Pandi Curry

The new Pandi curry at The Permit Room is very simply mamma’s recipe for the traditional Kodava pork (pandi) curry. 
When we say mamma, we mean a rather special little recipe passed on to our Chef Kavan, from his mamma, who in turn got the recipe from her mamma.

The origins of this dish are probably as old as the community itself, initially made of wild boar that was hunted, rather than the pork version that is the better known version now.

Every Kodava household has their own version of the pork curry. The variations are small ones, based more on preference that any deliberate attempt to change the dish.


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Some houses like to throw in a little more of the chilli, while other houses focus more on the rest of the spices.
Then there are the ones who like it with a little more gravy, and others who like it as a dry dish.

Our Chef Says: “In our house, the variation is in the form of a five spice mixture. And within that also, there is a variation in the way my mother and grandmother prepare it.
 My grandma grinds the spices per batch of the curry that she makes, but my mother prefers to grind a portion that will last her for at least a few batches of the curry.”

One of the reasons this is such a staple dish in Kodava households might also have something do with the fact that it is regularly served during their festivals.

In Coorg, there is a special little chilly called the parangi malu, which while tiny in size, packs a real punch. The flavour profile is completely different, and this makes it an especially popular dish during festivals.

So it’s a little different when you eat it in Coorg, and a little different when you eat it anywhere outside. But that’s a given.

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The South-Indian menu at The Permit Room seemed incomplete without a version of this dish, especially given the cultural roots of our Chef. We’ve modified the recipe to suit a restaurant setting, but stayed true to the classic style, serving it with some very best Akki rotis.

Chef Kavan knew he had to have it on the menu once he’d tasted his mother’s version of it.
“For the longest time, we didn’t make this at home. Until one day my father and I decided we wanted to have a good pork curry at home. And once I tasted my mom’s version of it, it automatically became my favourite, go-to dish. Comfort food, this.”

The Ginchax

If you thought our cuisine was diverse, then you’ll be as surprised with our drinking habits. Whether we ‘put one small’ or grab a tall, be rest assured that Indian drinking habits are just as curious and varied as our cuisine fixations.

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That’s why you’ll find that fellow who drinks two beers everyday with one plate of peanut masala with half a lime sprinkled on top, or the other macchi who insists on having her 60 of Rum and Coke, with some pickle for ‘touchings.’

Celebrating the delightfully unique drinking culture of the south, are our quirky TPR Cocktails. It’s everything traditionally popular, but with a twist.

This time, the Ginchax.

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If you’ve been to a brunch or two in the recent past (we host a great one here at The Permit Room, just saying), you’ve definitely seen Gin cocktails doing the rounds.

There’s something versatile about Gin that way—it seems like the perfect kind of alcohol that you can make a refreshing day-time drink out of, but also packs enough of a punch as a base for a slightly more adventurous partaaayy-drink.

Whether you enjoy it with tonic water, or some added flavours, Gin based cocktails have become the go-to drink for drinkers of all kinds.
And so we decided to take a stab at a brand new Gin-based cocktail in the form of our Ginchax.

Think of three of the most refreshing flavours and we added all of those to it—there’s cucumber juice, the citrusy goodness of orange wedges, and a very subtle nod to our South-Indian roots with some coriander.

Refreshing or what?!

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But the secret ingredient that takes this cocktail from being just a pleasantly refreshing Gin cocktail to a real Ginchax, is a dash of vanilla syrup. (Also, not such a secret ingredient anymore because we just told you, but you get the idea.)

The fresh,citrusy flavours are perfectly balanced out by the vanilla syrup, and the Greater Than Gin completes the cocktail perfectly. Just like how Gin completes your life.

Try it, and we’ll see if it doesn’t. 

Paint Me Like One Of Your Bollywood Posters

While approaching the interiors of The Permit Room, much like our food and drinks, we wanted the setting to stay true to its roots.

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That’s why you’ll find movie posters with a South Indian twist to them sprinkled all around, and paintings and catchphrases that celebrate the quirkiness of our culture. Or even the walls that pay homage to street art, with furniture that’s as much an indicator of a city in the south as our food flavouring.

  Full action, full meals.

Full action, full meals.

If you look around, everything tells a South Indian story.

Like the movie posters, with a truly TPR twist to them.

But first, a little history.

The art of film poster making is an old one. All the way back before digital printing and Instagram’s minimal posters were a thing, hand painted posters were the sole visual representation of what you could expect from the film, and therefore an integral publicity medium.

These grand hoardings also became the agreed upon, and much more dramatic alternatives to pamphlets. 

Being a Bollywood poster artist was one of the most lucrative careers for an artist at the time, and the poster artists in turn became an integral part of the film’s promotions.

The first painted film poster dates all the way back to the 1920s, which really was the golden era for these posters and their painters, appreciated not just for the art but also as the primary source of advertising for the film. 

And of course, as the film industry grew, so did the size of the posters.

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So important were these posters in generating hype about the film, that artists were called in and shown a bit of the film so that they could then depict their own interpretation of a scene or moment on their larger-than-life canvasses.

  If this isn’t a collector’s item, we don’t know what is.

If this isn’t a collector’s item, we don’t know what is.

This then graduated to them receiving photographs of the scenes or the actors which they would then convert into posters, perhaps with a little artistic license of their own.

As any art form goes, film poster making, due to sheer scale alone, was a laborious process and took about four artists close to two days to work on one such 200 feet poster, on an average. Sometimes, even longer.

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The advent of digital printing effectively reduced that time to a negligible amount, and in doing so, completely replaced this art form overnight, resulting in a lot of artists suddenly finding themselves out of work.

Vinyl printing pretty much signified the end of Bollywood Poster painting. The artists have since graduated to painting posters of deities or making replicas for collectors.

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We at The Permit Room are all about local culture and nostalgia, and if you take a moment to stop and notice, our own homage to these film posters are up on the walls along the stairs. (Take the steps for once!)


