Sattvam : An afternoon with Sattvik Food
I have no qualms in admitting that I like my meat A LOT so when there are plans to visit a vegetarian place that too a sattavik one, I am like what ? I feel I have washed all my sins for life in the few years when I turned a veggie, now I don't need to start again and the fact that it's not very close to home didn't add to it either. Don't get me wrong it's not that I don't like sattavik food but for me sattvik food is what you eat as prasad and the yummm langar in gurduwara's. I have indeed tried the food at Higher Taste in Isckon which is another sattavik place in Bangalore, the food was delicious yes but would I go back there I don't know. So with these apprehensions in mind also with a fair amount of curiosity since I had seen some lovely pictures floating around, from which it seemed that the good is so much more experimental than any other vegetarian place I have gone to in Bangalore.
So very reluctantly did I make my way to Sattavam with Swaps and some more friends. Me and another friend A walked into the place fashionably late when and the first thing that I saw on the table was this lovely looking yellow colored drink and considering Bangalore was getting roasted in its own heat it looked so inviting. It was a fabulous drink with saffron, basil and lemon. All notes were in perfect harmony and I absolutely loved it.
After we settled down with the drink, we tried the shorba - "Brocoli & Apple Shorba" such a welcome relief from tomato, dal and corn shorba's that you everywhere these days. I am not really a big soup person so I drank half of it and left the rest but that was not because it wasn't good. For me soup and salad is a meal in itself and when I go to places like these I don't want to fill myself up with soup. Yes you can call me greedy for food that way. The thing that stood out in the soup for me was the use of saffron and as the meal progressed I was surprised to see saffron used a lot and upon discussion with manager he told us it is one of the spice along with basil which is Sattvam's signature and you will find it used a lot across.
The essence of sattavik food is drawn from yoga and it is also called as Yogic diet. As wiki says.
A sattvic diet, also referred to as a yoga diet or sentient diet, is a diet based on foods that—according to Ayurveda and Yoga, are strong in the sattvaguna, and lead to clarity and upeksa (equanimity) of mind while also being beneficial to the body.
In simple terms it means not using any ingredients which are tamasic, garlic and onion being the most common. Going on not serving even tea and coffee. It also means that the food is always fresh since left overs are considered tamasic again.
After the shorba we moved on to the starters, we started with "Paneer Anardane Ki Tikka" and the first thing which takes you by a pleasant surprise is the plating, gorgeous the stuff looks, with each portion brought in a platter with sauces, salads and a lovely pouring jar of green chutney . I am not a paneer fan but one thing that stood out for this one is the fact that paneer was good, in the sense that it wasn't rubbery and chewy like the paneer you find in Bangalore. Kudos for that.
After seeing the pictures and reading about Sattavam online I had been waiting for the creative and experimental dishes to come and off they came with the next two starters we had. The paneer roll or what they called as "Haribhari Paneer Taktaki" was outstanding, the filling was great but what stood out for me was the green peas mash they served with it, I just couldn't stop eating it. I am gonna try that one at home soon.
The next starter was the "Baby Corn & Numbu ke patte ki Gilafe", now for me Gilafe is a Gilafe only when it has mutton in it but let me admit this wasn't bad. The tangy-bitter balance of lime leaves bring a different dimension to the dish, there actually was a long discussion on the table to figure out where is the bitterness coming from because it didn't feel like methi to most of us the most logical ingredient that could bring in that kind of nice bitterness to the kabab.
We also tried another drink which was called Orange Imlana a blend of oranges and tamarind and some spices, now this was a good drink and I might have even loved if I hadn't tasted the kesari shikanji before that. This was good but it just paled in front of the drink we had before, who said life is fair anyways.
Sattavam also serves a delicious buffet which to me looked different from the run of the mill buffet (I actually did go back and try the buffet since I was in that area last week and I have to tell you even the buffet was pretty good, they had stuff like tinda masala and gatte ki sabji in buffet along with a to die for rasmalai that my dining partner eat three of and a very interesting basil and mango mousse and the fact that I went back to a sattvik restaurant I think speaks volume about itself). We moved on to main course and were given a taste of some of their best curries and I have to say they were the best and most innovative I have eaten in a while. My standing complaint about North Indian food at most places is the oding of masalas to an extent that you can't taste anything at all, that all inbult flavours of the dish are lost. I was so happy to see what I got on my plate that day.
Aloo Gobhi l’anglaise a curry of baby potatoes, broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes, though the broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes sound like a small change but they bring a certain dimension to the curry which is most un-Indian in taste yet so close to curries. The gwar patta panchphoran was an interesting dish again, made of Aloe Vera and local greens it was a treat to the tongue, I can almost imagine having a guessing game around this dish and no one coming close to aloe vera, this is the first time I have seen a restaurant serving aloe as a curry.
When it came to breads we tried the Sufiyani Kulchan and Cheese Jalapeno Naan, I loved both of them in their own ways.
They also served us their signature dish – the Amritas Ke Kofte which Cottage Cheese balls stuffed with Green peas in a Guava, Pomegranate and coriander Gravy. Now I have to admit when I looked at the dish I was taken by surprise and a little disappointment because what I was looking forward to was a lovely pink tinted gravy which the green of the koftas peeking out that I had seen on gourmet india , so after cribbing about over doing the photoshop on food pictures and the like we proceeded to taste it and before you taste it you get not to be missed amrood aroma and when you taste the dish you meet the delicate balance of sweetness and spiciness that is really difficult to achieve. this may be was the dish of the day for me in spite of being disappointed by the looks.
The other dish that blew my mind was the Chote Samose Ki Sabji, Mini samosas in a creamy besan and greens-gravy almost like kadhi but yet not kadhi and the samosa's OMG yummy, I really think you should just taste this one as no words would really do justice to it.
We also tried betel leaves biryani which frankly I am confused about, I mean if someone hadnt told me it was beetel leaf I wouldn't have known so it was a disappointment at the same time I understand that they couldn't have over done it, all in all something that didn't settle too well with my taste buds, yours might be different., try if you are in a mood to experiment.
They say good things come in small packages and good things come to those who wait, both came true in our case when we took the first bite of ghevar. I can safely say that it was the best ghevar I have ever eaten in bangalore and better than a few I have eaten in delhi too and the fact that I am claiming something to be better than delhi doesn't happen too often so you guys better have it before I change my mind.
In the end, I know its far but trust me its every bit worth it :)
35, Sankey Road (opp. Shell Petrol pump),
Cost: Buffets – Rs.395/- (Mon-Fri) and Rs.495/- (Sat and Sun). They have no a la carte on weekends.
Special a la carte Menu – Starters Rs. 150/- onwards, Mains Rs. 300/- onwards.
Parking: Valet Available.