Rice, sambar and a 78-year-old legacy

G. Ravikiran
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Slurp slurp:Typical Nellore vegetarian meal served in banana leaf at Komala Vilas.– Photo: K. Ravikumar
Slurp slurp:Typical Nellore vegetarian meal served in banana leaf at Komala Vilas.– Photo: K. Ravikumar

For eight long decades, Komala Vilas on Trunk Road has been serving vegetarian meals for lunch and dinner, without any change in the menu.

And in spite of the many restaurants that have mushroomed in the city since then, this one has maintained its own, earning itself a name for its healthy and clean food.

Established 78 years ago by the late P.S. Venkatachalam, the mess-style restaurant serves Nellore’s fine variety of molagolukulu rice on banana leaves along with a fresh chutney, ghee, chips, dal, fry curry, dry curry, sambar, curd, rasam, and salt chilli.

M.R. Srinivasan continued the legacy which is being followed by his son, N. Prasad, who makes it a point that there should be no departure from the traditional menu.

“We use very light spice. Food is hygienic and clean. It is preferred by the health-conscious. There are senior citizens who have been eating at our place for 50 years and more,” says Mr. Prasad.

Traditional condiments and natural vegetables are used in the preparation, which is done under the watchful eyes of Mr. Prasad and his family. Care is taken right from the purchase of vegetables, cutting and kitchen work.

In all the eight decades, the owners and the members of their family eat only at the restaurant.

At times, one or two special items, a dessert or two perhaps, are served for lunch and dinner. Komala Vilas also has workers serve different items, like in a traditional community lunch during functions.

Its focus has been so much on its trademark vegetarian meals that the family has refrained from introducing snacks or breakfast items for this very purpose.

Senior BJP leader M. Venkaiah Naidu, who would dine at the mess during his student days, made a nostalgic lunch trip to Komala Vilas when he was a Union Minister.

For close to eight straight decades, Komala Vilas mess has been offering vegetarian meals for lunch and dinner, with absolutely no change in the fare



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