Koshy’s restaurant has been making and serving burgers since the 1950s. The burger probably found its way into the large Koshy’s menu, probably on account of it being imported by American soldiers stationed in Bangalore during World War II.Nov. 14, 2020, 4:13 p.m. | Updated Nov. 16, 2020, 5:30 p.m.
“It’s the patty and the bun. The rest is all frills”, Prem Koshy said.
He was answering our titled question, “What makes a good burger a great burger?”
“Some add sauces, some throw in onion rings,” he told Explocity, “some even put potato chips in their burgers, but Koshy’s believes in the “purity” of burger making, “In Koshy’s, we stick to the purity of the burger. No hoo-ha,” he averred.
And he plans to prove his point soon - in the Koshy’s Burger Festival planned soon. Watch this space from 17th November to 24th November, 2020.
Prem Koshy — whose family has run Koshy’s since 1939 — went to the US, to culinary school, and honed his burger making skills among other things.
Koshy’s restaurant has been making and serving burgers since the 1950s. The burger probably found its way into the large Koshy’s menu, probably on account of it being imported by American soldiers stationed in Bangalore during World War II.
And now, on the cusp of 2021, the burger is again once being celebrated in Koshy’s,
So what can Bangaloreans look forward to in the festival (and we assume, after)?
The first is that the burger, as it has always been ordained, comes first. Namely, the patty and the bun. And only then, the creativity of what else goes into it.
Prem Koshy said that one thing to look for is the “beautifully marbled fat”. “The more fat, the tastier the patty.” Koshy’s uses tenderloin or any undercut with about 8% to 10% of fat. And mix in the right amount of spices — which is no spices at all. Many people put Worcestershire sauce, onions, celery, thyme and many more ingredients. The Koshy’s patty has just salt and pepper and is then thrown on the grill.
And then, there’s the bun. Koshy’s has an unfair advantage over other burger flipping aspirants. They run a bakery, as most people already know, off Richmond Road in Bangalore.
They’ve been around for decades and have created the ideal burger bun.
The Koshy’s burger bun is firm and rightly fermented. “A firm bun absorbs the juices of the meat,” Prem Koshy said. “the fluffy burger buns that you may commonly see in an appealing burger ad do not lend themselves to a good burger. The fluffy buns stick to the patty and cheese and start to peel.”
Koshy’s burgers are all variations on the purity theme and include:
Cheese burger -- a tenderloin patty with cheese
The Whopper -- the tenderloin patty, cheese, and bacon
The Super Whopper -- tenderloin patty, cheese, bacon and a fried egg (a good burger is not messy with a mercifully not-so-runny egg.
And there are chicken and lamb varieties.
And then the million dollar question. Or the 1000 rupee question if you like.
How much does a good burger cost?
And how much should a great burger cost?
Anyone with a passing knowledge of Purchasing Power Parity — which is most of us, of course — will know that the standard that The Economist magazine adopts to determine how much a unit of local currency will buy around the world, is called The Big Mac Index.
They compare the purchasing power of a local currency by comparing the cost of the Big Macs available in each country. For example, the Big Mac in northern Europe is way more expensive than what McDonald’s charges for a similar Big Mac in say, Beijing.
In India, there is no “Big Mac”; the flagship burger is the Chicken Maharaja Mac and it obliges world economists to yank out the calculators and make fish and fowl adjustments.
But there’s the Koshy’s Cheese Burger, we dare offer, a candidate for the Big Mac index, even as Koshy’s shows how a great burger is still affordable and does not have to break the bank.
An aside: For those interested in the Purchasing Power Parity and the Big Mac index, you might want to read a piece we published a few years ago from Ramjee Chandran’s column, Vex And The City: Click here: “The Cheapest Big Macs In The World Are In Bangalore”