We’ve taken beloved classics and made them (if possible) made them even more classic with some choice South-Indian style edits.

  “Luke, I am your Appa!”

“Luke, I am your Appa!”

Of course, our posters might not be that accurate when it comes to what the film is really about, but it’ll make the South Indian (doesn’t even matter if you aren’t) in you giggle. Promissss.

In Da Club

While approaching the interiors of The Permit Room, much like our food and drinks, we wanted the setting to stay true to its roots.

That’s why you’ll find movie posters with a South Indian twist to them sprinkled all around, and paintings and catchphrases that celebrate the quirkiness of our culture. Or even the walls that pay homage to street art, with furniture that’s as much an indicator of a city in the south as our food flavouring

  Beer maps for world domination

Beer maps for world domination

If you look around, everything tells a South Indian story.

Just like our Old Club section.

If you’ve spent enough time in Bangalore, you’ve bound to have ended up in (or at least heard of ) Something-Or-The-Other-Nagar Club. Either for their Annual Dance/Christmas/New Year party or the fact that there is a 10 years waiting list for you to become eligible to sign up as a member. Not a member, just eligible. Something the existing members won’t let you forget.
Talk about retaining some colonial style snobbery!

  10 years waiting list, beetcheees!

10 years waiting list, beetcheees!

But ridiculous waiting lists, and general insufferable members aside, these old clubs definitely have a charm of their own, in a way all old-school Bangalore things do.

It could be the furniture, that’s seated everyone from British officers to the intellectuals and politicians of pre-Independence times, sipping away on their tea (and whiskey), smoking a pipe, probably discussing politics, world events, or just cricket scores.

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Stand around in one of the halls in these clubs, and you’ll almost hear the walls and furniture around you resonating with the decades of conversation and history that they have been witness to, and seemed to have absorbed over time. (These days, if you stay long enough, you’ll hear some DJ playing the latest Bollywood remix of some song at some party also. Different kind of resonance, that.)

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But just like how the walls and everything contained within them tell a story, the idea behind our second floor was to recreate the mood of a time gone by, a place you’d end up at after a game of cricket, or polo, perhaps. Where you could grab a drink (or three), play the role of a gentle(wo)man, eat a good local meal, and return to the comfort of your home.

Simpler times.

  Sacred tablets with wisdom from older generations, standing the test of time.

Sacred tablets with wisdom from older generations, standing the test of time.

So next time you’re on this floor, don’t be surprised if the ghosts of gentlemen-past compel you to pull out the chair or open the door for your lady love(s). Just don’t blame us if the non-ghosts of feminists-present kick your ass for doing so.
You have been warned!

Next Edition, New Additions

THERE ISN’T A PALATE MORE DIVERSE THAN AN INDIAN ONE. AND YOU’D BE HARD PRESSED TO FIND THAT KIND OF VARIETY FROM JUST A SINGLE SECTION OF THE COUNTRY ANYWHERE ELSE.

One of the earnest ideas behind The Permit Room is to introduce people to the sheer variety of traditional South Indian cuisine, but with a modern-day take on it. Essentially it's recipes from your ajji's (Kannada for grandma) kitchen, but served in a rather modern, and also cocktail-friendly form. Your ajji may or may not approve.

We have four new glorious additions to our Menu, and we’re rather excited for you to try them.

First snacks and then mains, ok?

  C is for Cauliflower and Cashew

C is for Cauliflower and Cashew

The Hukosu is our new vegetarian starter on the block. Yes, that sounds like some Japanese word, but it’s actually just the Kannada word for cauliflower.
This dish is primarily made of oven-roasted cauliflower, topped with shoe string potatoes and cashews, served with a yogurt dip garnish.
Crunchy, tasty, and nothing like you’ve ever tasted before. Promissss.

Anjal Masala Fry

Straight from the sea, this seer fish is cooked and marinated on the tava and topped with a tangy masala.

  Girl, you’re my Anjal…

Girl, you’re my Anjal…

  …you’re my darling Anjal.

…you’re my darling Anjal.

Up first in the Mains menu, we have the Mushroom Chettinad Curry.
It’s a rich dish made-up of Button and Oyster Mushrooms, in a fragrant Chettinadu gravy with green peas. And it comes with some crispy dosas, that we’ll gladly add some ghee to, only for you.

  Button Mushroom + Benne Dosa = Best Combo!

Button Mushroom + Benne Dosa = Best Combo!

Our final dish is a special one, taken straight from the kitchens of our Culinary Head’s home. The Pandi Curry is Mamma’s recipe for the traditional Kodava pork (pandi) curry, served with a classic side of Akki Rottis (Ottis). Comfort food at it’s best, this one.

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So apdiye come off, try them all, and tell us which ones you liked best.








The Magnificent Pillar of Matchboxes

While approaching the interiors of The Permit Room, much like our food and drinks, we wanted the setting to stay true to its roots.

That’s why you’ll find movie posters with a South Indian twist to them sprinkled all around, and paintings and catchphrases that celebrate the quirkiness of our culture. Or even the walls that pay homage to street art, with furniture that’s as much an indicator of a city in the south as our food flavouring.

If you look around, everything tells a South Indian story.

Which brings us to the Magnificent Pillar of Matchboxes. (That’s actually what it’s called. Ask for a seat on that floor* next time and see.)

  Hey Raja, you're a WINNER!

Hey Raja, you're a WINNER!

The pillar is covered with prints of the almost-poetic cheap wax match boxes. (Wood and all is slightly better quality)

Probably one of the best examples of disposable design, you’re bound to see them strewn about at small tea shops, smaller bars, and your chimney-esque friend’s place.

A closer look, and you’ll find everything from gods and goddesses, to animals and birds, or just random text on it. Like, Raju. 

There are no rules with such design. The words needn’t match the image, and the byline needn’t make sense at all.

That’s why you’ll find one cover that says Dolphin, but has a Whale on it. Or one called Gold Horse, but with a red horse on it. 

