21 October, 2020

Udupi: Food, Holy Food!

"Udupi's" likely genesis: the temple lunch for visiting pilgrims.

Udupi: Food, Holy Food!
Whether you are in Matunga or Melbourne, Munirka or Manhattan, when the heart pines for a ‘masala dosa’, the mind automatically navigates the body towards an ‘Udupi’. There, within seconds of your settling down, a scrawny but hyperactive fellow will have wiped your table, installed a glass of cold water and begun reeling out the menu, all in one go. And then, regardless of whether it’s Rama Nayak’s or Sagar Ratna, or whether your order is taken in Marathi, English or Hindi, a familiar train of events will follow. Switch off your mobile and listen. If it’s that dosa you want, your waiter will shout ondu masale (Kannada for one masala dosa) in a very nasal sort of way when he’s roughly three-fourths of the way to the kitchen. This ensures that even before he enters the hothouse and registers the order, the assembly line will have been activated. First, the hiss of water being splashed on the tava and then the cook tickling, almost teasing, your taste buds by tak-tak-tak-ing the sides of it with his spatula. Shortly thereafter, it’s the cook’s turn to shout...


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