Monday, September 19, 2011

Kodu Bale and Stuffed Bun

A trip to Bangalore is never complete without the delicious Kara Bun (Spicy dry bun, made with green chillies and coriander) and the mouth watering spicy Kodu Bale, otherwise known as Kola Vadai in Tamizh.

During my visits to my Ammamma's (grandmother) place, she used to pamper be with these specials and I was soon addicted. So every time I was there, I made sure I packed a few home. There was a small bakery right next to Ammamma's, which baked a fresh batch every day. You could stand there all day long and get completely lost in the aroma of fresh baked bread with spicy herbs. Surprisingly, the Iyengar bakeries here in Chennai do not stock this delectable bread. I don't think most Chennaites are even aware of its existence.

The kola vadai made in Chennai is the usual savoury variety made with rice flour. The ones made in Karnataka contain fresh pepper and gives the vadai, a completely different flavour. You get the Kodu Bale in different sizes, large, medium, and small. They are certainly greasy, but worthwhile since we have only during our visits.

The kodu bale you see in the photograph is one of a kind and is the size of a doughnut. I have never seen anything like this before and was having it for the first time. The dry stuffing and herbs were terribly tasty. My friend got it from Vidyarthee Bhavan eatery near Lal Bagh. This place is over 40 years old and famous for its dosa. Bangalore dosa's were served with a dollop of butter either inside the dosa or in a small cup. Quality of food was above par and so were the prices. My mom and her cousin had spent a considerable time hanging out at VB's during their growing-up years.

My friend did not know what a kara bun looked like and ended up getting me stuffed bun made with potatoes, which i gave away after a bite. Breads like these need to be finished off right out of the oven, and can get wasted if they are stored.

The gifts that both mom and I cherished most, were the fresh cut roses from which belonged to someone known to my friend in Banglaore. The farm was somewhere near Krishnagiri. I was told that if you go over the hillock and take in the view, you can literally see a Valley of Flowers. The color of the roses and the lovely green stems look so rich and different from what we see in the market. Another chap owns huge acres of land in Kodaikanal where he grows over 300 varieties of roses.

Can you beat that? You wake up every day to the hills and beautiful, rich hue of roses all your life!

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