Or they’ll throw you off with a cover that says ‘Cow Head’ and actually has, you guessed it, a cow’s head on it.

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Because, screw logic and aesthetics. The matchbox cover is above and beyond all of that.

The real question here is, which fellow decides what art and text goes on these boxes?
Literally, who sits and says, “let’s call it Family Super Wax Matches, and put an image of four kittens on it.” Who?

Moderately life-altering questions like these are bound to arise when you encounter the Matchbox Pillar.
And if it makes you think about life, light, and all things bright, our job is done. 

Zippo got nothing on Hippo Super Deluxe Wax Matches. (on a box that says Winner, of course.)

Fun Fact: The official term for collecting matchboxes is called phillumeny. And also there exists a matchbox that says JamesBond (without space) and has a wolf on the cover. Oh, the joy.

 

*Don’t ask for a seat on the floor with the Magnificent Pillar of Matchboxes. No one will know what you’re talking about. That was a joke. Just in case.

The Mannina Menu

We’ve got an all-new, for-a-limited-time-only Special Menu.

We’re celebrating the traditional flavours and foods of Karnataka with our Mannina Menu.

The menu is all about soul food, involving local delicacies made from ragi, jowar and barley, but with a TPR twist, of course.

  "It mudde been love..." 

"It mudde been love..." 

Mannina means from the earth/soil in Kannada, and that’s essentially the inspiration behind this special menu.

These grains have been a source of strength and satiation for centuries, and our little menu is a showcase of all the things that are intrinsically nourishing and from the soil of this state, our home.

We begin with the Barley Salad, which is barley, and a host of crunchy roasted vegetables served with a curry leaf dressing and some hung curd.

Our Chips and Gojju will make you nostalgic. The ideal snack, both healthy and filling, the tomato gojju and curd dip are perfect accompaniments.

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And to quench the chips-induced thirst, is our healthy Ragi Kanji, which includes the rather delightful flavours of jaggery, almond and cardamom as well.
And its complimentary with any dish of your choosing. How’s that!?

It wouldn’t be a TPR special without a modern twist—that’s why we have the Ragi Crêpe with Chicken Sukkha. Which is pretty much what it sounds like. Familiar and exotic, all at the same time.

  If you're happy and you know it, crêpe your hands...sorry...

If you're happy and you know it, crêpe your hands...sorry...

You can’t call it the ‘Mannina’ menu without the staple favourite of the land, Ragi Mudde. Ours comes with the option of Soppu Saaru or Mutton Korma. Set!

Finishing things off on a sweet note, and making a repeat appearance, our Ragi dessert, which combines three textures in the form of a Ragi terrine, sponge and custard, with a  coconut and jaggery ice cream. 

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Sons (daughters also) of the soil— come by and rejoice!

Our Chef Says

"You can't call yourself a South-Indian restaurant in Karnataka without showcasing a menu that includes Ragi mudde and other local grains, which have been a source of nourishment and sustenance since time immemorial. This special menu has been developed in a way that is true in style to both The Permit Room and also Karnataka."

Bellary Baba's Badnekai

THERE ISN’T A PALATE MORE DIVERSE THAN AN INDIAN ONE. AND YOU’D BE HARD PRESSED TO FIND THAT KIND OF VARIETY FROM JUST A SINGLE SECTION OF THE COUNTRY ANYWHERE ELSE.

One of the earnest ideas behind The Permit Room is to introduce people to the sheer variety of traditional South Indian cuisine, but with a modern-day take on it. Essentially it's recipes from your ajji's (Kannada for grandma) kitchen, but served in a rather modern, and also cocktail-friendly form. Your ajji may or may not approve.

This time we have North Karnataka on a plate for you (well, a tiny bit of it anyway) in the form of the Bellary Baba’s Badnekai.

  Bellary Represent!

Bellary Represent!

Let’s start at the start.

What is a Badnekai?

Badnekai is Kannada for brinjal. And that is your clue to what the core of this dish is made up off. 

 What’s so Bellary or Baba about this?

While eggplant is the primary base, the simple sides are what makes it truly representative.

The ‘Baba’ is just some alliterative fun at our end, but Bellary is a prominent city in North Karnataka, and the name is our way of paying homage to this part of the state.

The Bellary Baba Badnekai is chilled eggplant mash, with a smashed peanut dip that comes with jolada crackers.

Both peanuts and jolada feature prominently in the cuisine of the northern side of Karnataka. Peanut chutney, sometimes infused with some coconut, is a traditional staple. At ours, it’s a straight-up peanut dip.

  See that cracker, see that crunch!

See that cracker, see that crunch!

Then there’s the jolada

Another typically north Karnataka dish, this thin flatbread is baked from jowar flour over a fire or skillet. Some people even do wheat flour versions of it, but we decided to go the classic route.

Our Chef Says

"The Bellary Baba Badnekai is a feel-good dish. While it’s very representative of North Karnataka cuisine, the dish is a combination of such complimentary flavours and textures that it automatically falls into the comfort food category, whether you’re from that part of our glorious state or not."

 

The Mango Menu

Nothing brings people together quite like mangoes.

In fact there are whole events planned around gathering and consuming mangoes. And with good reason.
Mangoes have been the traditional favourites at most cultural events, right from weddings to festivals to pretty much any auspicious celebration, especially in South India. That's probably why we associate them with a sense of community.

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And also what makes them the perfect choice for a special seasonal menu.

We went with the classics as we always do, but threw in some delightfully unusual combinations too. Indulge us, won't you?

There’s the Manga Curry of course, inspired by a rather staple South Indian style. Our version is a thick curry that comes with a selection of small sweet mangoes,  with a side of rice/appam/dosa/parotta. So really, any way you like it.

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If it's going to be representative of South India, then where there is curry, there must be rice. Our take on mango rice, Manga-Sadam comes with a Mampazha Pachadi. The dish is prepared in an Andhra style, and the pachadi is a serving of curd-based ripe mango, which brings a sweet and sour flavour to the dish. 

