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I’ve got all these dishes but I want to
taste some more Pappu it’s as good as that! What’s really interesting here is
that every single dish, every single condiment here… …. has its own flavour, has its own special touch. We are in the Ameerpet area of Hyderabad and… … and this one is Sri Kakatiya Deluxe Mess. Now Sri Kakatiya Deluxe Mess has a reputation
that goes far and wide in this city. Talk to locals about where to have the best vegetarian
meal and chances are the answer will be… Sri Kakatiya Deluxe Mess and alongside the vegetarian meal they also serve up… … some delicious non-vegetarian sides. So, let’s go in and taste some Andhra-style
bhojanam. So, I am here with Mr Varun Karthik… … who is the third generation of Sri Kakatiya
Deluxe Mess. So what makes it so popular? – Vegetarian meals is famous, along with that
two of the curries are also famous too. One is the Mutton Fry and the other is the Chicken.
We have been maintaining that quality and that quantity. Quantity and quality? So you
believe in feeding your customers… – With quality food. And in quantity. And how old is Sri Kakatiya? – It’s 26 years old. Okay and who started it? My father started
it in 1992, September 9th. Yes, it started here. So, everyday do you have a lunch menu
that keeps changing? Yes, we have the vegetarian dishes. Aah! Brinjal Curry. Yes, this is the
Cabbage Fry and this dal, tomato dal. Tomato dal. Tomato Pappu? Yes. We keep on changing alternative
days, if we keep tomato dal for lunch… … we keep palak dal for dinner. So the sambar and
the rasam has also just come out. This is our special sambar. What is the vegetable in this? You will find drumstick, carrot,
tomato, onion. Aah! So, this is the mixed vegetable sambar. So why is it called a mess? Initially, we started with meals, only meals and some curries that’s why it’s called as mess. That’s interesting, I was asking him … … why it is called a mess and he says, when
we began, it was probably twice the size of.. … this small area here and they began serving
meals and a few curries and that’s why they… … called it a mess. But today of course, it’s
grown into this large space, but beyond this.. … space I think the reputation of Sri Kakatiya Deluxe
Mess is much, much bigger even than the space… … that it is today. Let’s go into the kitchen. This is the basic kitchen, the main kitchen is down. That’s the rice cooking area. So, everything is cooked for the day? All this is rice? So you know that the people here
love their rice. So, there are four big vessels… … of rice, and will you been cooking constantly? Prawns. Oh! This is the prawn, okay. This one is Mutton Fry, Sir. Mutton Fry, this is a
special? Yes. That one’s a Chicken Curry. Chicken Curry, oh, this looks so good. And
this is the Kakatiya Chicken Fry. So this restaurant is so popular that they have a
dine in section and there’s a takeaway section. So, in the dine in section because of the
number of people that come through the doors… … here so they have the meals and they have
about four other side dishes, non vegetarian… … dishes that they serve on a daily basis. And
of course, I’m told that your omelettes … even are popular. I can see all
those eggs there and I know they cook a lot… … of omelettes and I think that’s interesting
because you know, you got only that limited… … number of dishes that you are looking forward
to savour. Of course, if you are looking at… … doing a takeaway, they have more dishes that
one can order from. But today we are here… … to experience, to taste at the dine in. So, one meals, one Chicken Curry, Chicken Fry… … and give me on Mutton Fry and Prawns Fry. We’ll also taste the omelette. We’ve delayed our trip getting out of Hyderabad just for
this one meal and I am looking forward to this. So, there you go, the meal has begun.
It’s very quick. You sit in front of the… … table and they immediately put a tray in front
of you. Of course, you’ve got all of your… … chutneys here. So, this the eggplant chutney
I am told. Wow! Just looking at all of this… … my mouth is watering. And then this
is the thokku or the pickle here. This I am… … told is a carrot and capsicum thokku and some
mango thokku. So, we’ve got all the dishes… … that we have ordered for right here. Of course,
I have my vegetarian thali which is a centerpiece… … of a meal here at Kakatiya. So, on my thali
I have the Tomato Pappu, I have the Cabbage Pakoda… I have the Eggplant and Dry Pea Vegetable,
I have some rice, papad and then there’s a sweet… … that you can actually make a start with. This
is the semolina sweet and not to forget the… … perugu, the thick curd and in the sides, this
is the Mutton Fry, this is the Prawn Fry and… … then of course, I have the Chicken Curry here
and this is the Mutton Curry and not to forget… … an omelette, which I am told is very popular
here at Sri Kakatiya. But I am going to begin… … first with the rice and I am going to begin
not just with the rice but I am going to begin… … with that podi first that I see here. If you
look at this podi, you know, it’s very different… … from the podis I am typically used to see.
