Chef Naren Thimmaiah-
Executive Chef, The Gateway Hotel
Tell us about the menu in Karavalli? Name some signature
The menu at Karavalli represents the cuisines of Goa, Mangalore and Kerala covering the communities of Goan Portuguese, Konkanis, Bunts, Havyaka Brahmins, Namboodaris, Moplah Muslims and the hinterland cuisines of Syrian Christians and Coorgs. We have worked on the menu this time around. The Karavalli menu still boasts of at least 60% of the dishes still being featured from the first menu. We have stuck to the region that we represent but we looked the communities that were not represented earlier. That’s how we have some brilliant dishes that we are show casing from the Konkani community of Mangalore, Syrian Christian community of Travancore and Havyaka Brahmin community of Vitla.
The menu is like a story book and we do have two distinct menus for lunch and dinner. During lunch we promote traditional Balele Oota (Plantain leaf meal), Tiffin carrier option which changes daily and a very short a la carte menu with few dishes. Dinner menu is like a story book and we go full hog offering the best of the delicacies from the region. We have introduced four new sections which are:
a) West coast seafood grills station where fresh catch of the day is cooked and grilled to suit your palate.
b) Wood fired curries section where all the dishes are cooked on wood fire and in earthen pots on a specially created Ole, a traditional wood fired hearth.
C) Classic combinations is a section of traditional dishes, are a meal by itself. For example Kori Roti, Pothi Choru and Moplah Meen Biriyani.
d) Seasonal stars is a section of dishes with the ingredients and vegetables purely available during particular season ensuring that our patrons don’t miss out on anything. This section changes every season.
Few of our Signature dishes are:
(Succulent pieces of chicken, pan fried with Coorg vinegar and a blend of special spices)
(Fresh Black Pomfret, marinated in Malabar masala, wrapped in a Banana leaf and pan fried to perfection)
(Tender pieces of Chicken, cooked in a finely ground fresh Coconut, Byadgi chilli, coriander and tamarind)
(A combination of seasonal Vegetables with coconut paste, green chillies and cumin, finished with yoghurt)
(Ghee rice with Moplah chicken curry wrapped and steamed in banana leaf, a Moplah speciality)
(A fascinating coconut - based multi-layered, Goan specialty served warm).
Why did you choose this career?
Initially I was drawn to the hospitality industry two decades ago as it was a fledgling industry; it was a path breaking profession and offered great career opportunities. Till then my qualification to take up this profession was was only in terms of relishing mom’s yummy food! The drift towards the Food Production was gradual and as semesters went by I realised that I was destined to be a Chef!
My specialization lies in South West Coastal Cuisine of India which covers the Cuisines of Coastal Goa, Mangalore and Kerala.
Which are some other restaurants in Bangalore you like?
That’s a long List…. MTR, Egg Factory, Olive Beach, Sczhhwan Court, Toast and Tonic, Lantern, Church Street Socials…
What is the most difficult dish to cook?
Any dish is a difficult dish to cook if you don’t apply yourself when you learn it… My only advice is to break down the whole recipe into manageable sub tasks and then look at it as if you are assembling them together… finally it’s all about practice, practice and practice…