Moving over to the slightly less traditional side of the menu, we give you the Prawn and Fresh Mango Tostada.
Yup, that's right.

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It's our in-house made cracker with raw mango cream as the first layer and a fresh salsa of shrimp and mangoes with onion and coriander on top. And it's as delightful a burst of flavours as it sounds. But we'll let you be the judge of that. 

Of course, there's some Rasam made with mango pulp and served with fresh mango chunks to bring you back. But that isn't the only drinkable thing on the menu. Wouldn't be a Permit Room special without a solid cocktail now, would it? 
Which is why we have a vodka, fresh mango, ginger and green chilli cocktail. Jest for you.

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Oh, and did someone say dessert? Well, allow our Mango Tres Leche Cake to do the needful.
It's a unique combination of badam tres leche cake and fresh mango, and that's all you need to know.

Come by and give it a try. Manga season won't last forever.

Coco Jujubee Cooler

You know a drink's going to be good when it’s called 'Coco Jujubee Cooler'.

That, and that you’re probably going to be doing strange things once you’ve had one too many. (Just kidding. Or are we?!)

  Coco jaanejaanaa...

Coco jaanejaanaa...

But first things first. What is a ‘jujubee’?

If you find yourself asking that question then you probably haven’t spent too much time in the south of the sub-continent, and even lesser time indulging in its classic cinema and sweetmeat offerings.

For ‘jujubee’ ( or ‘jujube’ as it is more popularly spelt) is a word so versatile that you could either be talking about a chewy, squishy sweet usually with a sugary coating, or describing a very waste fellow. 

The former a favourite amongst schoolchildren of all kinds, and the latter a colloquial term for a cheap or ‘chillar’ fellow, made famous by our dearly beloved Rajni aka Superstar aka Thalaiva, which then obviously became a favourite word amongst all humans in the Universe and realms beyond.

So decoding the meaning depends a lot on the context.

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The Drink

At The Permit Room the Coco Jujubee Cooler is a deadly weapon we’ve created for you to combat the sultry Summer.

When you drink up one of these beauties, you’re arming yourself with the coolness of fresh cucumber, the tropical vibes of tender coconut, the historical and artistic weight of a classic word like ‘jujube’ (and also coconut jelly), and of course, the ultimate coolth of Gin.

Basically, you be chillin’ like a villain. 

Our Bartender Says

"It’s a bar favourite because of the refreshing flavours and also the combination of these flavours with gin. And the name is a great talking point too. We’ve seen many customers impress their respective male/female friends by giving them the origin of the word ‘jujube’, and after consuming a certain number of these cocktails, proceeding to hilariously enact scenes from Rajni’s aka Superstar’s aka Thailava’s movies."

Bhatkal Coastal

What is Bhatkal?

It’s a coastal town near Mangalore. Also known as ‘Batecala' in Portuguese texts, if you’re going to be all phoren about it.

  The many lovely level of the tiffin carrier.

The many lovely level of the tiffin carrier.

Some History

But the different name isn’t the only indicator of foreign influence. The town also has a rich heritage of Arabic influences, and an area where it is seen very strongly is in its cuisine.

One of the dishes that is rather typically Arabic but with a location-specific twist to it, is the Bhatkal biryani. Although it is pretty similar to traditional biryani, it has a signature Mangalorean coastal touch, and the added ingredients of curry leaves and mustard, that make it the signature dish it is.

If you’ve grown up in the southern part of the subcontinent, or ever peeped into the tiffin box of a South-Indian classmate, semiya has to have made an appearance at some point. 

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At The Permit Room

The Bhatkal Coastal we do was conceptualised as part of our Tiffin Menu, and we decided to do a semiya (vermicelli) version that we thought would be fitting. 

Staying true to the dish’s roots, we do a prawn version. (But vegetarian option also available, just for jolly.)

The masala used (you’ll see when you nicely give one mix) is an onion and tomato masala, with a little bit of coconut milk. And completing the experience, are the pickle, raita and botti served along with it.

  Vermicelli my belly, thankyouverymuch!

Vermicelli my belly, thankyouverymuch!

If all of that history, and downright decadent description didn’t convince you, there’s also the fact that we serve it in a very traditional tiffin carrier. How’s that for an extra dollop of nostalgia?

Our Chef Says

The Bhatkal Coastal is a heady mix of nostalgia and familiarity, making it almost irresistible when you're craving comfort food, whether you grew up by the coast or in the city. The fact that it comes in an old-school tiffin carrier just adds to the appeal. Plus, what's nostalgia without some gold fingers that you must absolutely put on all five fingers before eating, right!?

Come by and try our Bhatkal Coastal sometime—it is guaranteed to give you the feelings.

Thindi Habba

On the occasion of The Permit Room’s second anniversary, we’re introducing a special menu.

And we’ve decided that we want to celebrate something that doesn’t quite get recognised as breakfast, lunch, or dinner, while totally serving the purpose of all three.

This menu is a celebration of thindis from all South Indian households, which is basically the inspiration for all our food.

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If you’ve grown up in South India, you’ll be familiar with the concept of thindi. 
For those who haven’t, thindi is basically tiffin items, or snack items.
Eaten commonly between meals, but not necessarily restricted to that any specific time of the day.
Anytime can be thindi time!
People enjoy thindi with their afternoon tea and coffee, or end up consuming it as a main meal.

But what exactly qualifies as thindi? Great question.

It’s everything from  vadas, pancakes, the legendary congress peanut bun to poha, bun-sandwich, egg bonda, obittu, dosas, and the likes.
It’s comfort food that you’ve grown up snacking on, but with a Permit Room twist of course!
And we’re including all of this in and a whole lot more in our anniversary special menu, so watch this space for more.