I can see a lot more of the ingredients here. So I can see the curry leaf, I can see the
garlic, I can see the lentils that have been… … powdered into it and of course, all the spices.
So, the way to begin your meal here at Kakatiya… … Deluxe Mess is to take some of this podi,
I hope it’s not too spicy, put it on your… … rice and ladle some ghee onto that rice, of
course, on the rest of the rice as well. Ghee makes everything taste really good! You know, even as I am mixing this my mouth is watering… … all the juices are flowing! And begin with
this mouthful. Mmmh! You can taste that lush… … buttery-ness of the ghee first and then you
taste the podi and the good thing about this… … podi is that it has bite. So, you can taste
a bit of that curry leaf, you can taste a… … bit of that spice, you get a bit of that chilli
heat, you get the crunch of some of the lentils. It’s a podi that certainly makes you notice
what’s gone into it. It’s also got that slight warmth at the back of your throat that I can now sense. It’s a very different podi… … from any podi that I have tasted thus far.
Typically, when I taste podis, they are all… … very smooth, they are almost powder like but
this podi here, you can see all the ingredients… … you can taste that garlic too. The perfect start to a meal here. I am going to begin the vegetarian dishes first. Go for some of that pappu. That pappu is nice and thick and… … creamy! That tomato pappu or the dal. I think
what differentiates a regular dal from a pappu… … is the thickness of the pappu. There’s some
curry leaves as well. This is the sort of pappu that you would get in a typical Andhra home where the lady of the house is great… … cook! It’s simple in its flavours yet it’s
the sort which leaves you satisfied. Taste some of that cabbage fritter now. Never heard
of a cabbage fritter, cabbage pakoda. I thought it was cauliflower first but it’s cabbage. Mmmh! Makes for a great crunchy, sort of an… … interlude as you are tasting your meal. Mmmh! Some more pappu. That pappu is seriously good! And I am told this tomato pappu is a favourite
of customers here and I can understand why. In fact, I am going to ask him for some more
pappu. I have got all these dishes but I want… … to taste some more pappu, it’s as good as
that! Let’s taste the eggplant and that… … dried peas, the vankaya. Oh, this is delicious! You know, this vegetable by itself is also delicious! I am not a big vankaya or eggplant
fan but if I am eating a vankaya dish that… … means it is seriously good! Mmmh! It’s got
this delicious velvety texture, intense in… … its flavour, the flavour that perhaps comes
from some onion, some chillies that go into it… … there’s that turmeric that goes into the
dish as well. Just that rice and that vankaya… … with the dried peas, such a happy bite! Let’s go back for some more of the pappu. You know, when this meal, when they placed all of this
is front of me I was seriously eyeing all… … the non-veg dishes. I said I’ll very quickly
finish this and go for the non-veg but thi…s … vegetarian thali is so seriously good that
I don’t mind lingering and spending some… … more time on this vegetarian thali. Oh, this
pappu is delicious! It’s got that of course… … tomato, that gives it that slightly tart edge
and you taste that you know the comforting… … flavour that comes from lentils. You know,
there’s nothing as comforting as a good… … lentil dish and this pappu is a great example
of that. That tomato in this tomato pappu… … just gives it that slight edge of sourness,
which is what is so nice about this particular… preparation. Mmmh! Some papad, This is supposed
to be an eggplant chutney. I have never really… … tasted an eggplant in a chutney before. It’s
got the raai, it’s got those mustard seeds… … that I can definitely taste, so it gives it
that slightly deep flavour. So, this chutney… … also has cucumber in it which gives it that
nice refreshing sort of a crunch. Time to taste some of the thokku and I am beginning
with the carrot thokku. That sesame oil, that flavour wow! You know the spices here are
very well rounded I must say. Be it in the vegetables or in the thokku, the pickle, the
spices are very rounded, it doesn’t have… … that sharp chilli spike that you would typically
expect of an Andhra meal, no no none of that. The flavours here are very well-rounded and
beautifully balanced. Mmmh! I think, I will taste the last bite of the tomato pappu before I go to the non-vegetarian dishes. Rice, pappu, papad! Next, I am going to go for the prawns and these are those tiny shrimps, the freshwater shrimps. The fresh shrimps, none of that frozen
stuff. The tinier a prawn, the greater is… … the flavour, the deeper is the flavour. That’s
what I am really expecting to taste. It’s in this semi-dry sort of a preparation. Mmmh! You know, that masala in this is a deep roasted masala. So, it’s got the onions, it’s
got some coconut in it as well and the curry… … leaf that gives it that beautiful deeply roasted
sort of a flavour. And the prawns are cooked just right. With prawns, especially when they’re
small, it is very easy to overcook them and if you overcook them it tends to be rubbery.
