South Indian food festival review: More than your sambar and dosa

The best thing about international chain hotels is the range of food they serve. They always have something new going on for both their international visitors and the national foodies, thanks to their experienced chefs.

After successfully hosting numerous food festivals, Hyatt Regency Kathmandu is organising a ten-day-long food promotion from May 3 to May 12 to give diners the taste of five South Indian states: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

Many of us are aware of South Indian food, but our knowledge is limited to dosa, idli and sambar. What the chefs at Hyatt Regency have prepared will simply leave you wanting for more.

Chef Arun Prasad, during a month-long vacation, explored these South Indian states and personally handpicked ingredients to give diners the authentic flavours within the confines of The Cafe. He organised a special chef’s table to give us a preview of the festival.

For starters, he had prepared two dishes – dhanedar shunti (hand pounded and spiced lamb meatballs) and milagaiporichatu (long chilli stuffed with cheese busters).

The meatballs were quite nice. It had all sorts of flavour but was a tad dry. The spices used to marinate the meat adds extra flavour and scent to the dish. It isn’t spicy which makes it a dish that is ideal for children. An ideal starter.

The milagaiporichatu is a bit different. I’d got out and say it was a pleasant surprise. I’ts basically jalapenos with has fillings such as cheese and cream and a batter on the outside. You should try these only if you like jalapenos.

Thalappakattu chicken Biryani

For the mains, there were a host of food items to try. One of them was Thalappakattu chicken biryani (Traditional Chicken cooked in Dhindugal style). The biryani was quite different from the ones you get here in Nepal. While normal biryanis use basmati rice, this one uses­jeera samba rice, giving it an entirely new flavour. The meat was soft tender and juicy adding extra flavours to the already tasty dish. The raita complements the dish.

Coconut water

To accompany the biryani, you can also try the Telangana kodimalli periatal which is basically chicken cooked in marinated spices and roasted. The chicken is extremely juicy and the spiced used to marinate and cook the dish adds all sorts of extra flavours. Definitely, a must try.

Telangana kodimalli periatal

Another dish that is quite unique to the Nepali taste buds is chappa pulusu, fish dish cooked Andhra style. The tender fish comes with a delicious gravy cooked in tamarind sauce.

The final main I tried was the chemeen polichathu which is prawns cooked in coconut sauce. The dish has tangy and spicy flavour suited to the Nepali taste bud. The dish is wrapped in banana leaves which adds some exta-aroma to the dish.


For the dessert, the chef prepared Elaneer payasam which is traditional coconut pudding. The light dessert was perfect after a heavy and fulfilling main course.

The spread available during food promotion is quite good. The chef also said that they will have live stalls which will have different local South Indian food ranging wrong wada-sambar to dosa to idli.

Venue: The Café, Hyatt Regency Kathmandu

Duration: May 3 to May 12,

Lunch: 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM | NPR 1,111 ++ (South Indian Thali)

Dinner: 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM | NPR 2,400 ++ (Unlimited buffet dinner)

For bookings: +977 1 5171234

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