On the way to Kerala House off Jantar Mantar Road(in New Delhi), you see a sea of humanity at the kiosks, people devouring dosas, rajma rice, kadi rice, channa bhatura. The symbol, and one of the edifices of salesmen (some extent salespersons),eating out options at CP or Central Delhi. This is not about capitalism and its symbol "the salesman" and their eating out options.
Its about communism and the eating out options for the party workers and comrades in modern India and in New Delhi. But why does it feel like Kerala. You enter Kerala House, it feels like Allepey, the greenery, the building, the kind of plants, feel like Kerala. Its actually the workers canteen we are usually allowed into and I have been there often, even invited friends (some from Kerala, Murli, Anjana and Alex) and some from well rest of India, Sonu, Injeela, Rohit M and Nitin C.
The food is interesting, brown rice, a vegetable curry two of them (plantain,jackfruit,or something interesting as curries), sambar and Chuuku vellum to drink (out of a jug (variants of herbal or spiced water), it was jeera (cummin seed water I remember). All for Rs15/- and ofcourse unlimited. Hang on the add-ons, beef chilly, mackerel fish, curried or fried all at Rs 15/- each. We eat copious amounts of each. It feels like a workers canteen, with a large table (15 seater) in the kitchen and single men who could not make it to the middle east and work in Delhi, devotedly eat out of their rice plate.
Outside there are a few tables for fours, next to the handwash area,there are stand up dining areas. There is hardly any, chat, laughter or banter, people single mindedly come - eat- leave. As opposed to Lynn Truss's book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Its as eglatarian as it gets. We have filled ourselves with a basic meal(sort of Thali) and addons for four within Rs200/- . Thats eating local exotica for Rs 50/- each.
Its at best eating in way side eatery in Kerala, the food is not overspiced. The mackerel is nice, the sambar is different, almost umami with some ajinomoto in it, one of the only places where you get a basic version of beef chilly.Well, it does qualify as democratic place to eat. Despite its leftist disposition.
Please look out for more Bhawans, next is Orissa or is Odissi food , interesting.