Monday, July 14, 2008

The Eater's Digest - 3

Vegetarianism used to be quite the norm in Chennai. Even today, there are some landlords who would not let their houses out to folk who eat meat - apart from the belief that meat-eating causes man to absorb animalistic tendencies, they do not like the idea of the kitchen being used as a mini-slaughterhouse. By and large, major taboos around eating meat have faded out and with vegetarianism coming back into 'fashion', it is far easier to resist peer pressure, whether your preference is for the vegetables or the meat - unlike the past, where non-vegetarians would deny such tastes and vegetarians would get defensive about their choices.

Fashionable vegetarianism has opened up more options for dining out. Apart from Saravana Bhavan and its clones, there are a few others that have tried to pick up vegetarian niches; one such is the Sanjeevanam restaurants, which have gone uber-vegetarian, by introducing a lunch menu, where courses are served - and are expected to be eaten - in a particular order. Unlike other thali lunches, where you can eat the dishes on the side in any order you choose (and ask for multiple helpings), the Rajakeeyam lunch regulates what you eat, too. Though at first look, the portions appear small, the restaurant ensures you are well fed by the time you finish your payasam (dessert).

Took this picture of the lunch menu when I had gone there for dinner once. Though dinner is good, I would prefer to go there for lunch, despite the possibility of having to wait a while. There is one peculiarity that many might find irritating; the waiters enforce it as a strong suggestion and I think it is good practice to follow it, but quite a few people ruin their digestion by being irritated at the denial of what is a basic necessity. That's right, Sanjeevanam strongly recommends that, if you are going for the Rajakeeyam lunch, you keep your water glass unfilled until you have finished eating!

6 comments:

Ravindran said...

One arguement in favour of vegetarianism is that why shd living being thrust dead bodies inside and contaminate the system

crazyBugga said...

hey is this the place where doctors and lawyers come to cook? am slighta confused... i think even tat restaurant was called sanjeevanam...

and wanted to ask u... do plants have emotions? spread some gyan pls...

Ming the Merciless said...

I love vegetarian food but I want meat once in awhile. So I try to be a part-time vegetarian. :-)

babooshka said...

Now I am a veggie, and my partner is a meat eater.Life can be complicated.
REAT POST.

magiceye said...

the ghettoisation by vegetarians has begun in right earnest in mumbai now. one mans food is another amn's poison.

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Ravindran>> Yes, that's a powerful one!

>> CB>> No, that was Annalakshmi - don't know if it is still around, though, haven't noticed it for a while.

As for the gyan: I don't think they have emotions - but like any living thing, there's a stimulus-response transaction and so they respond positively to soothing music, soft words, etc.... hmmm, saying all that makes me feel far wiser than I am :) Will see if I can send across some more - better - information.

>> Ming>> Haha! And I'm a part-time non-vegetarian! That's a good one :D

>> Babooshka>> At least you won't reach into each others' plates! :)

>> Magiceye>> Tough! I don't want to go back to feeling guilty about being a (part-time) meat eater :(