Kolkata as the world knows is one of the most sought after abodes of Bengalis especially because of two fascinations they pursue religiously in terms of food viz. fish and sweets. Hence popularity of south Indian food in Kolkata although may be hard to imagine for many, it is a fact and there are many enterprises who are doing brisk business in this category. There are few reasons for the growing popularity of South Indian food in this region. To start with, it offers variety to the palette of the people in this region. Generally popular south Indian food stuffs like Idli and dosa get cooked with lesser oil and hence it is easy on the digestive system of a person. Add to these is the average price of the south Indian food items. It is because of these reasons that apart from brick mortar restaurants in Kolkata, there are many make shift stalls near office areas of Dalhousie and Sector V areas of the city which do rampant business by selling south Indian food.
There is especially an area close to a happening junction of the city called Rashbehari Avenue which is called Lake Market. One gets to find a number of popular south Indian restaurants within 1 km radius of this area. A major reason being a number of Tamil and Telugu speaking population settled in this area post Independence and who over the years have ensured the propagation South Indian restaurants in this area. Prema Villas is a popular restaurant existing in this area since 1960 that offers simple, neat and tidy ambience and draws a number of South Indian food lovers. The Dancing Coffee, Masala Idly and special South Indian thali are the must haves over here. Banana Leaf is another entity in this region since 2003 that offers a wide array of mini meals and thalis. The menu offers a large variety of South Indian food with a range of dosas, idlis and uttapams. The interiors are predominantly green in color which goes well with the brand theme. Five different types of Uttapams along with innovative dosa and idli variants are a must have. Around ten minutes walk from Lake market will take one to Udipi Home which has been existing since 1969. The homely atmosphere and the steel utensils add to the South Indian feel. Some of the best selling items over here are Butter masala dosa, Rava dosa, sada vada and masala uttapam.
As mentioned earlier, apart from make shift stalls, there have been a number of popular restaurants that have come up near happening office zones in Kolkata like Camac Street, Dalhousie and Sector V. Pai’s Malgudi is one such restaurant that came up in 2015 in the Camac Street area. Apart from interesting interiors, the restaurant offers items like Thattu dosa, coconut uttapam and special thali. Kurry Patta is another such restaurant that has come up in the neighboring area which offers several interesting and mouth licking items like Gunpowder dosa, dhania dosa, mushroom dosa, pyramid dosa apart from ‘house specials’ like Rice of the Day and Hand-churned ice cream. The Chutney Co. is another happening restaurant that came up in the Dalhousie area in 2015. The specialty over here being that with each and every idli or dosa preparation, people are given the choice of 3 chutneys that well go along with the core item. Spicy coconut chutney, Mysore chutney, spicy tomato chutney, peanut chutney are some of the popular chutneys to be mentioned. A meal for two on an average costs ` 400- ` 500 at all the above mentioned outlets. As a conclusive statement, it can be mentioned that South Indian restaurants in Kolkata are definitely the ‘in’ thing and a large cross section of Kolkatans are simply being spoilt for choice given the variety in menu these restaurants are offering.