Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Ideal Cafe Ghee Roast Masala - New Sensation in Cooking

When Shibroor Prabhakar Kamath popularly known as 'Ideal Pabba' started ice cream business on May 1st 1975, he might have had the least idea that he would start making ready to use masala paste some day.

Ideal Ice Creams have come a long way, satiating the taste buds of millions of people by establishing a brand that is a household name today.

They started in a small way at Prabhakar Kamath's Ideal Traders on Market Road in Hampankatta Mangalore which was originally a books and stationery shop, also dealing in fire crackers during Diwali and Tulsi Pooja season. Stringent quality, generous quantity and affordability have made Ideal Ice Creams maintain a perfect balance over the decades and they have many flavours and parlour products today, including quick snacks and desserts. They also have innovated ice creams and brought out prize winning presentations like Ice Cream Pizza and Marzi Paan. They also didn't think twice before introducing traditional ice pops and ice cream flavours such as Treat, Panakam, Bella Candy, Aambuli, Badam Milk, Jackfruit Payasam. Their signature item Gadbad has won the hearts of most of the frozen foods lovers and Ideal's means Gadbad for many!

With four spacious parlours including the biggest one in South India on Market Road, Ideal Cafe in Ideal Towers opposite Sharavu temple and the most popular hangout Pabba's in Lalbagh and innumerable outlets in undivided Dakshina Kannada district in Karnataka, it is no wonder, Shibrur Prabhakar Kamath has the Midas touch!

As any industry grows, it requires young and dynamic leadership that can understand the expectations of the people at local level and changing trends at the global level.

Prabhakar Kamath is blessed with a son who fits the description fully, who has deep knowledge of culinary arts and who has studied science of food and beverages at the world standard institute CFTRI Mysuru, who works hard, who is friendly and god fearing, who is a trained Hindustani vocalist and talented singer, who has expertise in public relation, who takes dynamic decisions, who has passion for renewable energy sources and concern for environmental protection, who believes in the adage "Simple living and high thinking".

He is Shibrur Mukund Kamath, Managing Director of Ideal Ice Creams, brain behind innovative foods in Ideal Ice Creams as well as Ideal Cafe.

Under Mukund Kamath's lead, things changed fast and their parlours got face lift with cool ambiance and comfortable seating. Almost all the ice cream flavours Mukund Kamath introduced have been fast moving and he also introduced regular and premium flavours in most of the parlour and store products. Ideal Cafe has an extensive menu of snacks, combo meals and special a la carte items which are time tested. His compassion for the hundreds of workers who toil to keep the four outlets specklessly clean and hygienic while tirelessly serving the customers with a smile has seen that the employees are well paid, well looked after with food and accommodation and they even have a transport facility to pick and drop them! Even during present difficult times with Covid Pandemic, they haven't abandoned their workers, and are paying the ones on permanent roll full salary, if not paying handsome retirement benefits for senior staff who took retirement.

There are three other people from Ideal family who work relentlessly for the growth of the company. They are Prabhakar Kamath's daughter Usha Shenoy, son in law Vivek Shenoy and Mukund Kamath's wife Divya Kamath. They are behind the screen and are guiding forces in innovating, working out strategies and also maintenance and marketing.

They believe in the adage "Sarve janaah sukhino bhavantu".

Ghee Roast is a dish which is highly popular with the young and the old, and Ideal Cafe has popularised Paneer/Mushroom/Soya Ghee Roast with Neeru Dosa, a combo meal that is a fast seller. However, since many avoid family outings and dining out are deprived of their favourite dish, and some also being away from Mangaluru, Ideal Cafe Ghee Roast Masala was introduced by Ideal Cafe, which is perhaps the first ready to cook ghee roast masala introduced by anyone.

It has already won the hearts of many customers who have consumed it. Home makers, office goers, businessmen, bachelors, they all find it a life saver when they want to prepare tongue tickling ghee roast quickly.

