Eating out At Nalan, they believe a traditional diet leads to longevity and peace of mind
“No tamarind, no milk, no dalda, no maida, no mushrooms, no chillies, no mustard…” That is a pretty long list of nos, but a restaurant off Trichy Road called Nalan, wears it proudly at its entrance. There is also a promise of a 120-year-lifespan if one follows the diet it prescribes.
Set up by Navayugam Trust, the eatery has come up just a few months ago. It has branches in Karur, Tirupur, Erode and Singapore. It serves food as recommended by the trust’s guru, Shri Jai Krishnan. Says Karuppuswami, one of the volunteers who works at Nalan: “We only want to remind people of what they have forgotten, of a diet their ancestors followed. It gave them long, healthy lives.” The food served here is traditional, fights disease and increases health.
So, all those looking for paneer butter masala or chilli gobi will have to look elsewhere. But they should still give the place a try. Just because it is not greasy or spicy does not mean it is all boiled food. Crisp and crunchy vaazhapoovu vadais served here are a case in point.
Nalan’s philosophy is to make full use of what is available in season. And, to avoid processed food. Plenty of local greens find their way into the kootus and soups. And the sambar and rasam have tomato and lemon to give them a tang instead of tamarind. It works beautifully as we make short work of the mullangi sambar, vazhakkai kootu, keerai masial, beetroot poriyal and pirandai rasam served with piping hot rice. The aforementioned vazhaipoovu vadais hit the spot and we ask for more. The dessert is thinai paaysam and we wash it all down with delicious soya buttermilk!
Not just lunch, Nalan also serves a healthy breakfast that offers arugampullu juice, manathakkali soup, kanji, kambu/cholam or ragi dosai, veg idli and so on. After six in the evening, there are tiffin items that include bajjis (if you are lucky) dosai and pongal. If you go there after lunch and before tiffin time, you can have sundal and clear tomato soup.
Karuppuswami forewarns us that there will be no overpowering flavours and that we may find the food bland. Surprisingly, we do not miss the strong flavours.
The food goes down well, we feel satisfied and there is none of the usual stuffed-to-the-gill feeling that can be so unpleasant.
We are assured that everything is served within four hours of preparation. So, no recycling or leftovers, and they’d rather tell their customer something is not available than serve him something not fresh. The guruji has set down the dos and don’ts clearly and instructed the volunteers to explain the importance of good diet to guests. The restaurant has recipe books that use these nutritious ingredients. “The idea is to get people to start cooking satvik, nutritious food at home,” says Karuppuswami, and adds: “Plenty has been written about the right diet and food. But, we want to practise what is preached and prove that the right diet is indeed the way to a serene mind and a healthy body.”
Nalan is located at 699, Kongu Nagar, (Opposite Alvernia School) Trichy Road, Ramanathapuram. To know more call: 87540-33503/0422/2323797