ readers, promises to offer new specialties.


Décor: 4.5

Food: 4

Service: 3.5

Overall: 4


food KozhukkattaINGREDIENTS

100 gm Rice Flour

5 gm Mustard Seeds

3 gm Curry Leaves

3 gm Channa Dal

3 gm Uradh Dal

1 tbsp Asafoetida

50 ml Oil


In a hot pan add oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, asafoetida and temper in the oil till the dal turns golden yellow. Add boiling water and riceflour and stir well till the consistency is that of dough. Keep aside for half an hour to cool. Make small sized balls of the dough and steam. Serve with chutney.



 150 gm Raw rice

100 gm Jaggery

 20 gm Broken cashewnuts

 15 gm Raisins

30 gm Freshly grated coconut

5 gm Green Cardamom

25 gm Yellow moong dal

100 ml Ghee                     


Soak rice and moong dal together in water for half an hour. Then boil the rice and lentil and add jaggery. In a pan, heat ghee and add cashewnuts and raisins and sauté till golden brown. Add the rice and lentil with jaggery and mix and then finish by adding green cardamom and coconut. Serve hot.

Kothamali Rava Upma

food Kothamailli Rawa UpmaINGREDIENTS

150 gm Semolina

Salt as per taste

50 gm Coriander Leaves

50 gm Spinach

25 gm Mint

100 gm Chopped Onions

10 gm Copped Chili

1 gm Mustard Seeds

1 gm Uradh Dal

1 gm Channa Dal

100 ml Oil


Blend the coriander, mint and spinach to make a paste. In a separate pan, toast semolina and keep aside. Sautee mustard seeds, channa dal and uradh dal and then add chopped onions and chillies. Sautee till golden brown. Add water to the mixture and boil. Add toasted semolina and coriander and spinach paste and stir till mixture thickens. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.