Seeing many of my friends posting favourable opinions about Ideal Cafe Ghee Roast Paste on social media, I too was curious to check how Ideal Cafe Ghee Roast Paste tastes. So I made four variants of Ghee Roast with it for a start, and my observations are:

1. There is absolutely no change in taste of what Paneer Ghee Roast and Mushroom Ghee Roast they were serving in Ideal Cafe. In fact it is one step ahead in richness and smoothness of the masala. The rich aroma of pure ghee makes the dish heavenly.
2. All can not make ghee roast masala like that at home. The formula seems to be arrived at after many trials, which is also a practice Ideals follow while introducing new Ice Cream flavours. 
3. Packing is top notch with thick food grade vacuum sealed plastic stand pouch. I also have seen their 500Gm pack, but the one I used was 250Gm. 
4. 250Gm pouch is priced at 180/- and is sufficient to make ghee roast with about 500Gm Paneer, Mushrooms, cleaned Prawns or Squid or with 750Gm chicken on bone. Just empty the contents into a frying pan, add 1/4 cup water, mix well and bring to a boil, add the main ingredient and cook over medium flame for 10 mins for paneer and mushroom, 15 mins for prawns and 20 mins for chicken. You have the perfect ghee roast on your plate for the entire family. For seafood and chicken ghee roast, you can add little Kashmiri chilli powder and a pinch each of turmeric powder and kasoori methi to make it more spicy and flavourful.

"Seeing is believing". You can see the results in pictures. 
Paneer Ghee Roast
Mushroom Ghee Roast
Mushroom Ghee Roast
Prawn Ghee Roast
Prawn Ghee Roast
Chicken Ghee Roast
Chicken Ghee Roast
"Like many others in the hospitality industry, we are also going through difficult times, but we are brave enough to face the situation. Our employees are giving full cooperation and whatever changes we have made are welcome by them. We have window sales and our own door delivery service, and some of the ice creams are still supplied to stores. However, we have to be innovative and have to make use of the resources we have to bring out some product which can give users the same taste as we prepare in Ideal Cafe. So for a start we have introduced a new product Ghee Roast Masala Paste, which is easy to use and fast to cook Ghee Roast, one of the most popular items on our menu. We have one masala paste with which you can prepare Paneer Ghee Roast, Mushroom Ghee Roast, Soya Chunks Ghee Roast and also ghee roast with seafood, eggs and chicken. This new product is manufactured by Ideal Cafe, packed in 250Gm and 500Gm packs that are available online. We have shipping facilities for destinations available within India. Just visit our online store, find your PIN Code and if delivery is available at your address, place an order and get it delivered to your door. Our ghee roast masala paste is prepared using choicest spices and other ingredients adding pure ghee, and has no added colour or preservative. So it is well accepted by all age groups. We have plans to introduce more innovative instant products in the coming days", says Mukund Kamath, and that's an honest statement from an honest entrepreneur.

To order Ideal Cafe Ghee Roast, you can visit their web store at:
or login to Rawal Home Foods at:

Home delivery charges apply for Mangalureans and courier charges apply for outstation delivery.

Friday, August 14, 2020

KFE - New Address, First Look

M/s Kamath Caterers have been in hospitality industry since last 5 decades and are famous not only in Mangaluru but internationally. Their culinary expertise and consistency in quality quantity and capacity has been unparalleled by any caterer in Mangaluru.

Now they have ventured into a new enterprise called KFE(Not to be confused with KFC). Expansion of KFE is Kamath's Food Express.

KFE opened its new outlet today at New Chitra Junction this morning and started serving hungry Mangalureans who seek homely tasty affordable traditional South Indian a, North Indian and Chinese items.

First look says, it is well planned, clean and neat setup in an old house that was once residential home of a respectable GSB family. There was a shop on ground floor which they have converted into KFE billing and parcel counters. Inside they have the pantry kitchen where they pack food cooked at their factory in bulk and also prepare select a-la-carte items fresh and hot. They have enough chefs, helpers and family members who attend to the crowd that had started swarming well before 11:00am to fetch their parcel or to take items on the spot. 
"Some inconvenience may have caused especially to those who have booked parcel in advance over whatsapp, because we had the 'Gana Homa Ritual' this morning and after clearing everything we had to start packing food. Besides , lot of people swarmed suddenly to place spot order and that has also caused some hinderance to quick disposal of pre-booked parcel.
Though we have the capacity to prepare and provide food in bulk, for customers' convenience we are making small portions sufficient for two persons with moderate appetite, so that people don't waste food. We use food grade containers and silver pouches for hygiene. That consumes more time and resource but at the end of the day, a satisfied customer makes our efforts worthwhile, that has been the hallmark of Kamath Caterers since last five decades under the guidance of our founder Late Sri Ramanath Kamath", says Vinayak Kamath, brain behind the new venture.

