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.


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