This is such a hearty breakfast! I think you have a breakfast like this, it puts you in the right mood for the rest of the day! This Mutton Curry makes for such a happy place to dunk this piece of Ragi Mudde. Mmmh! … that’s been around for the last 46 years. Tegu Mess began as an establishment to cater to the needs of students in the area nearly half a century ago… … but today draws patrons who flock here for the local style non-vegetarian food. So, let’s go in and taste local, naati-style non-vegetarian food here at Tegu Mess. This narrow stairway leads not only to Tegu Mess, but also to the residence of the family that runs Tegu Mess. Tegu Mess is an extremely modest eatery in terms of its appearance but as you step into the eatery… …. you can smell some delicious food cooking in the kitchen… … which is separated only by a wall from the dining area. So, as you take in the aromas of all that food cooking, it gets your appetite going and sets the mood… … for what will hopefully be a great meal to follow. So, I’m going to go to the kitchen at the back and see what’s cooking… … and also meet the owners, Mr Tegoji Rao and his son, Shyam. Although this place came up in 1971, they have in been in the business of serving food since 1959. – 1959. His mother began it and he continued it and of course, now also his son. They procure the whole spices and then they grind and then they grind and prepare the masalas at home. So every gravy here is different. It is not that there is one and it is all mixed together. Each gravy is prepared differently. Some with chilli, some with pepper, some with capsicum. That’s such a wonderful story! So, he says when they began, they began as a mess and catering to students at very economical rates. – Rs 60 per month, for two meals.
Rs 60 per month, for 30 or 31 days, two meals! And at that time people didn’t have money. But then eventually, all these students rose to become senior… – IAS, IPS officers. … IAS, IPS officers and then they’ve come back and also continued to patronise Tegu Mess. And bringing some of that fortune back into Tegu Mess. So, he says people come here because they get the taste of homestyle food… … and even better than homestyle food and that’s what they get here and that’s why people come to Tegu Mess. The food that’s prepared by the family and served by the family, that is the care that goes… … into the food here at Tegu Mess. – Idli, Dose, Ghee Rice, Paya Soup, Boti, Mutton. Okay. So, having learnt of the delicious story behind Tegu Mess, I can’t wait to get to the table… … and taste some of the dishes on offer here. You’ve got the Ghee Rice, of course, that seems like a heavy start to the day, but this is a breakfast local-style. So, I’ve got my meaty dishes right here. Of course, I have the Paya, the trotter and then the Chicken Pepper, the Mutton Chops… … and of course, the Idlis here which is the staple and that’s served with a mutton gravy… … and also a chicken gravy. I’m going to begin with the Paya or the trotters. I’m going to taste the broth of the paya first. Mmmh! I love the nourishing flavour of the paya there’s of course, also that pepper. I’m going to get a piece of the paya right here. Mmmh! This paya… mmmh! Melts in the mouth! This is such a great start to the meal at Tegu Mess. You know, I’ve been tasting a lot of payas off late, what I love about this paya is that it’s so delicately flavoured. You taste all that nourishment but it’s so delicately flavoured. I think there’s also some coriander there which gives it that fresh zing. I’m going to now, take my idli and soak it nicely into the paya. Next I’m going to taste some of the Pepper Chicken. First, some gravy with the Oh look at this chicken! The chicken has soaked all that masala. Mmmh! This is such a delicious gravy! There’s the pepper of course, but I think, there’s also some fenugreek or methi in this… … which gives it that deep flavour. Mmmh! You know, chicken can get very boring otherwise, but this chicken is quite interesting on the palate. This is such a hearty breakfast! I think you have a breakfast like this, it puts you in the right mood for the rest of the day. I think this is the same gravy that is served alongside. You don’t need any of the meat. All that you need is a piece of idli and that gravy. Mmmh! Next, we are going to try the Mutton Chops. You know, what’s interesting is that the mutton chop gravy is much … … lighter in colour compared to the Pepper Chicken. When you’re cooking chicken you always want to add more flavour to the chicken… … to the meat because the meat by itself doesn’t have much flavour. When you’re cooking mutton, well, that has all the flavour. So, you want to just complement the flavour of the meat, you don’t want to overpower that… … and I think, that’s what they’ve done. This is like a stew, delicately flavoured stew that’s what this mutton chop is. I’m going to taste a bit of the mutton now. You know, the mutton is soft to the touch. It breaks off almost effortlessly! You can see that pink meat. Mmmh! This is such a delicious start to the day! This is my first meal of the day and I’m so happy that I’m tasting these dishes at Tegu Mess. This is just brilliant! The stew is mellow in flavour, you have the onions, you have very light spices. What it does is, it just allows for the flavour of the meat, the mutton to be most dominant. That’s what this stew is all about! I’m going to dunk my idli also into this mutton gravy also that’s served alongside. That definitely packs a lot more flavour. The chicken pepper though was equally impressionable. So, I am going to go for another piece of the chicken in that gravy. I love the way the chicken is cooked! It’s tender, it’s juicy having absorbed all that masala. I love this dish! We have to taste some Ghee Rice as well. I’m told ghee rice is also a staple breakfast fare here. I guess it goes back to this establishment’s humble beginnings as a mess to cater to students. So, you when you’re you want that hearty first meal of the day. Budgets are limited, you have limited money so you want that first meal of the day to be really hearty… … and sustain you through the rest of the day. So, I guess the ghee rice is perhaps a