The Touchings Menu

THERE ISN’T A PALATE MORE DIVERSE THAN AN INDIAN ONE. AND YOU’D BE HARD PRESSED TO FIND THAT KIND OF VARIETY FROM JUST A SINGLE SECTION OF THE COUNTRY ANYWHERE ELSE.

One of the earnest ideas behind The Permit Room is to introduce people to the sheer variety of traditional South Indian cuisine, but with a modern-day take on it. Essentially it's recipes from your ajji's (Kannada for grandma) kitchen, but served in a rather modern, and also cocktail-friendly form. Your ajji may or may not approve.

  Spice, spice, baby!

Spice, spice, baby!

This time around, we pay homage to the quintessential staple of every Indian household.
Whether in the form of bottles bought from the convenient store, or jars that seem to leak oil no matter how you store them, every Indian household will have some form of pickle.

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Most Indians have fond memories from their childhood of the matriarch (or patriarch even) spending warm Summer days cutting and drying fruit and vegetable on the building terrace on sheets of newspaper, warding off birds and squirrels with a vengeance.

Only after many days of drying and many minutes of close inspection are these dried bits dunked in oil and other secret masala recipes, where they are made to stew for what seems like an unfairly long time.
And then, once they have passed the ‘one finger dip in pickle’ tasting test are they introduced with much pride to the rest of the family and few deserving neighbours.

While it’s not a dish in itself, but oh, the wonders it does in a meal!
Whether it’s a hint of searing spice or the comfortable indulgence of a sweet & sour flavour, nothing elevates the existing flavours on our your plate quite like pickles.

And the same holds true for your drink.
One of the simplest sides to a drink, employed by every local bar in your area, is a pickle. Just a little hint of tanginess or spice every now and then, to supplement the refreshing coolness of your drink of choice.

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Depending on the bar, you have various permutations and combinations of these ‘touchings’, subject to the enthusiasm of your waiter.

Our brand new Touchings Menu is an homage to this integral part of South-Indian cuisine and culture.
But what exactly is a ‘touchings’? Well, at The Permit Room you can’t really classify it as an appetiser, and its definitely not main course (although that depends on how drunk you are!), but it just about satiates the tastebuds without taking away from your appetite. So a touch of flavour, really.

  A platter your ajji would be proud of.

A platter your ajji would be proud of.

And based on your preference, we have a whole range of flavours and textures for you to choose from. So if you’re more of a healthy side-le snacks person, you’re bound to enjoy our Namajji Avarekai Pickle. But if you’re into the stronger flavours, then anything from the Andhra Bitter Chips Pachadi to the Mean Meen Achar will work for you.

And if you can’t decide, you can do them in combinations of three as well. Or just go for the kill and have them all. Our most excellent menu will aid you in making that decision. 

Cubbon Park Salad

Think of places synonymous with Bangalore. Go ahead, take a minute and make a mental list. We’ll wait.

Done? In listing those landmarks, we’ll wager a bet that one of your top three picks was Cubbon Park.
Yeah, yeah, Lalbagh too, but that’s for the flevvers and Cubbon Park is for the lovestruck levvers.

It’s really a lone standing bastion representing ‘old Bangalore’, retaining a surprising amount of gorgeous greenery in the heart of what has now largely become a construction ridden, dusty city. Sigh.

  Some crunchy Cubbon Park goodness in a bowl.

Some crunchy Cubbon Park goodness in a bowl.

Cubbon Park is so pretty, it just makes you want to be nice to others. And it also fills you with an inexplicable urge to become an eco warrior. (Albeit for about an hour post-visit, after which you’re back to your city slicker ways.)

But there is no better place to see all the elements of the city come together, and oh the variety you'll see!

If you land up there during this time, you’ll find the new year resolution types, dressed up in workout gear, complete with wireless earphones and protein shake, who will only eat the diced cucumber from the stalls, or masala peanuts because nuts are good for you and masala is for touchings.
Chances are if you return in a couple of weeks, you won’t see them around.

There’s also the salwaar/sari and sneakers aunties, who diligently show up for their daily walks and end up doing mostly talk. Because neighbourhood gossip is irresistible, fitness be damned, especially when combined with some samosa and chai on the side.

And between all this, you’ll find the serious marathoners, trying to make their way past the ever-crowded food stalls and also the yoga types trying their best to pretend that all these people don’t exist. Tough stuff. 

If you shift focus from the fitness side of things, you’ll find the cozy couples who are out of places to canoodle in, and must resort to the shady tree corners and benches of Cubbon Park, which come with complimentary judgmental stares by same salwaar/sari sneakers aunties. But all the stoic stares are lost in the fluffy pink haze of cotton candy, that these local lovers feed each other while whispering sweet nothings. 

And while you’re on the topic of love, you’ll definitely see fur daddies and mommies throwing a frisbee around or taking a walk or just rolling around with their furry babies. (That’s dogs we’re talking about, just in case. Not babies covered in fur.)

Overwhelming as all this might be, look a little further. Past this fascinating collision of worlds, you’ll see the food carts. (And William the Balloon Guy also.) The source of all cravings that seem to peak while sitting around in the park.

Cubbon Park.JPG

These food carts have been around since the park itself, and while some have stayed simple with the newspaper cone bhelpuri and roasted peanuts and cucumber-with-lime assorted snacks, the others have upgraded to samosa chaat and cotton candy slickness.

In either case, they’re as synonymous with Cubbon Park as the massive boulder things on which awkward wedding shoots happen. 

It’s the simple snack guys that our Cubbon Park Salad derives inspiration from, though.

Our’s is a crushed cucumber salad, with some baby corn, lots of peanuts and a classic chilli-lime dressing, served to you in a special Permit Room-style deconstructed way.

Apart from being a rather healthy snack option, it’s really just an ode to the glorious park and everything it stands for. 

And all those amazing feelings of being nice and environment friendly and jumping around in parks with dogs come rushing back with every crunchy bite. Promisss*. Just come and try it.

