Calling all fans of South Indian cuisine – there is now a restaurant in Mannheim serving traditional dishes from South India and Sri Lanka!
SJ South Indian Food opened for business end May 2018. There is an “all-you-can-eat” buffet lunch on weekdays. Guests can order from an à la carte menu from 17:00-22:00 hours daily (Saturdays from 12:00-22:00 hours).
The owner, Mr Sridhar Thevarasa is from Sri Lanka. He also runs an Asian grocery store nearby, SJ Asian Afro Store (S1 11, 68161 Mannheim)
Serving traditional South Indian dishes
Some of you may wonder how South Indian cuisine differs from its northern counterpart. Down south, rice is the staple grain. Up north, wheat dominates. Some examples of South Indian specialties made from rice are dosa, idli, appam and puttu. Coconut milk is used extensively in South Indian cooking instead of milk and dairy products. The region is also particularly famous for its multifaceted vegetarian cuisine.
The traditional way of eating a South Indian meal involves being seated on the floor, having the food served on a banana leaf, and using clean fingers of the right hand to transfer the food to the mouth. After the meal, the fingers are washed, and the banana leaf becomes food for cows.
SJ South Indian Food provides a cosy dining area for its guests. Since fresh banana leaves are not widely available in Germany, they provide tableware designed to look like a banana leaf. Meals here are also plated on “thali“, a stainless steel tray with several indentations for the many side dishes.
SJ South Indian Food: The Verdict
Masala dosa and chutney are just an introduction to the colourful cuisine of South India. At SJ South Indian Food, you will be in for a treat!
We dropped in at lunch time and enjoyed a “thali“-style meal, which is Indian food at its simple best.
Guests can choose from at least 8 different savory dishes to eat with basmati rice, plus 2 types of sweet treats. Inexpensive, wholesome and very tasty! There are also homemade mango lassi and Indian beers in addition to the usual offerings of beverages.
Each of dishes we tried had very distinct flavors – vendaikai morkhozhambu (okra stew), mutton kuzhambu (mutton curry), Madras chicken curry, dal kootu (lentils stew), baingan masala (aubergine curry), chana masala (chickpea curry), keerai masiyal (spinach mash), Kerala-style potato-carrot stew, served with saffran rice, and papadum and medu vada on the side. With so many textures and flavors to mix and match, each mouthful was a delicious play of spices both delicate and robust. By the time we finished our “Thali”, we were so full that we had to skip the sweet gulab jamun and laddu as dessert!
If you haven’t tried South Indian cuisine before, we recommend you start with SJ South Indian Food’s lunch buffet for a tantalizing culinary journey!
SJ South Indian Food, G2 21-23, 68159 Mannheim
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