South Indian Soul Food at Zafran
Popular Indian Bistro Launches Limited Edition Simply South Menu in conjunction with Renowned Chef Chalapathi Rao
Indian cuisine is pretty diverse with its region-centric flavors and recipes. While curry can easily be referred as Indian food staple, the style and flavors are inevitably different. With a substantial difference in the level of spice to the use of the quintessential coconut, Indian cuisine reflects the culture and the lifestyle of the people of the region it comes from.
South of India is the birthplace of East Asian spices, known for their aroma, heat, and flavors worldwide. Zafran Indian Bistro is heading down south this season with a mouth-watering limited edition menu conceptualized by a team of Zafran chefs in conjunction with renowned Chef Chalapathi Rao, founder of the Simply South restaurant chain and the custodian for South Indian Culinary Art in India.
According to Chef Challu, as he is fondly known, “The Simply South menu is designed to burst the myth that South Indian food is just idlis, dosas, wadas and sambhar and truly showcases the diversity of South India, using spices, ingredients, cooking methods and flavors that are synonymous with this region.”
Featuring dishes that represent the five major Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and Kerala, the Simply South limited edition menu will be available at all Zafran outlets from 20th March to 15th May 2018.
Standout starters include Chapa Vepudu, a coastal Andhra delicacy of sliced fish, (**Chapa Vepudu is a dream come true for all the foodies who love spicy food, it has the perfect spiciness to it and tastes delicious) and Telangana’s Tala Gosht, aromatic mutton cubes marinated with ginger, garlic, and spices.
From the famed Keralan dish Alleppey prawn curry with its raw mango infused gravy to the bydgi chilies used in the Kori Ghee roast chicken dish from Karnataka, not to mention the Andhra style Kodi biryani, the main courses are all packed with flavor.
For vegetarians, the Tahir Vada starter made of lentils is a must-try, as are the Kai Kari Chettinad from Tamil Nadu and the Malabar Paccha Kari vegetable stew from Kerala, (TD – Malabar Paccha Kari: this dish simply blew our mind. If South Indian cuisine goes the fine dining route, this dish is on the top! the intensity of the flavors and the comforting richness of the coconut simply surpasses any Michelin starred dish). Traditional south Indian accompaniments also make an appearance on the Simply South menu including Iddiyapams, Parottas, and tender coconut Payasam. (TD – Caveat: the coconut milk Payasam is mindblowing and we are heading back for another shot!)
Commenting on why Zafran decided to take this journey down South, Rakshak Puri, general manager- Asian dining at Foodmark said, “The GCC has always had a deep connection with the Southern part of India. The first expats that settled in the GCC were from Kerala and neighboring states. Therefore, when the opportunity to work with a stalwart of South Indian cuisine like Chef Challu came around we just had to grab it. We are excited to be adding this new dimension to our menu and look forward to another successful promotion at Zafran, one that is certain to challenge our chefs and delight our diners.”
“To collaborate with one of the masters of South Indian cuisine is a real honor and I have no doubt that Simply South will be incredibly well-received by the city’s discerning diners,” said Chef Sajeev, executive chef at Zafran, who along with Chef Saabu, worked on this special menu with Chef Rao.
Together with Chef Challu, they visited the famed Waterfront fish market in Deira to find the choicest seafood, scoured the souks for specific herbs and spices and spent many hours in the kitchen perfecting each dish, resulting in a true labor of love.
Zafran Indian Bistro has two outlets in Dubai, one that recently opened in Dubai Marina Mall and the other at the popular Mirdif City Center. The award-winning restaurant is open to guests for lunch as well as dinner from 11 am – 11 pm on weekdays and 11 am – 12 am on weekends.
We spoke to Chef Chalapathi Rao about the new menu and the South Indian Cuisine watch the Video below!