"We had overwhelming response today and had to prepare some curries thrice to meet the demand. We have a large customer base and we did not want to disappoint anyone. So we tried our best to attend to all those who came for food parcel today. Our quality is assured, we plan to provide traditional GSB and South Indian style lunch time preparations and also other specialties without compromise on quality or quantity. I personally supervise preparation to packing." Sudhakar Kamath, Managing Partner of M's Kamath Caterers says with an ever friendly and humble smile in spite of looking tired running around, supervising, paying personal attention to known customers.

Their menu has select curries, side dishes,  chappati and one rice special dish, plus some snack delicacies, desserts and North Indian and Chinese special starters and main course dishes apart from some a-la-carte dishes. They also have counter sale of pickles, condiments and packed sweets and namkeens.

Further Update(August 16, 2020) :

Pricing for the quantity looks very reasonable. Packing is neat. I got some items home for our dinner and found them tasty, though some items need tweaking to suit daily consumer's palates by cutting down on oil, food colour and thickening agents. 
Being leading caterers since 5 decades, they need to understand the pulse of daily consumers and prepare items as we prepare them at home.

Oil used is good and I could smell pure coconut oil used for frying fritters. Pathrade podi, Valval and Paattholi were disappointing. Capsicum Rice Bhaat was tasty but oily and loaded with colour. Rice Bhaat quantity and flavour is very good and the container used for packing is sturdy and reusable as you can see in the picture.

Best items were Chana Suran Ghashi 
and Mango Pineapple Curry. Ace items were Holige, Jeevgujje Podi and Kashi Halwa, which are signature item of M/s Kamath Caterers. Holige is the best I have ever tasted in my life with perfect balance of sweetness, taste, flavour and texture. They can reduce added sugar in Kashi Halwa by 20% as per my view. They have ready made Podi Gooli(Fritters masala marinade) on sale, which one can try to get that authentic taste and flavour at home. 

Overall impression is good and I am sure, they will gradually change the style to suit daily consumers and senior citizens who need to watch their diet, than making every item 'special' as they serve for functions. 

Capsicum Rice
Paattholi, Pathrade Podi, Jeevgujje Podi, Capsicum Rice with Raita
Capsicum Rice with Raita, Mango Pineapple Curry, Chana Suran Ghashi, Valval, Kashi Halwa

For a start they have parcel service from 11:00am to 2:30pm, and no home delivery. They have started Seasonal Specialty Sunday from August 16th. They have plans to start evening counter, in house dining and home delivery too. Let us wait and watch.
Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa wishes every success to Sudhakar Kamath, Vinayak Kamath and Team KFE.

Their contact details:
Whatsapp: 7022637777
Call: 7022867777
Disclaimer: This is not a business promotion but just a friendly gesture for wishing my freinds Sudhakar Kamath and Vinayak Kamath success in their new venture.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Independence Day Greetings

Wishing All Our Followers a Very Happy 72nd Independence Day
Celebrating with Tiranga/Tricolour Karachi Halwa.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Balochistan Food Festival at Hotel Ocean Pearl by Mahesh Nayak Bovikana

About the author: 
Mahesh Nayak is a journalist, creative writer and graphic designer by profession, located in Mangaluru. Hailing from the famous Bovikana Nayak family, he has studied life and living style of various cultures. From his schooling days, he has been writing articles which have been published in various books, magazines, journals and newspapers. His articles and graphic designs reveal a touch of class, while taking us into the reality of virtual world.

Though we are living in the same locality, I came to know Mahesh just 6 years ago. Mahesh is at least a decade junior to me, his writing abilities and his penchant for good food and living have brought him closer to me. He loves traditional foods and has a good knowledge of GSB style food and ingredients. Mahesh has travelled widely and has left no stone unturned, when it comes to sharing his experiences.

His pastimes are mainly reading, writing true stories and poems, petty adventures, animal care, video documentaries, studying flora and fauna and socialising with creative groups. He has been the executive editor of Mangalore Today print magazine since many years. He runs Iris Design & Communications, an advertisement and designing consultancy in Kodialguthu East, Mangaluru.

