Srilankan Food Festival at Conrad Bengaluru
Srilanka is one of the popular island nations in Asia that’s famous for beaches, rain-forest and cricket. In terms of food habits, traditionally people eat food served on plantain leaf or lotus leaf. Some of the popular ingredients used in the cuisines include Jackfruit, Coffee, Pepper. Other than that, one can also enjoy some of the amazing Seafood. Conrad hotel in Bengaluru is hosting a special Srilankan Food Festival at the Caraway Kitchen Restaurant. The dishes are curated by the extremely talented chef, food critic and author – Priya Bala.
About Priya Bala
Priya Bala is an extremely knowledgeable Food Critic who famously write restaurant review on “Time of India – Bangalore Times”. She has also authored one of the books named – Secret Sauce: Inspiring Stories of Great Indian Restaurants that become one of the best seller. For the past 2 years, she has also been the adjudicator for popular Times Food Awards in Bangalore.
Priya has her roots from Srilanka and has loved cooking since the age of 7 years. She says that cooking food is far more relaxing than writing about the food.
Traditionally South Indian functions and ceremonies have a coconut leave decoration at the entrance. It considered to be very auspicious and stands for eternal evergreen. Srilankan customs are a little like that of South India. To replicate this aspect, one section of the Caraway Kitchen has been decked with the coconut decoration.
Seating arrangement inside this restaurant beautiful and food is spared around the sitting area. I loved the usage of bright colors for the flooring and the other decors.
Food from different cuisines are served at different section making it easier for guests to pick their favorites.
Dessert section is setup just outside the dining section which looks fabulous. To be precise its right at the entrance, so guests can look at desserts while entering the restaurant.
The most important aspect for a Food Festival is to get the authentic flavors from the region. Though there might be multiple dishes, its apt to pick the ones that the best and serve. There was a selection of Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian dishes.
Makaral – Long Beans Stir Fried
This dish is very common in South Indian house-hold and vegetable used in Kannada is called ‘Kharamani’. The taste of the dish was very good and reminded me of the same dish being prepared by my mom. Appam and Laccha Paratha are the best combination for this dish.
Polos Curry – Tender Jackfruit Curry
Its surprising to see a curry made it jackfruit as we are only used to eating the ripened fruit that’s sweet. This version of jackfruit had raw jackfruit that isn’t sweet and its mixed with spices and it tasted amazing.
Batala – Stir Fried Sweet Potatoes
This reminded me of the Potato Curry that goes inside the Masala Dosa. But this was a far more refined version that was tasted with flavour and it tasted amazing.
A complicated dish that had mushrooms, dusted with corn flour, tossed with chillies, tomatoes, onions and had soya & Worcestershire sauces. The dish looked quite colourful and it had unique flavour due the sauces & preparation style. This dry-dish can be considered as a starter or consumed with rice.
Parippu (Masoor Dal)
A commonly consumed dal in India, apparently is also very common in Srilankan cuisine. Its best enjoyed along with steamed rice.
This is the dish that binds any of the dishes that I mentioned above. One can also consume the same with some chutney powder and ghee as well. The soft centre and crisp exteriors can help balance the spice profiles as well.
Apart from the Vegetarian dishes, there were couple of Non-Vegetarian dishes that I should mention.
Kozhi Kurma looked light in color but I could smell the flavors and can say that it tasted great.
Home style Fish curry look bright red and it also emanated nice smell of the spices. It looked like the traditional version of the dishes that I have seen at my friends’ places.
Along with good meal, I enjoyed a special mocktail made with tender-coconut water served with the hard coconut shell.
This is one of my favourite part of the meal and I was very much looking forward to it. There were a few of the traditional dishes to savour.
Coffee Jelly with Cream
Srilanka is also a land where coffee is grown and the consume this dessert during tea-time. The combination of coffee, gelatin and cream tasted good as it had the right balance.
This dish had grated coconut added on top of the pancakes and rolled-up . Dessert was quite light and had nice flavors coming from the coconut mik.
A traditional Srilankan desserts that contains coconut or condensed milk, jaggery, cardamom, cashewnut and few more items. Its one of the favourites among locals and also called as Coconut custard pudding.
Srilankan cuisine has many more dishes apart from the ones I mentioned above. As part of the Food Festival at Conrad, they plan to serve different dishes every day.
It was wonderful tasting some of the traditional Srilanka dishes part of Food Festival. I enjoyed the flavors of the dishes and specially recommend the same to one & all. It was also lovely to converse with the very knowledgeable Priya Bala. Even after consuming a heavy meal, it did seem to be very heavy on stomach. Its very much like a home food prepared by experts at an amazing restaurant part of beautiful.
Details of Food Festival
Duration – 22nd Feb’19 to 3rd Mar’19
Lunch & Dinner
Price – INR 1500 + taxes / person
25/3, Kensington Rd, Someshwarpura, Ulsoor, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560008
080 2214 4444