With millets, sukku coffee and more, Food Karma in Besant Nagar directs your attention to good health and taste
Armed with about nine years of research on wellness, by following the work of the siddhars (saints), Srivatsa NC started Divine Science in Besant Nagar, last June. “My goal is to get into all forms of wellness — exercise, food, etc,” shares the visual communication graduate from Loyola, who has taken the second step towards his goal, with the launch of Food Karma, also in Besant Nagar. With Divine Science, Srivatsa provides a two-day programme that teaches you simple lifestyle corrections for a healthier body and mind, and now, through Food Karma, he offers meals that are healthier, lighter and made from millets that are a staple in many of our villages. “About 90 per cent of what we offer is minus rice. What you get in the market is full of starch and very bad for diabetics,” he says, adding, “we don’t use any refined products.”
Back to nature
At Food Karma, there is no menu — you choose between the specials of the day. You wash your hands with water from a pot in the garden and you’re encouraged to dispose your leaves (a banana leaf lines your plate) yourself. Thanks to all this, coupled with the fact that they are located in a house with canteen-style benches for seating, we’re not able to relate them to a restaurant one bit. For breakfast expect ragi idlis (firmer than the regular and paired with the lightest sambhar we have sampled), varagu kitchidi (you could very well mistake this for a pulao) and medhu vadas fried in coconut oil (given that an organic coconut oil costing close to `250 a litre is used, the difference in taste is imperceptible). Other dishes feature cold-pressed gingelly oil. “We use Himalayan crystal salt, palm sugar and jaggery or unrefined sugar,” shares Srivatsa, who in his spare time, practises karate, kung fu, silambam and kalari, and has got his instructor grading in tai chi from France.
For lunch they offer a nine-grain chappati, a tomato or tamarind rice made from brown rice and a curd rice made from barnyard millet. Dinner usually features Kanchivaram idlis, pidi kozhkatais and dosas in addition to the nine-grain chappatis. A highlight here is the snacks on offer at around 4.30 pm. “We make sundal, a vegetable soup, paniyarams or pakodas (also fried in coconut oil) and a sweet like kesari, made from little millet,” he says, explaining that coconut oil has a high boiling point, whereby no toxins form in the oil. Whether you’re dropping by for a snack or a meal, be sure to finish with a refreshing cup of sukku coffee — the only version available here.
Breakfast at Rs. 50. Food Karma is closed on Mondays. Details: 42666588