This is Mahesh's first article for Kudpiraj's Garam Tawa. In this article, he has reviewed the Balochistan Food Festival which is running at the Ocean Pearl, Mangaluru. I am sure, it will enthrall the readers while taking us into a virtual journey through the colours and aroma of the lavish Balochistan spread.

Thank you Mahesh for the inputs.

- Kudpi Raj
Balochistan Food Festival 
Balochistan could well have been Timbuktu. Hardly anyone even knew it existed on the map. But it’s been in the news lately for political reasons, the result of which is a food festival at Hotel
Ocean Pearl. Balochistan Food Festival, I suspect, is a brain child of the hotel’s marketing department, which would have instantly smelled an opportunity to please the guests with the region’s new found mystique.

Balochistan is the largest of Pakistan’s five provinces and is wedged between Pakistan (which it hates), Afghanistan, Iran etc. That’s as bad as life can get. Much of its cuisine has to do with roasting direct on fire and some say it’s the birth place of kebab. Anyway I was sufficiently excited by the idea of the festival and decided to check it out.

Coral Restaurant, the venue of the food festival wore a festive look with cutouts of camels and enticing displays of sacks full of grains and spices. The festival features a-la-carte menu. Unfortunately I had only me to order for and I had to choose carefully. True to Balochistan’s reputation, most of the food items were of Tandoori lineage and there was good choice between fish, chicken and lamb preparations along with some treats for the veggies too.
I decided to begin with soup and asked for a Murgh Asrafi Shorba. It was good. This I followed with Saaji Chicken, which is supposed to be a popular dish. Normally a whole chicken is roasted. Here I was served with four roasted chicken thighs. Though tasting a bit unfamiliar it was good to eat – maybe the strangeness is because the spices and herbs used in the masala are alien to us. For main course I asked for Murgh Dum Biryani, which was a mix of white rice and coloured rice with two chicken pieces thrown in. It was delicious, but not much different from Coral’s regular Biryani. For dessert I had Kesari Phirni, which was also good.
Murgh Asrafi Shorba
Saaji Chicken
Murgh Dum Biryani
Kesari Phirni
Balochistan Food Festival is worth a try. The price is reasonable and the quantity is generous. The taste might seem unfamiliar, but after all it’s supposed to be from an unfamiliar place.

When it comes to food festivals it’s a good idea to go as a big crowd as you can try out many more dishes. I was trapped into a solo position. Hence I had to order very little and still parcel about half the stuff.

Balochistan Food Festival is hosted by Hotel Ocean Pearl (Coral Restaurant) and runs from 11th June to 24th June.

A footnote: My lunch was actually a treat from my rich friend Abdullah who could not join in the feast as he was fasting for Ramzan. The dude not only suffered the torture of witnessing me gobble to glory on an empty stomach, but also paid the bill without a second thought. Here is a photo of my friend commanding his portion of the table.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Coffee Luck with Kopi Luwak

"Rajani Maam, would you like to have some coffee?" Arun asked me as I relaxed in the sofa seat of his home in Kottara Chowki on September 19th, last year.

"Not at this hour. I normally avoid coffee after dark!" I replied.

Visibly disheartened, Arun reiterated that it was not usual coffee, but something unique he had brought from Indonesia during his recent visit. He said it is Kopi Luwak which is much different from how they process coffee.

I was about to say no again, but I exclaimed aloud, "Kopi Luwak? I think that sounds familiar and I think I have read about it somewhere before! Is it by any chance coffee processed from coffee fruit consumed by Civet Cats?"

"Oh you seem to know everything Rajani maam! I was talking about exactly the same coffee. Kopi Luwak is nothing but coffee processed from beans obtained from the Civet Cats! It is very expensive, but I feel lucky being gifted a pack of the unique coffee powder by an associate in Indonesia! The pack is still unopened, and I wanted to consume it with someone special. Let us have Kopi Luwak!"
Kopi Luwak Pack
I was thrilled to hear about something which I had never ever expected to taste in my life! Yet, a whiff of slight apprehension shrouded my mind that the coffee is processed in a strange and weird process, which normal humans with sensitive taste and slow response to acquired taste may not relish!

