Pink is a colour that I find hard to ignore. So when we spotted the bright pink restaurant called Rasa at CMH Road, we had to pay a visit despite the fact that they serve pure vegetarian food. Yes, I still find it extremely difficult to sit through a meat-free meal. But the simple, flavoursome, homestyle food at the pretty restaurant was definitely a refreshing change on a hot afternoon.
The organic restaurant is the first in India but has many outlets in London where it was introduced in 1994 by Das Sreedharan. “Food is something very personal. We all have our own precious memories with food. My food journey started when I was a kid and I used to watch my mother cook the most delicious dishes. When I grew up, I knew I was meant to do something related to food. I wanted to emotionally connect with people through food and bring about happiness,” said Das. And so it began.
Rasa specialises in South Indian cuisine largely influenced by Kerala, and prepared from organic produce. The menu changes on a daily basis as per the brand’s philosophy of ‘everyday surprise’. As Das himself says that there are no set rules for his chefs. His only instruction is to cook with love. Therefore based on availability, the team dishes out flavoursome creations.
The space is welcoming with ample sunlight seeping in through the glass walls. The delicate detailing on the ceilings, bamboo stems with potted plants, live kitchen, display of organic veggies and products add to its charm.
We started our meal with Mango Lassi, thick yoghurt based drink with hint of cardamon. Then came the Snacks and Pickle Tray with a whole lot of goodies that evoked fond childhood memories. There were Achappam (rose cookies), banana chips, spicy papadum and murukku. While in the pickle/ chutney range, there were bitter gourd, beetroot, coconut, garlic and raw mango.
For lunch, they have various meal options while for dinner you can choose from their a la carte menu. We decided to try a variety of dishes. To go along with our chapattis, we ordered green beans sabji with grated coconut and curry leaves, aviyal (a traditional coconut based curry with drumsticks, carrots and beans), mixed vegetable curry which had cauliflower, carrots and capsicum in a spicy tomato based gravy, and Tindoori Dal (mixed lentils with ivy gourd).
We then moved on to try the Kerala red rice with pumpkin in coconut curry, rasam with dominant garlic flavour, spicy sambar, and Moru Curry (sweet and sour yoghurt curry with mango). To call it a meal, we tried the Bamboo Seed Pudding, nutritious bamboo seeds cooked in coconut milk and jaggery. One of their signatures.
What we loved about the food is the simple, home-style preparation and mild use of spices which beautifully brought out the flavours of the ingredients.
“I enjoy cooking. For me it’s a healing process. I feel every dish is a representation of the cook. And the joy it brings to watch others savouring your food is priceless,” Das added. We couldn’t agree more!
#514 B, CMH Road, Indiranagar, Bangalore; tel: 080 41518237; http://www.rasaindia.com