Bangalore, which once upon a time was famous for idli, dosas, masala puri’s, xyz baaths etc., opened up plethora of choices to the taste buds inviting cusines from north, western, Arabian and ofcourse the fast food in the recent decades.
Back in time, stepping to eat outside the four walls, rarely came on occasion of some one’s birthday, or a relative’s invasion, or a positive exam result, or a Diwali bonus – basically we could count the times of eat outs easily on the fingers. Well, the taste buds of this generation needed their freedom and they revolutionised not to greet the same food twice in a week.
While the city has many good varied restaurants serving various classes of tastebuds, there continues to exist certain popular ones meant for the local patrons that have walked through ages, popularly known as the ‘military hotels’.
It is believed that these joints took this name as they used to service the Maratha military army men, who used to meet at this place to plan campaigns and carry the protein food with ease.
Shivaji Military Hotel, established in 1924 happens to be the oldest one and the other notable ones include Ranganna, Naidu, Gowdru, Chandu, Rajanna & SGR Military Hotel etc, resting themselves in Jayanagar, Indiranagar & Rajaji nagar .
Well, my dear vegetarian readers, you can kindly turn your attention away into other blogs\articles as this post would turn into discussing non-veg dishes from here on.
These hotels are famous for serving non-veg food – Ragi mudde, keema, mutton chops, ghee rice, paaya (soup) & the famous biryanis (often called Donne biryani).
This biryani takes its name from the fact that it is served in a hand pressed bowl made of plantain leaf (called as “Donne” in Kannada). The green rustic biryani, an outcome of seeraga samba rice fusioned with the masala paste of coriander & mint leaves, cooked over charcoal has its unique smell and taste. The ambience of the hotel where this biryani takes its birth is a simple home with red-oxide flooring, giving the feel of grandma’s anciet home back at native. While the hotel would have limited items on the menu, the selected ones-be it any, is certainly capable of stirring up the taste buds and a satisfying meal to one’s heart (and stomach) content.
One must also note that, given to the uniqueness and popularity involved, there are many new players who run them under the ‘military’ concept to encash the goodwill that the name carries but do fall short on the authencity. So if you plan to explore this food, please ensure you do it in the place where it was actually born.