As we went deep into discussion about the coffee, a strong aroma of coffee emanated from the kitchen where Arun's beloved wife Nishita opened the pack of Kopi Luwak and wafted into the hall, reaching our nostrils at almost 25 feet away! Both I and Arun exclaimed in disbelief about the divine aroma of the product.
Kopi Luwak ready for consumption
Nishita came with two cups of coffee and its pale colour sort of disappointed me, thinking about the strong and dark South Indian filter coffee we consume regularly at home. As I took a sip, an array of flavours danced on my taste buds making me forget every negative thing I had thought about the coffee!

That light coloured sweet aromatic coffee had won my heart with its unique taste at the very first sip, and there I was, one of the luckiest people on earth having tasted the legendary 'Kopi Luwak'.
Dr. Arun Isloor with wife Nishita, sons Nishant and Anway
Dr. Arun Isloor is Associate Professor in Chemistry department, NITK, Surathkal. He is my brother in law Dr. Suresh D Isloor's nephew and son of Mohan D Isloor and Sheela M Isloor from Sirsi. He is married to Nishita, a scientist turned home maker. The couple have two sons, Nishant studying in high school and Anway in primary school. Dr. Arun has travelled extensively in connection with research on membrane technology for purification of water. He tours the Orient often and writes about food and culture of the places he visits. His articles have appeared in Kannada magazines, mainly 'Sudha'.

Here is the translated version of the Kannada article in Sudha magazine appeared on October 19, 2017 by Dr. Arun Isloor on Kopi Luwak, supposed to the most expensive unique coffee, processed naturally by the Civet Cats of Indonesia, then further processed and marketed by major companies all over the world for home consumption.
Expensive Coffee – By Dr. Arun M Isloor
Dr. Arun Isloor's article in Sudha Kannada Magazine Dt. October 19, 2017
Palembang, the second biggest port city, also the capital of Southern Sumatra stands over the banks of River Musi. In the Seventh Century, this city was dominated by the Hindus and was ruled by a king named SriVijaya. Next Asian Games will be held in this city. Beautification of the city is in progress. After travelling by a short flight of 70 minutes from Kualalampur landing at the Sultan Mohammed Badruddin Airport, I was received by Dr. Yerna Yaluvati, Epha and Eva.

On the way, Dr. Yerna took me to a famous restaurant. After ordering some of the popular local snacks, she asked me, "Would you like to taste Kopi Luwak?"

Until then, I knew that in Malaysia they called coffee as 'Kopi'. Out of curiosity, I asked about Kopi Luwak. She told me that she will tell me about it after I finished consuming the snacks!

I didn't fail to notice that the price of a cup of Kopi Luwak was more than four times that of normal coffee!

Minutes after I consumed the snacks, strong aroma of Kopi Luwak greeted me in a cup on the table. Though it looked like normal coffee, it had no bitterness but had a wonderful smooth taste! 

As Dr. Yerna explained me about Kopi Luwak, the coffee I had consumed almost came back to my mouth! Luwak, a kind of Civet Cat consumes the coffee fruit and excretes the beans along with the faeces. Those beans are separated from the faecal matter, cleaned and processed to make coffee powder named as Kopi Luwak!

I now knew why Dr. Yerna didn't explain about it in the beginning!

After the 3 day workshop, they had arranged for visit to nearby tourism spots. I asked Dr. Yerna if a demonstration on collection of Kopi Luwak can be arranged. But, Palembang had no such processing center. However, Epha told me that in a village near her hometown, someone is manufacturing this kind of coffee in a tiny scale, and she was ready to take us there, to show the demonstration.

Civet Cat or Jungle Cat (Scientific name: Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus) consumes ripe coffee berries and excretes undigested coffee beans. These beans are collected, washed thoroughly and sun dried. Then the beans are processed and ground into coffee powder. The technology involves two natural processes that is natural choice of ingredient and ultimate digestive process. Civet Cats pick only the select ripe berries for consumption. Then the beans are subject to second process during digestion that is fermentation of the consumed beans, adding maturity and unique flavour to them.

In the olden days, natives used to collect these beans from the deep forests and process them. In the changing scenario, since last 18-20 years they rear the Civet Cats in farms in cages, feed them with select ripe berries and obtain Kopi Luwak.

