AnnachiKadai is a newish thali place serving Tamil Nadu specialties on El Camino near Grant/ 237. They serve the thalis on a banana leaf. The server said that sometimes this is done back home during ceremonial occasions and its an honor to be served food on a banana leaf. The banana leaf is supposed to give out an aroma to the hot food like rice and add good antioxidants for the skin.
I ordered the Ilai Virunthu- non vegetarian thali, which came with 3 meat curries. There was the fried tilapia in a slightly tangy curry spicy kind of pulusu. There’s also a spicy goat curry and a chicken curry. The separate chicken 65 was well spiced and fried and not look neon-red as some of the other renditions around. I was not a fan of chicken 65 previously and AnnachiKadai’s version was a cut above these other renditions.
The kootu on the upper right was gram in a coconut based curry. Next to it was a pooriyal that was made with kovvakai, an Indian vegetable. Both were pretty nice.
The little dabble above the curry was a very sour curry lemon pickle. Addictive. The yogurt was very creamy and smooth. The plate came with a serving of soona masoori rice, chappati and pappad.
I don’t necessarily detect a lot of banana leaf fragrance. I suspect that’s because of the time to ship these leaves across the ocean, and the need for preservation.
Overall, the thalis were solid. I’d be happy to go again and try the vegetarian version. All of the items can be refilled upon request. The kitchen was oddly slow despite most of the items should be cooked ahead of time.
The mango lassi was unsweetened. Which was, to me, how it always should be and was much welcomed.
Spotted a cross near the counter. Looked up the internet and apparently most of the Christian minority in India lives in Tamil Nadu. A little bit of culture we pick up by eating different food.