Lunch Expedition: Banana Leaf Thali

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Date/Time
Date(s) - 13/11/2022
12:00 - 15:00

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India is a vast country with many differences in climate, culture, and crops.  Consequently, the cuisines have developed differently in its northern and southern regions.  Enterprising Punjabi restaurant owners have taken Tandoori chicken, naan, butter chicken, “chole” and “palak paneer” throughout India and abroad, hence ‘North Indian’ food is more well-known.

These days, ‘South Indian’ food is slowly moving into mainstream.  Guiding us on this Lunch Expedition are the owners of Banana Leaf – Devi Gottumukkala and Hima Bindu Konam.  Both hail from Andhra Pradesh, India’s largest producer of red chilli and rice, whose Telugu cuisine is reputed to be the spiciest of all Indian states.  Devi and Hima look forward to sharing with us dishes just like how their families prepared them back home.

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.  The banana leaf not only makes a great organic plate, it also imparts a mild fragrance to the food and the experience takes you straight to tropical climes of southern India.

Banana leaf rice is often enjoyed using the fingers instead of cutlery.  Each dish has different textures and temperatures, bringing eating to a whole new level where food is enjoyed with all the senses.  If you have not tried it, do give eating with fingers a go – the food tastes so much better, and it encourages you to focus on what you are eating.  In case you aren’t quite ready to dig in and enjoy the meal in the traditional way – no worries – cutlery is always available!

When:  Sunday, November 13th, 2022 starting from 1200 hours

Where:  Banana Leaf UG, Industriestraße 42, 69190 Walldorf

What:   Choose from two specially-compiled menus covering everything from sweet, salty, sour, spicy, crunchy and creamy.  Each menu features 12 different items/dishes.  One word of advice?  Arrive hungry!

India’s southern region is particularly famous for its multifaceted vegetarian cuisine, so our culinary journey begins with a quintessential array of vegetable dishes such as “rasam“, “sambar“, “mulai payaru” salad, “palak pappu“, “vendakkai poriyal“, vegetable “pakora” and crispy “papadam“.  “Sona masoori” rice and roti “paratha” are served with both menus.

The Vegetarian Menu continues with the iconic “avial” (Kerala vegetable curry), “gutti vankaya koora” (Andhra stuffed eggplant curry) and ‘South Indian Vegetable Korma’.

Those who choose the Menu with Meat will proceed with ‘Andhra Pepper Chicken’, ‘Chettinadu Lamb Curry’ (very spicy!) and ‘Kerala Fish Curry’.

No Thali is complete without desserts so be sure to save some tummy space for “semiya payasam” and “gulab jamun“.

Prices

“Banana Leaf Thali” (food only*) Ticket price, per person
Vegetarian Menu €38
Menu with Meat €48

* You may pay for your beverages directly at the restaurant.   If you enjoy beer, be sure to try some Kingfisher beer, India’s largest selling brand.  Lassi, a blend of fresh curd churned with either sugar or salt, is also an excellent accompaniment for spicy foods.  “Masala Chai” or “Madras Filter Coffee” go well with the creamy and indulgent desserts.

The idea is for us to take over the entire restaurant for this Expedition.   There is space for up to 50 persons.

Are your tastebuds piqued?  If yes, come join us!  Buzz me to book your tickets before Monday October 31st, 2022.

Nanri நன்றி !
Faeimm Tang

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