 

 

 

 

*Nothing. That asterisk is our legal loophole in case those feelings don’t happen because of bad fellow attitudes. 

The Merrily Merry Christmas Menu

There isn’t a palate more diverse than an Indian one. And you’d be hard pressed to find that kind of variety from just a single section of the country anywhere else.

One of the earnest ideas behind The Permit Room is to introduce people to the sheer variety of traditional South Indian cuisine, but with a modern-day take on it. Essentially it's recipes from your ajji's (Kannada for grandma) kitchen, but served in a rather modern, and also cocktail-friendly form. Your ajji may or may not approve.

  Santa Claus is came!

Santa Claus is came!

The Christmas Menu at The Permit Room is exactly this, with a sprinkling of Christmas cheer. So that's some serious South Indian magic, backed by Santa. It's a seasonal attempt to take you one step deeper, the equivalent of getting you to eat that meal with your fingers, and hopefully help you appreciate south-indian cuisine, and all the in all its gastronomic glory. 

But come now, child. It is time to make merry.

We begin the food festivities with the Mutton Cutlets—crispy and full of minced mutton and spices, and served with a fresh salad and chutney, this dish has a Christmas colours theme to it too. Awww!

  Hi crunchy Christmas goodness. 

Hi crunchy Christmas goodness. 

Furthering the crunch factor, is the Loaded Pumpkin Bake, which is spiced pumpkin stuffed with a savoury yogurt and peanut filling, baked to a crisp. 
Between these two, that's all the crunchiness you'll need this joyful season.

Loaded Pumpkin Bake.JPG

Christmas is for everyone. Even vegetarians. 

But spreading the cheer to the seafood side of things, we made a Travancore Prawn Soup, which we serve with rice and prawns.  The soup comes separate, so you can either have them separately or be a fun-fellow, do the pourings and take in all the flavouring at once. Try it.

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We usually don't like picking favourites. But come on. Santa has them and so do we. And in our list of nice, the Butter Curry Roast Chicken would be right on top. Of course there had to be Roast Chicken, it's Christmas! And of course it had to have a special twist to it. It's us!

  Chicken Roast with the most.

Chicken Roast with the most.

Also, Fish Biryani. Obviously. Nothing makes anyone merrier. 

  Swim off in that seafood biryani.

Swim off in that seafood biryani.

Finishing things off and paying homage to the sweet, lovin' feeling that only comes with this time of the year, is our 'Dulce de Leche' Pazam Pori.

  Dolce & Gabbana got nothing on our Dulce & Banana.

Dolce & Gabbana got nothing on our Dulce & Banana.

That's Kerala plantain stuffed with dulce cream and crumb fried and served with vanilla ice cream and citrus caramel sauce. It's warm like everything Christmas, and it'll leave you feeling that way for a long while after. 
The Plum Pudding and Mulled Wine will do well in extending this feel-good feeling. Consume in copious amounts, we say.

But no Christmas Menu has meaning without having friends and family to share it with. So bring Kutti, Cheta, Ajji, Thatha, Chechi and just come off. Christmas is came!

Chiroti Sandwich

THERE ISN’T A palate MORE DIVERSE THAN AN INDIAN ONE.

One of the earnest ideas behind The Permit Room is to introduce people to the sheer variety of traditional South Indian cuisine, but with a modern-day take on it. 

Essentially it's recipes from your ajji's (Kannada for grandma) kitchen, but served in a rather modern, and also cocktail-friendly form. Your ajji may or may not approve.

  Precariously perched on those layers of lovely.

Precariously perched on those layers of lovely.

Thindi Tales is an attempt to take you one step deeper, the equivalent of getting you to eat meals with your fingers, and hopefully help you appreciate South-Indian cuisine in all its gastronomic glory. 

This time, the sweet finger-licking treat, Chiroti Sandwich.

A Little Side Story

The Chiroti is as much a staple at South Indian weddings as is the couple standing in front of oversized throne-seats taking photos with people they’re meeting for the first time in their lives but must pretend to know.

The term ‘Chiroti’ is used in Karnataka, while it is known as ‘Chirote’ in Maharashtra, and it is a staple of both Kanadiga and Maharashtrian cuisine. 

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No traditional wedding in Karnataka that takes itself seriously is ever complete without the Chiroti being served with sweetened milk. In Maharashtra, it is usually served during festivals but not restricted to only those days. 

The Dish

This hugely popular South-Indian wedding sweet is usually served with hot milk, or sometimes just by itself. Some types have a little powdered sugar served on top, while others might be soaked in a sugar syrup. 

So while it isn’t one of those terribly sweet desserts, it’s very rich and does the trick. Some people like it crisp and might skip the sweetened milk, but some (especially cute toothless ajjas and ajjis) who like it softer let it sit in the hot milk for sometime before indulging. 

At The Permit Room

In its basic form, a Chiroti is just a layered pastry which uses ghee as the choice of fat for the lamination process. 

At ours, we do the humble Chiroti in three layers and sandwich it with a generous spread of Saffron Basundi in two layers. 

You could even call it Bangalore’s answer to the French pastry Mille-Feuille, except we make it a little more interesting by serving it with a side of thick Mango milk, roasted Pistachios & a quenelle of Vanilla ice cream. 

Basically, our Chiroti Sandwich has all the layers you need to wrap yourself up in this cold winter season.

  Oh yes. 

Oh yes. 

Our Chef Says

“Traditional desserts and dishes are always a favourite of mine. I like the challenge of taking something that is very familiar, almost a comfort food, and then reinventing it in a completely new and contemporary way, while still retaining that traditional taste. The Chiroti is something I’ve grown up with, and giving it a bit of a western twist was a labour of love that I think customers familiar with the dish will love as well.”

 

Iyengar Bakery Puffs

There isn’t a palate more diverse than an Indian one.

One of the earnest ideas behind The Permit Room is to introduce people to the sheer variety of traditional South Indian cuisine, but with a modern-day take on it. 

