I was hankering for some Indian banana leaf curry rice, so deciced to traipse down to where else but KL's Little India in Brickfields yesterday evening. Restaurant of choice: the bustling, insanely popular Seetharam Family Curry House. It's got outlets all over KL these days but the original in Brickfields has been operating since 1989, run by husband & wife team, S Manoharan and Prama Marimuthu.
Seetharam, like many Indian restaurants, offers for vegetarian & non-vegetarian food - displayed in separate buffet-like food counters.The vegetarian dishes don't contain any onions & garlic as well - as it's considered a sin to kill these plants by pulling their bulbous roots out of the ground. Asafoetida is used as a subsititute here.
Seetharam's vegetarian options were varied: from curries to deep-fried eggplants, okra & bittergourd, and a variety of spiced, stir-fried vegetables. One can order Indian breads like paratha (inexplicably called roti chanai in Malaysia), thosai, puri, battura, appam, or steamed versions like the net-like putu mayam and the cylindrical-shaped putu piring. One can also choose white rice or spiced briyani rice. Customers will be invited to self-serve from the food counters, laid out buffet style. You load your dinner plate with your food choices, get a seat, and one of the waiters will come by to take your drink order, take a look at your dinner plate & writes down the cost of your meal on a little chit which you'll show the cashier when you pay on your way out after your meal.
I trawled both the veg and non-veg food counters yesterday, and my resultant dinner plate consisted of :
- deep-fried Chettinad chicken, which was lightly spiced, crisp on the outside & still surprisingly moist inside;
- braised, julienned snakegourd, very lightly & subtly spiced;
- spiced potatoes, dotted with mustard seeds & scened with turmeric. The peeled, quartered potatoes were perfectly cooked till the outsides were about to break apart, whilst insides were soft & yielding;
- Stir-fried bittergourd curry - very unusual but tasty nonetheless. Unlike the Chinese way of cooking bittergourd, the Indians do not salt, wash & rinse the bittergourd first to lessen the vegetable's bitterish flavors. Instead, you get the full blast, lightly tempered with spices, sweet carrots and chillis;
- a light & fairly liquid vegetables-dhal curry, which consisted of eggplants, potatoes, cauliflower, gourd & other vegetables, scented with curry leaves & a gentler spice mix, spiked with tamarind juice. The curry went well with white, steamed rice.
The whole meal (plus a can of chilled 100-Plus isotonic drink) costed RM6.50 or only USD2.15!!
Seetharam Family Curry House
No. 237 & 239-G, Jalan Tun Sambanthan
50470 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03- 2274 6722