But this prawn is cooked just right! Mmmh! Take some of that curry leaf, taste it with
that prawn. So good! I think, next we are going to taste the Chicken Fry. You know,
when I am tasting food, I like to taste seafood first, then chicken, then mutton or meat in
the ascending order of flavour. So, let’s taste some of this Chicken Fry. The masala
here for the Chicken Fry is pretty different to the masala that I see in the Prawn Fry.
You can see the colours here. This is a darker roasted masala, this is lighter roasted masala
for the chicken. As I am shooting this I can hear the whistle of the pressure cooker go!
So, when we came in, we were the only people who were around. But slowly but surely the
restaurant is beginning to fill up. You can see people all around now. Let’s go for
the Chicken Fry. It’s tiny bits of chicken so, I think it’s the sort of dish that makes
it easier to share. You can taste that masala right away! This chicken has absorbed all
that goodness of the masala. Mmmh! Oh this is so good! You know when you look at this
preparation you also see the oil, that residual oil that is perhaps what the masala was first
cooked in before the chicken was added and that again is such a delicious flavour because
it has got that oil, so you’ve got the texture, the lush texture of that oil, the fat of the
oil which has absorbed all that masala! So, that oil in itself is so delicious which is
coating that chicken so beautifully well resulting in that masala. So, you’ve got the oil,
you’ve got the spices that have infused in that oil and that oil and spices are now
what’s coating the chicken resulting in that very flavourful bite. Mmmh! And that
chicken is cooked just perfectly! I’m told another popular side dish here is the omelette.
I almost forgot about it, the omelette is one of those dishes. So, you take an egg cook
it in some form, it just makes your meal, the non-vegetarian quotient of your meal go
that much more longer and I think that’s what the omelette here is. Simple, you’ve
got the onions, you’ve got the spicy heat of the pachi mirchi, the green chilli and
it’s a well-roasted sort of an omelette. Those are the sort of flavours that you taste,
simply prepared but very tasty! So, next I am going to taste this Chicken Curry. You
know, when you look at this Chicken Curry there’s this, pretty much it looks like
a homestyle chicken curry. The sort of Chicken Curry that you would get if you went to a
Andhra home and that’s what this chicken curry looks like. It’s got this masala and
I am told that all the spices here are hand ground, so they grind their own spices, they
make their own masalas, which results I think, in their own unique taste. And I am going
to taste this with the rice. You know, this masala is an assertive masala. So, when you
taste it, it immediately makes its presence felt on your palate. It’s that sort of slightly
rough aggression that you taste on your palate. You know, that’s the sort of dish that you
taste, so when you taste a dish and that dish immediately takes hold of your palate, that’s
the sort of Chicken Curry that this is. Homestyle sort of a chicken curry with that aggression
of the spices, it’s not hot mind you just that you can taste the spices come alive on
your palate. That’s what this chicken curry is all about! This is such a delicious chicken
curry. Mmmh! Some hot rice to welcome the Mutton Fry here which is another very popular
dish. You can see that the masala in this is deeply roasted resulting in that colour.