Essentially it's recipes from your ajji's (Kannada for grandma) kitchen, but served in a rather modern, and also cocktail-friendly form. Your ajji may or may not approve.

Thindi Tales is an attempt to take you one step deeper, the equivalent of getting you to eat meals with your fingers, and hopefully help you appreciate South-Indian cuisine in all its gastronomic glory. 

This time, our Iyengar Bakery Puffs.

Iyengar Egg Puff_The Permit Room 2.JPG

A Little Side Story

If you’ve grown up in southern India, you’ll be familiar with the egg puff. Or as they’re lovingly and colloquially called, egg pups. (No puppies are used to make them. But you can cuddle one while making if you want.)
Many bold vegetarian fellows have taken their first steps into the dark side, thanks mainly to the lure of this fabled dish. It all starts with the egg puff.

It’s been a source of sustenance since time immemorial, typically during boring lectures and as after-college chai and sutta supplement. But it truly reached legendary status as the between-class-five-minute-break-snack for every broke college kid.

It’s not just college or school kids who have been exposed to this first class food item though.

If you’ve lived in namma ooru (the one and only Bengaluru) long enough, there is no way you’ve missed having this at an Iyengar Bakery in your area. (If you’re new here and don’t know what that is, we suggest you put one pilgrimage fully fast.)

And sure, the honey cakes are the bomb, but eggs puffs are right up there on that list too.
And here’s why.

Iyengar Egg Puff_The Permit Room 1.JPG

The Dish

The standard egg puff is usually a flaky, crunchy pastry, stuffed with unmentionable looking vegetarian things (no one really knows what exactly) and half a boiled egg. Luxuries like a full egg and all have not been experienced till date.

It’s also usually quite oily, but the rest of it more than makes up for it.
And when we said flaky pastry, we weren’t kidding—abandon all attempts at eating it neatly, because no matter how careful you are, it’ll end up on your face, hair, clothes, everything. 

Also, the degree to how much of it gets on your face directly corresponds to how close by your college/tuition/building/office crush is to you. If they come up and talk to you and all means gone. Puff suddenly becomes face wash.

And beard bearing boys, just forget it. Once you accept that this is the law of the egg puff Universe, your life will be better and tastier for it.

At The Permit Room

The eggs puffs at ours are an homage to the legendary egg puffs served at all the local bakeries in Bangalore. 
Of course, our version has all the makings of the classic minus the grease and unmentionable stuffings.

For the base layer, which is basically the puff daddy (sorry), we use a layer of pastry, baked in-house and fresh, every morning. Just for you.

To this, we add the yolk spread, which is a seasoned mixture of egg yolks and mayonnaise, with a tomato and onion thokku. This mixture adds the necessary spice and masala quotient to this dish.

Iyengar Egg Puff_The Permit Room.JPG

On top, half a plain boiled egg white (we told you no? Full egg is against puff culture.)
The cavity of the egg is filled with the aforementioned thokku.

The sauce part of our version is a departure from the original egg puff. We do a curry hollandaise, which adds creamy goodness to the overall dish, while also creating textural balance between the creamy sauce and flaky puff pastry.

I mean, if that isn’t a wholesome, very best egg puff, we don’t know what is! 
Iyengar Bakery fellows will also be proud, we hope.

Our Chef Says

“This dish is particularly close to my heart, probably my favourite from the appetisers. It’s nostalgic, it’s nice, there’s a whole bunch of great flavours and textures—just such a feel good snack. 
But it’s also a messy one. Due to the severe nature of flakiness associated with the puff and the dripping sauce, I'd classify it as finger(s) food. And although I think the messiness adds to the charm, it’s definitely not something I’d recommend on a first date. Maybe fifth.”

Your Brand New Beer Adda

It’s October—the month associated with the greatest and best beer festival in the world, Oktoberfest.

And yes, we know we’re not a brewery or anything, but we’re not ones to be left behind either.

We’re borrowing the expertise of our close cousins Toit, and bringing you some very best craft beers for sampling.

If there’s one thing that is quintessentially Bangalore, that’s the whole pub city tag. And while we’re not big fans of these tags in general, this one seems to have endured through the times.

  Our bartender is lot more cheery than this fellow. Promise!

Our bartender is lot more cheery than this fellow. Promise!

Beer is as intrinsically part of the Bengaluru DNA as are mandatory visits to Lal Bagh and Cubbon Park at least once in your lives. (Especially when you have to take some unsuspecting foreign types on a tour.)

We Bangalore fellows might not have the best traffic sense, and definitely not the best roads, but if there’s one thing we know, it’s our beers.

And it seemed like a natural progression for us at The Permit Room to move towards becoming a quality beer serving joint, if we were going to stay true to representing the local essence of this southern city. 

We’re offering a wide range of local and imported craft brews on tap and in bottles—everything from Geist on tap, to bottled Hoegaarden and Bira. Perfect for hangs with the gang, or when you’re in the mood to be one fancy fellow. Just take one look.

  And while you're here, some useful tips.

And while you're here, some useful tips.

After years of handling great beer at Toit, we’re aiming to make The Permit Room your new favourite craft beer adda. It runs in the family and all, so why not, right?

But as local as we are and love to be, we’re on point with international standards too. We've installed a cold room specifically for this purpose, where craft beers will be stored in kegs at just the right temperature. The beer is then pumped from here, through specially insulated beer lines, straight into your glass, so that you can get pumped up. 

Top form, top class, top that glass! Cheers magga!

French Press Coffee

It’s the second day of the week. 

So, you’re probably pushing deadlines, dealing with snarky colleagues and straight up avoiding your boss, all the while contemplating sending that resignation letter that’s been lying in drafts for the last year and a half.

Or you’re the type that’s pursuing their passion, with the most life-affirming Instagram account, surrounded by your best friends, good vibes and puppies.

In any case, coffee is your best friend—whether it’s to stay up all night contemplating the positive energy of the moon or working on a nasty report. And we’ve got your back.