tradition that comes from those days. I’m going to portion it into two and taste it in equal measure. With first the delicately spiced mutton stew. So, the ghee rice is made with a long grain, I think, a basmati. It is aromatic on its own, but with the mutton stew it makes for a moist flavourful bite. Oh! This is so good! I have to have a piece of the mutton now. I like the fact that you’ve got… … the pieces of meat here have flecks of fat. So, I have some of that rice. Scrap off all the meat off this soft bone or cartilage. Mix that into the rice. Mmmh! That’s a flavourful bite. The meat is cooked so well. It peels away gently from the bone. I’m going to taste the ghee rice with the remnants of my pepper chicken, the gravy here. While I’m at it, a piece of chicken too. This is going to be a full on, flavourful scoop of rice. Some onion, just to break the flavours on my palate as I get ready… … to taste the next set of dishes here at Tegu Mess. So that was breakfast, this is now the lunch here at Tegu Mess. So, the staple for lunch is of course, the ragi mudde or some steamed rice that you have here. There is some thili saaru or rasam. There is some curd, some buttermilk. These are two gravies here. This is a chicken gravy and the mutton gravy. But what we’ve done is, we’ve also ordered a couple of sides. So, I’ve got the Chilli Chicken here. This is the chilli chicken Maratha Style. Then you have the Mutton Liver and we have another mutton curry here. And what’s always nice here at Tegu is that when you order a dish, they also serve you extra gravy with that. This is the gravy for the chilli chicken and then this is the gravy for the mutton liver. And of course, some cucumber, some onions, we all need our fiber in between all that meat. I’m going to begin now with maybe the chilli chicken. At Tegu Mess there is no menu, they cook a few dishes each time. So, maybe about five or six dishes for breakfast, five or six dishes for lunch. You come here and you ask what’s available and you order accordingly. So, it’s a very simple way of ordering here at Tegu Mess. You definitely taste that chilli heat, but it’s more of that roasted chilli heat. It’s not the chilli heat that comes from fresh green chillies this is the sort of… … gentle heat that comes from roasted red chillies. That’s what I suspect has gone into this chilli chicken. There’s also a copious amount of tomato in this chilli chicken explaining for that… … slight tartness that you have on the palate. Mmmh! It’s a trifle big on salt, so I’m going to just get some lemon juice on that. Just to help tone down the salt a wee bit. I think next, it’s time to taste the Mutton Curry here and I am going to go in with the mudde. I must be honest, I don’t eat mudde too often, I just find the concept of eating mudde a bit intimidating… … because with the mudde you don’t chew. Dunk the mudde in some gravy and you simply just swallow. But this mutton gravy… Mmmh! I love the way they spice the dishes. So, when it comes to the mutton, even with the mutton chops and also now with… the mutton curry, the spicing is gentle… … the spicing is mellow because the meat itself has so much flavour and that’s they want to shine through. Whereas, in the case of the chicken you want to add as much flavour into the meat… … so the gravies or the spicing is much more robust. Just love the approach of cooking the meats here! I must now get to the Mutton Liver here. I’m always a big fan of…I love the intense flavour hit that you get when you tasting liver. So, it’s in this green masala. We’ve got some coriander, I am going to get all the masala onto the liver. Mmmh! The fresh flavours of the coriander works so well with the earthy, meaty flavour tones of the liver. And the liver is cooked perfectly! You know, sometimes when you are eating mutton liver, it can be a bit hard, but this one is not! It has that bite and then it yields to the masala as you work it on your palate. Time to go for the white rice now. I know I should be eating my white rice with some rasam and some curd… … but looking at all these glorious meaty dishes here, one can’t help but go back to them! So, I’ve got some mutton curry here again, go for a piece of the mutton as well. All that flavour of that meat is in this curry. So when you have that curry on your rice, all the flavour of the meat is in your rice. Mmmh! I’ll have some rasam now. It’s got that tang and it’s got that pepper heat. Mmmh! In this day and age when rice is considered unfashionable we forget the fact that it’s such a… … wonderful medium to carry all those flavours. Be it of a great meat curry or something as simple as a rasam. The perfect vehicle to carry all the flavours to your palate. The only way to end your meal here at Tegu Mess is with a glass of buttermilk. It’s got all that coriander, tastes so good! You know, I have thoroughly enjoyed my meal here at Tegu Mess. Every single that I tasted, right from the mutton chops to the paya soup, to the pepper chicken… … the chilli chicken, the mutton liver fry,
the mutton curry… … and not of course to forget the curries, the chicken curry, the mutton curry… … each of these dishes was absolutely delicious… … tasty and cooked with so much love and care. But what makes a meal at Tegu Mess so special is the fact that you are eating in someone’s home… … you can hear the head of the family here, prepping the dishes at the back… … as he prepares to serve it to you with his son… … you can hear the ladies of the house having a conversation as they perhaps… … preparing dishes for the evening ahead. You really feel like you are dining in the middle of a bustling household… … and I think that’s what makes a dining experience at Tegu Mess memorable. So, if you find yourself in Mysuru and want a hearty taste of local cuisine prepared Maratha-style, do drop… … into Tegu Mess and savour all the wonderful dishes that are on offer. Until the next episode of Gourmet On The Road, stay safe and happy eating! If you enjoyed this video, don’t forget to subscribe, share and leave a comment. If you’d like to support Food Lovers TV, do log onto foodlovers.in and hit the ‘Support Food Lovers’ banner. Links in the description below, happy eating!