Mysore Rasam and Madras Sambar

I read recently  that Sruthi Haasan is moving to Bombay  and when asked  what  she  would  miss most about the city she grew up in, she replied  “it is  Madras Sambar”. I realized  how true the statement was  during           my  recent visit to  Bangalore  to attend a family function.

Breakfast comprised steaming hot idlis and freshly fried crisp vadas but  the accompaniment was a foil !  Sambar   was far from authentic (I feel Bangalore cooks should take a lesson or two from cooks in Madras who are experts in its preparation).    Rasam goes with a prefix “Mysore” and at lunch I  naturally expected   to  relish that distinct  taste and flavour  but to my disappointment  it turned  out to be a sweetened concoction  of sorts.  Again  as the name signifies “Bisi bela huli anna” (in kannada, it means hot dhal sambar rice), apparently has its origins in Karnataka  and  its authenticity remains only when it is devoid of embellishments like  vegetables, garam masala and  jagrey  added to the dish.  Unfortunately this too had  acquired altogether a  different  taste with  the adding of unwanted ingredients making their presence felt!

How can one leave Bangalore I thought without visiting the  famous MTR restaurant known for using “asli ghee” in all its preparations , but  time didn’t permit  to indulge myself in the  “luxury”. Even when I was mentioning this to a friend who returned from Bangalore recently, she said, “Thank your stars,   you would have been thoroughly disillusioned as food here has deteriorated beyond imagination”.

I am glad that   some chains like The Woodlands and Saravana Bhavan have been maintaining their standards in preparation of Sambar, which  still retains its authentic taste and flavour.


n.meera raghavendra rao


One thought on “Mysore Rasam and Madras Sambar

  1. Naresh

    Dear Aunty,

    I would not completely agree with you on your opinion that the restaurants in Chennai are still carrying forward their legacy.

    I feel that on an average the restaurants in Bangalore serve better cost-effective food than compared to the ones in Chennai.


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