For years, Pan and I used to be loyal patrons of several Indian restaurants in Manila. We would feast over plates of basmati rice, paneer, butter chicken, curries and of course, our all-time must-have, papadum. For us, Indian food is all about curry and spices. We thought we know the Indian cuisine inside and out...well not until last night.
Let me go through the five different dishes that we sampled that day:
This is like the starter plate of banana shoots and lentils. It was very refreshing and light despite having a bit of spicy. I'm really a fan of anything with lentils that I even enjoyed eating this with naan, chapati or even some papadum. In other words, I like this a lot!
Oh, this dish is not for the faint-hearted. As you move on from the 1st dish to the 2nd, you'd expect a gradual increase of spicy level, right? Sadly, this one zoomed straight to the top. It was very spicy for me given that I only had one bite. Not really a hand of lady's fingers so I carefully just fished out the white kidney beans and other veggies instead.
I really had to ask how to pronounce this. Why? It's to help me order this on my next visit. I loved this! Believe it or not, it's made with unripened bananas which were marinated in turmeric, chilli powder, cumin, fennel and coriander. It's interesting to note how banana seems to be a popular ingredient in Chettinad cooking. I think I must have finished most of this dish too. Oops, sorry L!
This is a traditional chicken dish cooked with masala and peppers giving it that spicy kick that you'll instantly feel on your first bite. This is the kind of dish that I'm really annoyed with. You see, it's so good but it's so spicy too! So either I stop eating after the first bite if I'm too chicken to take the heat or I load up on milk/water/lime juice/rice/ice cream/yogurt just to tame my flaming tongue as I continue eating. *sigh* What a big dilemma this delicious chicken dish has caused. Tsk tsk..
For the last dish, its a pot of fresh mackerel cooked in curry. I was told that this is even spicier than the chicken but surprisingly, I didn't had much problem with the heat level of this one. Either the Chef went easy with this or my taste buds are playing tricks on me. Haha! Nonetheless, the fish was very fresh as the meat was tender and free of any odor. Yummy!
Together with the dishes, we were given a small bowl of Homemade Buttermilk. This is very important as the milk helps lessen the spiciness of the dishes. It's also mix with coriander, cumin and mustard seeds giving it a nice subtle savory flavor. The importance of having buttermilk is to let it help your digestion and it brings some cooling effect to the body too.
Here's the finished product of my fellow blogger D who has a better future in Chapati-making. :P
Now, about the service rendered. I really have to say that all the servers were really attentive. Sure, we went for a food tasting but I've been observing how they've been equally quick in responding to the requests of other diners. I hope that service will remain this good on my succeeding returns.
Tonight was indeed an eye-opener about a new culture totally different from mine. It has widened my knowledge about Indian food and the fact that there's more to Indian cuisine than the regular briyanis, naan, pratha and curries. By dining at Muthu's Curry tonight, it somehow felt like I paid a visit to a friend's house where I was able to try authentic South Indian dishes. I can't wait to go back and let Paul try all these yummy dishes.
Note: The Mannuvasanai menu is only available in Muthu's Curry Race Course Road from 15 June to 31 October 2015.
Muthu's Curry is located at 138 Race Course Road, #01-01, Singapore. They also have branches in Dempsey Hill and Suntec City. Call them at 6392-1722.