Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Kurkum - My first traditional South Indian meal

My normal reviews are considered short novels because of the number of words I use but even though no one reads through it, I still do it because the food and experience I had deserved justice by fleshing it out with my words and pictures.

I work in a multi-cultural office and building rapport with my peers allowed me to execute my plan.

To eat with someone from a different country on their preferred restaurant eating their traditional dish.

I and my colleague Ajith Thomas went to a restaurant called Kurkum which serves traditional food from Kerala, a region from South India. Full experience after the break.

Located in front of Sharjah Megamall

The first thing we did after entering the restaurant is to wash our hands, because Indian food, I believe, is eaten most of the time with bare hands. The ambiance of the place is clean, well-lit, and looks fancy and as the standard here in the United Arab Emirates, tables are separate for bachelors and families.

The placed was packed as people come and go.

Once seated we were given a shot of flavored yogurt or lassi and on the side, a salted crispy chilly. Both tastes uniquely flavorful which are a good thing since I never had any of these before. As for the food, I didn't even bother to look at the menu and had Ajith order for us, all I asked is to have a traditional meal or the house specialty, and he ordered both! A traditional meal called "Oonu" and "Beef Fry or Beef Ularthiyathu" which is one of the house specialty.

Can't get enough of that spicy, tangy, salty chilly!
Ajith getting ready.😀
The meal is composed of rice (a type of rice I never had before, it's fluffy and light and had a red tinge to it) which you can ask for as much as you want, fruit and vegetable pickles, dried granulated fish, and a lot of different gravy or sauces as we call it from where I'm from. There's a vegetable gravy, two types of fish gravy, and others I can't even comprehend what's in it but everything is delicious and quite spicy (you'll sweat bullets if you're not used to eating spicy food). 

Unlimited rice just like in the Philippines.

Unlimited gravy/sauces refill.

Speaking of spicy, the viand to our rice meal is this dish called Beef Fry or Beef Ularthiyathu. Like most of the gravy made which are made of coconut juice or milk, this one has elements of the coconut tree too which is its meat and a lot of spices I can't identify, curry leaves, green chilies, and I think it was smothered in chili flakes if it wasn't spicy enough. You can still taste the juicy beef under all the spices so you get a full spectrum of flavor when eating this and if you chase it down with the rice and gravy, it's just a perfect combination. A combination that hits home to my palate being a rice and viand eater.

I asked Ajith and this wasn't even considered spicy by their standards!

Before coming to the restaurant I was telling Ajith that I was hungry and I want to eat a lot. The food he ordered definitely delivered, not only was I full and stuffed at the end of our meal, I got to taste a wide range of new flavors and get the full experience of having a traditional south Indian dish. I used my hands during the meal (a big deal being OC about my hand's cleanliness) and learned a lot while conversing during our meal. 

Overall, the whole experience was great, the food, the ambiance, the service, and when I saw the bill, it made me appreciate the food even more because the meal with the rice and assortments of gravy is just 12 AED (3 USD) per person and the Beef Fry is just 16 AED (4 USD) which serves 2. To top it off, Ajith paid for the whole meal (not my plan at all, he just took out his wallet faster than me *wink*) and did I mention the meal comes with a dessert? So yeah it's a must try if you ever pass by this restaurant in Sharjah and I myself am definitely coming back here and try their other dishes.

Taken before the meal, couldn't hold in my excitement to eat.

Kurkum Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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