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.
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.
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.
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.