I have always been fond of Military Hotels especially the ones in Bangalore & Chennai but never really could get to the root or history of these places.
Per my research from various sources I could figure out these theories –
- The roots of these military hotels go back as far as 17th Century to cater to the Maratha Soldiers to give their meat fix (you can almost taste Kolhapur in the smooth meat gravies)
- To satisfy the meat craving warring armies of Tipu Sultan and later the British that were predominantly settled around the Cantonment area like Cottonpet, Jayanagar & malleshwaram and that’s where u can still find these military hotels in Bangalore.
- In the British Army all classes and castes ate together and they were expected to eat everything including meats which was considered protein rich. Eating of meat became associated with how the military ate.
So what exactly are Military Hotels?
- Military Hotels are no nonsense small decrepit places serving predominantly meat dishes (No beef & Pork though)
- The menu usually includes thatte idli, Paya, Bheja Fry, Kaleji, country chicken fry, Raggi Mudde and Donne Biryani.
- Country liquor was once part of the menu but not any longer.
- The food is cooked in rustic village style in earthen pots with temperature of 450 F to 500 F
What are the best Military Hotels in South India?
Although there have been so many new aged Military hotels that have sprung up …here are my personal favorites:
- Shivaji Military Hotel: A hotel that is packed through out the day and has managed to build a huge reputation for itself.
Address: 8th Block, Jayanagar
What to Eat : Livery fry, Mutton Pulav,
- Ranganna Military Hotel: A hotel with 60 year history, this one is the localite’s favorite.
Address: 7th Block, Jayangar
What to Eat: Kheema Ball Curry, Thale Mamsam, Mutton Pulav.
- Govind Rao Military Hotel: A hotel that was established in 1908
Address: 1st Cross, Cottonpete
What to Eat: Tatte Idli, Kheema Curry, Mutton Pulav.
- Velu Military Hotel: The grand-daddy of all Military hotels in Chennai.
Address: Edlams Road, Teynampet
What to Eat? Meen Kuzhambu, Mutton Biryani
- Ankapur Village Military Hotel: A new & only find in Hyderabad which sure is promising.
Address: Near Indu Fortune Fields, Hafeezpet
What to Eat? Thatte Idli, Davangere Dosa, Jonna Gadka, Donne Biryani, Clay Pot Pulao