  And thus begins a glorious photo essay.

And thus begins a glorious photo essay.

We've French Press brewing going on at ours, and it is the perfect fuel for all things life.

But, you have a coffee dispenser at work so what’s the big deal with French Press anyway?
Glad you asked.

Quick Fact

For the un-caffeinated, the French Press is a coffee brewing device patented by Italian designer Attilio Calimani in 1929. 

Other not-so-easy-to-pronounce names that it is known by are cafetière and сafetière à piston. There’s also the not-so-inspiring names like press pot, coffee press and coffee plunger.
But we’ll just stick to French Press for now. Oui? Oooyeee!

  Charge it, point it, zoom it, PRESS IT, snap it, work it, quick - consume it.

Charge it, point it, zoom it, PRESS IT, snap it, work it, quick - consume it.

A Little Info

The French Press method for making coffee is a full-immersion method that allows the hot water to come in contact with the coarse-ground beans, without passing through a paper or bleached filter. 

It uses a metal mesh filter, so the essential oils end up percolating into the brew. French Press also allows for steeping, resulting in a much more flavourful brew that also has a great texture. 

Plus, antioxidants and all the healthy nutrients get retained too. Coffee tends to get a bad rap in the health department, but studies have shown that in small doses, coffee is actually pretty good for you.
(And no, ten shots of it before noon don’t count as small doses.)

French Press Coffee_Permit Room

The Beany Benefits

With this method, you're essentially getting the full taste of the coffee, all the flavours that you need to taste, the way you’re meant to.

The French Press helps maintain the right water temperature through the whole process too, which aids in extracting a rich and robust flavour from the coffee grounds. Dispensers tend to hit extreme temperatures, getting too hot and also cooling off too fast, so they only manage to maintain ideal temperatures for a small portion of the process.

Also, French Press brewing is more nature-friendly because you’re not using bleached filters and there’s absolutely no waste (your coffee grounds make for great fertilisers in your garden). 

  Give it up for our secret hand model.

Give it up for our secret hand model.

Additionally, impurities that come from the manufacturing process and impurities that sometimes show up in drip machines are non-existent here. 

Plus, you require fewer grounds to achieve a superior taste. And the French Press makes sure you don’t miss a single one, ensuring complete saturation. So much so that some coffee grounds end up in your coffee, adding to the charm of it all.

Sure. The flavour might be different from what you’re used to, but it’s definitely the good kind of different. 

It’s all rather raw and quaint. The coffee aroma filling the air, essential oils floating on top, tiny bean particles in your mouth—what’s not to love?

French Press coffee_Permit Room

If you’re going to be throwing back cups of caffeine through the week, you may as well do it right.

The Mollagatawny

THERE ISN'T A palate MORE DIVERSE THAN AN INDIAN ONE. AND YOU'D BE HARD PRESSED TO FIND THAT KIND OF VARIETY FROM JUST A SINGLE SECTION OF THE COUNTRY ANYWHERE ELSE.

One of the earnest ideas behind The Permit Room is to introduce people to the sheer variety of traditional South Indian cuisine, but with a modern-day take on it. Essentially it's recipes from your ajji's (Kannada for grandma) kitchen, but served in a rather modern, and also cocktail-friendly form. Your ajji may or may not approve.

Thindi Tales is an attempt to take you one step deeper, the equivalent of getting you to eat meals with your fingers, and hopefully help you appreciate South-Indian cuisine in all its gastronomic glory. 

 Peppery, brothy goodness.

Peppery, brothy goodness.

A community that definitely merits a mention, as a noteworthy influencer of South-Indian cuisine, is the Anglo-Indian community. 
And while they're easily some of the most colourful people you'll meet in the lower part of the sub-continent, we've picked one of their simplest and most versatile dishes—the Mollagatawny. 

A Little History

Straight off the bat, the first thing that probably catches your attention is the name of this dish.  It sounds vaguely familiar but also not, right?
That’s probably because the word ‘mollagatawny’ is an anglicised version of two words originally from the Tamil language—‘molugu’ meaning pepper and ‘tanni’ meaning water. So, literally, pepper water. 
(There's one slang definition of 'tanni' also, which our bartender will be more than happy to explain. But more on that later.)

  Don't forget the garnish, child.

Don't forget the garnish, child.

Mollagatawny soup is essentially an Anglo-Indian dish, which was originally prepared with peppers and well, water, among other things, and hence the name. 

It was served to the British troops stationed in Tamilnadu as a stew, who then improvised and added meat to this soup, along with other ingredients, over time.

And that’s probably the beginning of the many, many variations it’s gone through since.
So much so, that it’s hard to say what its exact original form might have been.

Regardless though, it became quite the rage amongst the British colonisers, and when the bloody buggers went packing, they made sure they took this recipe back home. And sent some to Australia too! 

The Dish

The many revisions of the Mollagatawny saw some rather interesting additions.

Everything from chicken stock to mutton stock has been used, along with chicken pieces, onion, bacon(!), some fruits even, and to seal the meal-deal, some rice on the side. (Because, of course. Anything that claims to have some association with Tamilnadu must, without fail, link back to steamed rice in some way.)

The broth-like texture might have first been achieved with the use of coconut milk. Although today, apart from stock, people use yogurt for the same consistency too.

At The Permit Room

It’s the perfect dish really. You can consume it like a thick soup or throw some rice in and have the definition of comfort food on a plate. It works in any form.

And even though there were so many versions of the dish to go with, we decided to keep it simple and classy—a mildly curried chicken lentil soup in twice reduced chicken stock. Because good for the soul, child.

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Our Chef Says

“The Mollagatawny is one of those gorgeous culinary history lessons in a bowl. It’s such a simple dish, yet so versatile. You can consume it in any form that suits you really, as a soup or even as a curry with some steamed rice. Few dishes are such a great representation of cultural amalgamation as this one, and that's kind of what makes it so much more fun to make.”