From soups and starters to dessert there is a surprise hidden in every category of the menu of 1947. Now go find yours

Finding “pure vegetarian” fare in Malleswaram is never a challenge, but finding diversity in vegetarian fare, most definitely is. Moreover most new restaurants only seem to open up in the upmarket Indiranagar and Koramangala, leaving Malleswaram to the mercy of its nearby malls, where a picking is available.

1947 has opened up with its promise of fine Indian cuisine, and of course, the perfunctory Chinese, Thai and sizzlers all bundled up. While the restaurant’s name builds an image around its association with the country’s freedom, and the restaurant was started with the hope of offering “culinary freedom”, the presence of Chinese goes off that freedom trail. It’s apparently there because diners demand Chinese, we are told!

We ignore the non-Indian selection and start with their signature makai ka shorba. It is our own spicy, light version of sweet corn soup, sans pasty corn flour. The makai lends natural aroma, and the blended chilli fired up the otherwise sweetness of corn. So much so that I had to down their zesty fruit punch to cool off a bit.

A selection of starters were offered, but the cheese palak kurkure is a welcome innovation. Cheese is rolled in a leaf of palak and dipped in batter, then crusted with fine vermicelli. The fried concoction lets you revel in the crunchiness of the crust, then hit the evergreen and unfailing combination of melting cheese with spinach. Kurkure, it seems, is the texture of the season and the veg kurkure doesn’t disappoint either – minced veggies and paneer patties that and crunchy-fried doesn’t leave any room for error.

Paneer is one of those comfort foods that we willingly take refuge in, and a staple in the north Indian retinue, apart from the ubiquitous aloo. Also, one can never really go wrong with a paneer dish unless it’s not soft, or well-marinated. And so both the starters and main course features a multitude of paneer recipes.

The bread basket with a motley selection of steaming hot rotis beckoned us to the main course. The subzi lajawab was a welcome change from the standard fare oily north Indian heavy onion-y gravy one comes to associate with it. This one is cooked in a tomato gravy and is garnished with, surprisingly, spring onions. While the base and garnish were offbeat, there was nothing exceptional about the veggies that were dunked into it, rather casually, so I would think it’s a bit of a lost opportunity there.

The Lahori kofta, meanwhile, is made for those who love their paneer and like something to spice up their dinner. The paneer was soft and blended well with the minced vegetables and soaked itself to an adequate succulency in the gravy. For those who want to play it safe, there’s always dal tadka — effortless and homey, laced with just the right hint of garlic. Again a fail-safe dish.

The subzi tawa biryani was a pleasant surprise, because one would think there isn’t too much you can proffer there, except veggies thrown in with rice and sizzled up on a tawa. But it’s here that 1947’s masala sets in — never overpowering, with a heartening taste of home-ground masala, it added just the right lusciousness to a dish that would have otherwise been too dry. Very pleasant.

Rabdi with kulfi is their sought-after dessert, apparently, and was highly recommended for anyone with a sweet tooth. I second that. The thick oh-so-sweet rabdi and the icy kulfi deluge your senses with a potency only Indian milk desserts can!

1947 is on the 4th Floor, above Girias, 15th cross, Margosa Road, Malleswaram. Call 41314321.