Outside Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore often seems to be obscured by the cultural shadow of Chennai, that is, unless you’re a foodie—better yet, a gourmand with the culinary bloodlust and curiosity of the late Anthony Bourdain. Hari Bhavanam, a Kovai classic since 1971,provides an unadulterated taste of the surrounding region’s non-vegetarian cuisine. Think fried (or fricasseed) country hare, the gamey meat suffused with a blaze of masalas tossed with cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds, best enjoyed with a drizzle of lemon juice and the crunch of uncooked onion rings; or, even better, sample congealed, tender morsels of lamb blood, quickly stir-fried with golden gobbets of chana dal and an aromatic mixture of garlic, ginger, fennel seeds, curry leaves, and green chilli. Those interested in eating house specials other than rabbit (muyal) masala or blood fry (ratha poriyal) can opt for a variety of turkey, pigeon, and quail dishes. You can still dine in the original mess hall of the eatery, near Gandhipuram Bus Depot, but the operation has gradually expanded over the years to a total of four locations in Coimbatore, from a sum of three employees to an army of 900 today.
Hari Bhavanam’s four outlets in Coimbatore are at Gandhipuram, RTO Office, Peelamedu, and Goldwins, www.haribhavanam.com.
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