Namma SLN, Gandhi Bazaar, Bengaluru. Photos courtesy – Naveen Suresh
Namma SLN is a tiny eatery located right next to Roti Ghar on the busy main road of Gandhi Bazaar. So what differentiates Namma SLN from the gazillion outlets that this great city has in its repertoire? What makes it hold its own against some of the most legendary South Indian eateries located in Gandhi Bazaar?
Well, for starters, the personalized service given by the ever-smiling Narasimha Murthy Uncle endears itself to you almost instantaneously. He tirelessly runs this place and watches with an eagle-eye each and every dish that is served from his tiny yet incredibly busy kitchen. Enough said, let’s now focus on the food!!!
The highlight of Namma SLN would be undoubtedly his Sabakki (Dill) flavoured/infused Idlies and Dosais. The Sabakki Idlies are just as soft as any other idli however the slight sharpness of the dill in it, gives it its unique identity. It is a good idea to taste the idli for its flavour before dunking it in the oh-so-delicious chutney. Oh! Do request for Uncle to add some fresh homemade ghee to it.
Next up, you must try the Sabakki Dosai! It’s not drastically different from the regular Bangalore Dosai (Thick and crisp from the outside and slightly softer on the inside), however, the Dill flavouring does reveal itself rather nicely. Whether you opt for the Sabakki or the Regular Dosai, you will definitely be pleased with your choice.
Another must-try dish is the Open Masala Dosai.It’s basically a dosai that has not been folded. It’s served open with Chutney pudi/podi (powder) liberally sprinkled on top. The sizeable chunk of potato masala rests rather majestically on the dosai. Here too, you must ask for some homemade ghee to be slathered on the dosai. The taste of this dish, will, in all probability, remain with you for a long time because of the fantastic inter-mingling of flavours and textures. In one moment, you feel the spice of the Pudi/Podi along which is almost immediately neutralized when you taste the ghee, the next moment you taste the perfectly cooked potato masala and just the dosai. All-in-all a treat to the senses.
The last (but not the least) of the dishes that is very popular at Namma SLN is the ‘palav’. This version of palav has much higher spice levels when compared to what we are used to. The spices added into the pulao are dominated by Dalchini (Cinnamon) however it isn’t overpowering. Need I repeat that here too you must add ghee? Yes, you must. The chutney will provide you with the perfect accompaniment to wipe out the banana leaf clean.
Before I wrap up this article, some noteworthy mentions are a) Mudana Uncle uses only banana leaves to serve his food. Plastic is a strict no-no. b) He also has items such as thatte idli (Plate sized ldli) and something called Trimurti (a combination of 3 different rice preparations). c) He has a son who studies in the US.
I would rate Namma SLN right up there with the legends of Bangalore. If you have not tried it yet, you don’t know what you are missing 🙂