You guys know how I’m in the process of discovering millets these days, right? Time and time again, on my blog, I have written about how I enjoyed cooking with millets. So, you can imagine how thrilled I must have been when I heard about this place called Prem’s Graama Bhojanam in Jayanagar, Bangalore, that serves mostly millet-based dishes. I just had to drag the husband, the bub and my mommy along to check it out. We absolutely enjoyed the experience, I must say.
Located in the bustling Jayanagar area, in the 7th block, the eatery is quite easy to find. There is no space to park in the compound, so parking space must be found elsewhere.
Ambience and decor
From the outside, the eatery looks like a beautiful village house, the entrance adorned with rangolis and rustic murals on the walls.
Inside, too, the place is beautiful, again done up like a village house. There are rangolis on the tables, and food is served in good old-fashioned steelware. Sturdy plastic chairs make up the seating, and the lamp holders are made of cane, the kind of stuff you would find in a rural home.
There are more rustic murals on the walls inside, giving the eatery an old-world charm.
I loved the way one wall of the main dining area has been decorated with steel utensils of all types. Another wall is done up with age-old Indian kitchen equipment like cane morams aka winnows. Shelves on one of the walls displays the various kinds of millets available to us.
Prem’s Graama Bhojanam serves all-vegetarian, traditional, rustic Indian food, the food our ancestors grew up eating. Most of the dishes here are cooked using ingredients like millets, whole wheat flour and black rice, using healthy cooking techniques. Dishes like dosa, pongal, curd rice and bisi bele bath – which are usually made with rice – are made with millets here. This isn’t a fine-dine place, but a place that prides itself on not using any refined flour, preservatives, heavily processed ingredients, artificial flavours or colours or vanaspati.
The place serves a variety of tiffin items for breakfast, every morning, and for tea time, every evening. Afternoons are, usually, reserved for full meals. Do plan your visit accordingly! I understand the items on the lunch menu keep changing every day. I am guessing the tiffin menu remains, more or less, the same every day.
Prem’s Graama Bhojanam is owner NS Krishnamoorthi’s second venture, after a highly successful eatery operating on similar lines in Madras, by the same name.
When we visited Prem’s Graama Bhojanam, it was lunch time. We chose from the menu available for the day.
My mother and I ordered a roti thali, while the husband got himself a ragi mudde thali. The items included in both thalis were the same, except for the fact that the roti thali came with rotis and the ragi mudde thali came with ragi mudde (duh!)
The sambar rice (with foxtail millet) and rasam rice (with barnyard millet) were a part of both thalis, and were very tasty and well made. The ragi mudde, that typical Kannadiga specialty, was well made as well. The palya we were served (made with greens and coconut) was simple and homely. The curd rice (made with little millet) was delightful. We absolutely adored the sweet served in both thalis, a halwa made with millets – it was just beautiful, with just the right amount of sweetness, redolent of ghee and edible camphor. None of us liked the daal much, nor the beetroot rice (made with kodo millet) that we were served – they weren’t bad per se, but could have done with more flavour.
The water served at the eatery, in tall steel jugs, absolutely deserves a special mention here. Infused with the beautiful smells of tulsi and edible camphor, the water tasted and smelt like theertham from a temple. This all of us loved to bits.
All the food was simple, with limited spices and greasiness, the way we would make them at home. The good quality of ingredients used to prepare the meal was evident. Definitely a plus point! Though everything was served in limited quantities, the thalis filled us up almost mid-way through eating – thanks to millets cooked the right way, I suppose. The food left us feeling light and energetic, quite contrary to the full and bloated way rice-based thalis full of spices and oil make us feel usually.
After this hearty lunch, we ordered one of their famed matka kulfis, made with all-natural ingredients, sweetened with dates, figs and jaggery. The kulfi was so very beautiful, so well done, tasting pure and clean. It was the highlight of our lunch, if I may say so after that simple, clean and homely meal.
When we reached the eatery, it was the peak of lunch rush and the place was buzzing with people. We were told that there would be a wait of about half an hour involved if we decided to lunch there, which we did. Within about 10-12 minutes, though, a table opened up and we were seated.
Sadly, though, we were told there was no chair available for our little daughter, who, for lack of entertainment, rolled around on the floor and pulled at our clothes and what not. A small matter, but it would have been nice if this had been attended to – it would have gone a long way in ensuring that we had a nice, relaxed lunch instead of paying only half attention to it, the way we did.
Otherwise, service was quite okay. The thalis arrived at our tables in about 10 minutes’ time, and everything was served hot.
Price-wise, we felt the thalis were value for money, as was the matka kulfi, considering the good quality of ingredients used. We paid about INR 525 for the entire meal, which was pretty reasonable as compared to a whole lot of other eateries who serve sub-standard food and charge exorbitantly.
We had a very delightful experience lunching at Prem’s Graama Bhojanam, overall, I would say. If I had to point out one thing that I would like changed about this place, I would say I wish they would serve at least a few tiffin items during lunch time as well. Not everyone wants to opt for a full thali at lunch time, me included, and I think the kids of some patrons would be happy to see some snacks.
I can’t wait to go back to this place, this time at either breakfast or for evening snacks. I am dying to try out their millet masala dosa, millet pongal, bamboo rice upma, black rice halwa, and the other unique but healthy delicacies on their menu!
If you are looking for a place that will serve you hearty food which won’t harm you, without burning a huge hole in your pocket, this is it! Highly recommended!
Do check out various millet-based recipes on my blog!
- Millet vermicelli upma, with vegetables
- Barnyard millet dosa| No-rice dosa recipe
- Ragi dosa, the husband’s way
- Bajri methi na thepla| Gujarati-style pearl millet and fenugreek green rotis
- Multi-grain dosas with Chettinad-style garlic & onion kara kozhambu
- Proso millet savoury pongal| No-rice vegetable khichdi
- Proso millet sweet pongal| Millet sakkarai pongal