"Coffee beans collected naturally from the jungles are far superior in taste and flavour than this method", says Epha who accompanied me.

Many a times, the cats die due to inability to get adjusted to artificial environment, epidemic caused by not maintaining hygiene, congested cages and overfeeding of artificial food. Of late, animal care organisations have been raising voices against this.

Rs.50000/- per K.G.!

Naturally obtained best grade 'Kopi Luwak', supposedly the most expensive Coffee Powder in the world, is priced anywhere from Rs. 35000/- to Rs.50000/- per Kilo. The ones processed in farms cost between Rs.5000/- to 7000/-. Its production is found mostly in Java, Sumatra, Bali and Sulawesi islands and in a small way at parts of Philippines and Malaysia.

When Coffee plantations were developed in Indonesia, Kopi Luwak was also produced. Dutch colonials brought coffee from Yemen and started growing coffee as commercial crop in some parts of Indonesia. They had full hold over coffee production; they controlled the workers, not allowing them to even taste the coffee they grew! So the workers had curiosity to taste it. They also observed that Luwak cats were consuming coffee berries and excreting coffee beans. They thus found a way to obtain coffee beans by washing and drying the excreted coffee beans and preparing coffee powder with their own methods. Then the aroma of Kopi Luwak attracted the Dutch, and they too became addicted to it.

There are many controversies regarding Kopi Luwak and its supremacy. Those pioneers in coffee industry don't agree that Kopi Luwak is the best coffee in the world. They say it maybe the most expensive and maybe having unique taste and aroma, but never the best coffee!

I also contacted via email Dr. Maximo Marco of Guelp University Ontario Canada, who has done extensive research on Kopi Luwak. According to Dr. Marco, digestive enzyme ‘Protease’ secreted within gastric mucosa of the Luwak cats gets absorbed into the consumed coffee beans, converting the proteins within the coffee beans into peptides and amino acids. Later when these beans are roasted, a process called "Millard Browning" takes place and that imparts a great flavour to the roasted beans. Same process can be observed in bakeries while baking breads and cookies, which gives a unique aroma to the dishes.

Subject to 24-36 hours of digestive process within the digestive system of the Civet Cats, the coffee beans get party sprouted, and thus they lose their bitterness to a great extent. Scientists in Florida USA have successfully achieved this artificial partial digestion process in labs and have obtained patent! Some companies in Vietnam have dipped coffee beans in enzyme solution to obtain fake Kopi Luwak.

After getting information on Kopi Luwak from Epha, she took me to a nearby village and we went in search of a man named 'Agung'. In the backyard of Agung‘s house, in a shack there were around 4-5 cages. Agung told us that some days ago two Luwaks could not get adjusted to the cages, and they died!  They were caught using a trap just 15 days ago in the jungle where they moved freely, but it is indeed a misfortune, they could not sustain the congested 3'x3' cages in which they were imprisoned!

A sudden idea flashed to my mind. I recalled having witnessed Civet Cats running around the yard of our old Sirsi house, consuming fruits from the 'Fishtail Palm(Baini)' in our neighbour Prabhu's compound and excreting the seeds.

"Is it possible to make coffee from Baini Seeds?” I wondered!

I asked Agung if they are fed only Coffee berries or other food as well. He told me that they feed them bananas, jaggery and rice apart from coffee fruit.

From one Luwak, they obtain around 30-80 Gms of wet coffee beans. Every morning they collect the faeces, and then they wash them thoroughly to separate the coffee beans. Further they dry them in the sun, roast them to a certain level and then grind them into coffee powder in a mortar by manually pounding. Such process involves no machines, the process is laborious, and thus the coffee is very expensive.

While I was discussing about Kopi Luwak with Agung and clicking the pictures, his wife offered us homemade Kopi Luwak. I found its taste and flavour more exotic than the Kopi Luwak I had tasted at the restaurant on the day of my landing in Indonesia.

In recent times, Bali and other countries charge the travellers some fee and show them around the 'Luwak Kopi' farms. However, the way selfish humans with profit motive rearing those innocent cats in cages and subject them to pressure for obtaining coffee beans did not appeal to me.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Image Copy Control