Krishna’s ‘varuvel’ still draws them
Writer: Brenda Ch'ng
Published: Fri, 22 Mar 2013
WHAT started off as a love for cooking and catering for friends’ parties turned into a 27-year-old family business known as Krishna Curry House, home to banana leaf rice.
The chef - Pushparani.
Formerly located along Jalan 222, this popular curry house has now moved to Jalan SS9A/19, to a more spacious site where they can accommodate more people and patrons can dine unhurried.
Opened in 1986, this restaurant serves the typical traditional South Indian cuisine of rice served on a sheet of banana leaf, accompanied by three types of vegetables and four condiments all for only RM5.50.
With refillable vegetables, rice, curries and papadum, RM5.50 is a steal to feed one’s bottomless appetite.
Plus banana leaves are said to release a natural aid to digestion when in contact with hot rice, making it a healthy lunch.
If only vegetables are not enough to stir your appetite then do try their house bestseller, the chicken varuvel.
Cooked with one of the owners’ very own secret recipe, this chicken dish was what made Krishna Curry House what it is today.
“When we started off 27 years ago we only had the chicken varuvel as our anchor dish. People loved it and they kept coming back for more,” said R. Pushparani.
The 65-year-old mother-of-three explained that they had to cook 20 to 30 chickens a day just to keep up with the demand.
Even now, when they have other meat dishes like seafood and mutton, the chicken varuvel still takes centre stage.
Fish Head Curry.
“We still cook that dish at least five to six times a day, to replenish it when it runs out,” she said.
Her husband, A Kunasingam, 71, further explained that the former shop was always packed even when they first opened over two decades ago.
“Our two-storey shop will be packed, upstairs and downstairs, some even waiting on the steps, similar to Chinese restaurants, and most come for the chicken,” he said.
Kunasingam further shared how he was the first person to coin such restaurants as a “curry house”.
“We are one of the earliest curry houses in the country, I can’t remember others using that name... there are names like ‘curry palace’, but not curry house. That name only came after we used it,”
To spice it up a little more, Pushparani introduced the mutton varuvel cooked in the claypot six years ago, which patrons loved as well.
According to her, more and more started ordering mutton compared to the chicken because it was more flavourful, as it is cooked in the claypot.
She explained that when claypots are used to cook mutton, the juices and flavour will be better preserved and the meat will be both tender and juicy.
Apart from the mutton, they also serve the lamb bone marrow, which is another specialty.
“Most of our regulars and even new customers will request for it because they like sucking on the juices in the bone marrow,” said Kunasinagam.
Meat aside, the curry house also serves seafood, with their most unique of all being prawn stuffed in squid sambal.
Just looking at it, most customers will mistake it for “sambal sotong” (chili squid) and one will only realise there is a prawn inside when they eat it.
“This is my specialty and some customers are surprised to find the prawn in the squid actually,” said Pushparani.
However, this dish is not served everyday, as it takes lots of time to prepare.
Another stuffed dish served is crabs, where the meat is mixed with mushrooms and seasoned before being stuffed into the shell.
If white rice is not your preferred staple to go with all the well-spiced curries above, then do opt for the chicken briyani, or the lamb briyani (Sundays only).
Once done scraping up every last grain of rice from the leaf with your hands, be sure to fold the leaf inwards instead of outwards, to symbolise a delicious and enjoyable meal.
For more information, visit their website at krishnacurryhouse.blogspot.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 03-78657465.
Opening hours are from 7am to 10pm daily. Light meals like “tosai” and “roti” are served from 7am-11am and banana leaf rice is served from 11am.