You can see the oils that have perhaps all the spices infused in them. You know, this
is exactly the sort of meat piece that I love. It’s got the meat but it’s also got the
fat that’s encasing the meat. You need that fat to convey the flavours of the meat. Mmmh!
So this has that onion masala, so the onions are roasted, so you have that slight mild
sweetness of the onion and the spices that’s the dominant flavour alongside the meat in
this Mutton Pepper Fry. Going to taste this meat now with the rice. What I am beginning
to appreciate here is the butchery skills, is the way in which this meat has been cut.
So it’s tiny pieces but when you are cooking tiny pieces they tend to dry out. But here
most of the meat is encased in a thin sheath of fat and that’s what retains, that’s
what allows these tiny pieces, these tiny morsels of the mutton to retain its juiciness
and convey all those flavours. You know, the texture of the meat is almost velvety when
you taste it in your mouth. This is such a delicious dish! You know, you can taste that
masala, you can taste some of that fenugreek that’s gone into this masala. So, good!
What’s really interesting here is that, every single dish, every single condiment
here has its own flavour, has its own special touch! You know, I’ve tasted all these dishes
and to me each one of them stood out! Each one of them was special. Typically when you
go into a restaurant you will find a couple of dishes that you will like very much, some
dishes that you don’t like as much but out here at Kakatiya Mess they only do a few dishes
but those dishes they do them supremely well! Go, for some of that pappu, get a little of
those prawns on my plate and perhaps also some of that mutton just to mix and match
the dishes, the flavours here. Mmmh! As we come to the close of our meal here, it’s
time to taste some of the rice with the sambar and the rasam. I am going to make three mounds,
first for the sambar. It’s hot! When you are served hot food, you actually taste the
food even before you eat it because you feel the heat, you feel the comforting warmth of
the food on your fingers. So, there are all these vegetables that have gone to make this
nourishing sambar. What you also taste is a hint of sweetness that also comes perhaps
from some jaggery that has gone into this sambar too. The sambar and its consistency
is not too thick and neither is it too watery. It’s just the sort of thing that you need
as you closer to the end of your meal here at Kakatiya. I am near statiated now, such
a happy meal but I still have to taste the rasam. The colour of this rasam is almost
bright yellow. I think, there’s a fair amount of turmeric that goes into the rasam. None
of that fiery spicy reputation that Andhra cuisine unfortunately seems to have. This
rasam is flavourful, it has a gentle heat that perhaps comes from some pepper that’s
gone into it and that slight tartness of the tomato. Mmmh! You know I am really quite full
and I am groaning my way to the finish line at this tasting here but sometimes you taste
food that’s so delicious and you forget what ever boundaries you may have set for
yourself in terms of how much you should be eating. That’s the sort of food that I am
tasting here. And this I think is the appropriate time to proceed to the perugu annam. This
perugu is so thick, it refuses to come out! I think I need a spoon for this. Aah! This
is a thick perugu! Just the sort of close to your meal here. Simple, wholesome deliciously
thick curd here! Almost forgot this sweet here. So the sweet here is a simple affair.
Semolina pudding or a halwa or a sheera with some tutti frutti. Had we left without shooting
an episode of Gourmet On The Road at Kakatiya Mess… okay we’ve got something more? Double
ka Meetha or a bread pudding, bread that is cooked, soaked actually in a syrup flavoured
with sweet spices. Of course, they have some tutti frutti here. I think they like their
tutti frutti here when it comes to desserts. Mmmh! That is rich! You can taste the richness
in that sweet. And I think I am going to reach for that glass of buttermilk here because
after a meal like this that’s what you need. You need the soothing properties of a buttermilk
to help settle your tummy. When you are in Hyderabad next, make sure you come to Sri
Kakatiya Deluxe Mess to savour that deliciously nourishing wholesome thali along with some
of the other equally satisfying homestyle preparations. Better still, I think this is
one of those restaurants that you can make a trip to Hyderabad just for! That’s how
wonderful a meal here at Sri Kakatiya Deluxe Mess it! So until the next episode of Gourmet
On The Road, stay safe and happy eating! At Food Lovers TV, my team and I work hard to
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