A Seaside Sojourn - Karwar to Kanyakumari

04:34:00 Sudipti Singh 0 Comments

Momo café Hinjewadi is the place to be this month. A unique food festival is underway that promises to take you through the cuisines of quaint coastal towns right from Kanwar to Kanyakumari.  And incidentally that’s what the food festival is called too. 
When we arrived on the venue one Monday evening after much tussle with the mad hinjewadi traffic, we were greeted with warm smiles and chill beverages. Needless to say we indeed felt very welcome. The service at MoMo is always impeccable but on that day we had Chef Hegde himself receiving us.
The ‘Kanwar to Kanyakumari’ food festival attempts to bring to Pune the authentic taste of the coastal parts of India. So every day, we have a new place on the map covered. So you literally trace the gastronomic geography on the map right from Karwar to Mangalore to Calicut to Aleppy and finally to Kanyakumari. Chef Raja has really outdone himself with the conceptualizing, planning and executing the entire thing.
MoMo Café had a special menu for us to sample from the festival and there was the usual continental buffet as well. The atmosphere was as usual buzzing. The buffet at MoMo café always finds takers with it being amazing and fresh all the time. In fact, there was quite a queue for the dessert table which was enticingly done as usual.
We were served the LIMBE HANINA PANAKA which was salty lemonade with a dash of cardamom and coconut water. It was a good refreshment before you dug into the richness of the rest of the meal. It has its inspiration from the Karwar as well as the mangalore region.

But what really caught our attention was the PARANGI RASAM. I haven’t really had a rasam like this before which is not surprising as we usually skip the rasam when we are eating south Indian. (gasp! I know, travesty. But what can you do. We are weird like that) The rasam had generous helping of diced pineapple which added a tangy yet sweet kick. It had the spiciness of ginger and pepper. Overall, we dug it a LOT.

The starters brought with it a host of fried goodies. Oh don’t you love when you just want to lie back and keep munching on the piping hot pakodas as someone keeps bringing out more while you chill. We felt something like that as we were treated to these sinful crispies.

GENASINA PODI: So genasina is basically sweet potato…..so that mean podi is pakoda(?). Well anywhich way, I liked it. The batter fried potato was soft,pliable and sweetish in the inside and crispy and spicy on the out.

PARNDU PODI: Parndu is banana. So you get the drift here right? So these were basically banana fritters.  And one of the best kinds. Only if I had some icecream with that. I’d be set.
BAPPAKAI PODI: So going by the rule Bappakai must mean raw papaya because it was raw papaya pakoda. We’ve never tried a papaya fritter before and we wonder why, because the thing was great.
ERULLI BHAJI was the good ol’ onion pakoda that we’ve grown to love and hog so much. So you get the sentiments with this one right? Can’t go wrong with this one.

KAPPA FRY was one of the more unique pakodas, we think. It was made up of tapioca. Now tapioca is not very much consumed in its true form in Maharashtra. So this tapioca had been brought down from Kerela itself and made fries with. It tasted very different. Nice different, certainly and I welcome you to try it, too.
So, it wasn’t all vegetarian. Infact I listed out all the vegetarians one before because I saved the best ones for later, haha. The non-veg starters had the following:
MEEN RAWA FRY: Aaaiieeee. I luuuuurved this one a little bit too much and consumed enough to be scared that I’d lose my appetite. Not that I’d mind, this was brilliant. So these were pieces of boneless fish, marinated in mild spices, coated in semolina and fried to glory. Served hot. Perfection.
MEEN MASALA FRY was a more spicier and moister. In its true Mangalorean glory, it was soft yet punchier. Found quite a lot of takers but I was still partial to the Meen Rawa.
KOZI MELUGU was a dish right out of Kerala. It was spicy with a hint of coconut because of the choice of oil used.
KOZI VEPPUDU was the drier cousin of the other chicken starter and was incidentally our favorite also. It was crispy yet spicy enough to curl up with while watching a Netflix marathon of the Stranger Things with a mug of chilled beer.
The mains were much more manageable and weren’t as overwhelming which was a good thing as we were pretty much stuffed with all the fries. It started off with the SAVATE PALYA which might be a little too vegetarian for a Kukkad lover. It had a load of vegetables like different gourds as well as lentils which made it a very balanced dish to have.
But unfortunately our attentions were grabbed by a different dish of MEEN PULIMUNCHI. Filets of delicate fish sitting in a pool of spicy yet delicious broth was a treat to have with some red rice as well as appams. Appams were hot and so soft and fluffy, it went amazingly with just anything. And especially it went famously with the STEW.
The STEW was a vegetable based made in coconut milk. It had carrots and beetroots and gourds and tasted heavenly with the appams. A fellow blogger hailing from Kerela made sure to validate the perfection of the dish by devouring copious amounts of stew with Appams. So need we say anything at all, when people from kerela themselves give it a thumbs up?
The chef watched over us like an indulgent mother, coaxing us to eat some more and try the different combinations. We all felt very spoilt and pampered. And might have hogged just a tad bit too much as a result. In fact, I couldn’t help but agree when a friendly chef agreed to whip up some white sauce pasta for me, for which I was mocked mercilessly. “So which part of the coastal India does the white sauce pasta come from?”
 Disgruntling, yes but not for long because the white sauce pasta was so exquisite and delicious, I hardly got a couple of spoons. Everyone attacked it as soon as it landed on the table. How’s that for a last laugh? Haha.
The desserts course was just sin. I loaded my plate with all desserts available. The day’s speciality was SATE which was a cold sweet dish which was heavenly.
Other than that all other desserts are available in the regular buffets too. Make sure you visit for the buffet if you really want to indulge yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
As for the ‘SEASIDE SOJOURN- KARWAR TO KANYAKUMARI’ festival, give it a go. It’s a new cuisine everyday so make sure you enquire while you are reserving your table. Hope the blog helps and if it does, write to us! We love to read what you have to tell us!

P.S: A big cheer for all the lovely chefs, Arundhati for the invite and Team MoMo Café for being the darling that they are. 

MoMo 2Go - Courtyard By Marriott Pune Hinjewadi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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