I know I haven’t blogged in ages. Hope to be more regular now. The past few weeks have been interesting. I have simultaneously experienced extreme bliss and sadness. I could not imagine that meeting my niece for the very first time could bring with it inexplicable peace, joy, and happiness. At the same time a spate of bad news from close friends and family had dampened my spirits. But, taking inspiration from the positive message in Life of Pi, I’ve decided to blog.
This post captures our annual visit to the village for Pongal 2013 as well as a spectacular meal at Amma Mess in Madurai. I think Amma Mess in Madurai can be compared to Karim’s in Delhi in terms of fame and hype.
Last Saturday, we walked in for dinner at around 7.30 pm or so. The decor is quite plain. We were profiled as soon as we sat down as a Mineral water bottle was placed on our table before we even asked for it. The servers figured that we were not locals and were interested in sampling the menu. I asked them if they had mutton kola and they responded by immediately serving us two kolas each. These were fabulous. The sweetness of the coconut and the heat of the spices lent it a very distinct flavour. I was quite excited by the addition of coconut to the mutton mince. On my request, Akka made this on the day after pongal. The recipe follows below.
We scanned through the menu and were intrigued by the mention of rabbit, pigeon, and emu on it.
In the specials, bone marrow omlette caught our attention and we ordered for it.
The omlette had a meaty flavour to it and we quite liked it.
It was also interesting to note that the only vegetarian stuff they had are actually meant to be accompaniments with the meat – idlis, dosas, and idiappams, for instance, are served with chicken curry or fish curry.
I ate rabbit for the very first time. It appeared and tasted like a very tender chicken.
The chicken dosa was served with chicken curry and was decent.
We tried the Veechu Parota next. This was like a Mughlai Paratha and was served with chicken curry.
Even though we were quite stuffed, we decided to try a fish dish. Mahesh ordered Ayrai Fish Curry with Idiappams. The fish curry was really tangy and spicy and went well with the idiappams.
Akka’s Mutton Kola
250gms boneless mutton/mutton mince
4-5 green chillies
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic fees
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
12-15 sambhar onions
1 sprig of pudina leaves
2-3, cardamom pods
1 inch cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons ground channa dal
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
1. Grind the boneless mutton in case you are not using mince. Then add all the above ingredients except the ground channa dal and grind into a semi-fine paste. if you are using mince then you can proceed to grind it with the spices.
2. Add the ground channa dal, one spoon at a time in order to bind the mixture. Shape into round balls and then deep fry them.
The coconut flavour in Akka’s Kolas were not as pronounced as the ones in Amma Mess. I think a tsp of coconut oil and some more coconut may enhance the flavour of the kolas. The menu on the day after Pongal was meat all the way. Along with the Kolas, we had mutton biryani that Mahesh made, chicken curry, and mutton dalcha.
I am already looking forward to Pongal 2014!