Vocal for Local: Bengaluru Cafe Serves Cappucino And Ragi Mudde
Image Credit: Nimma Local

Most people may find it hard to function without their morning cup of coffee. A hot cup of coffee or tea might be the first thing that they fix for themselves. Some might enjoy it while reading the newspaper or at the breakfast table. Many might like to grab their morning cuppa from a cafe or a street-side chai kade (local tea shop) along with a bite of cookies or a bun while heading to work on-the-go. And others might simply prefer to enjoy tea or coffee breaks at work or in a local cafe. What if all this were possible at a cafe under one roof?

If you visit the Kalyan Nagar neighbourhood in Bengaluru, you can stumble upon a quaint cafe called Nimma Local - Chai Coffee Aur O (NLCCO) that opens at 6:00 AM, where you can sip your tea with some biscuits in a jiffy or after a morning walk. You can enjoy a South Indian breakfast or relish a wholesome meal on a plaintain leaf for lunch, all in one place. "The whole idea was to start a place that was 'for' the people, and more than ours (Namma), it is the people’s café, hence the name – Nimma Local. When you hear Chai Coffee Aur O, it gives a stark resemblance to the movie title – Pati, Patni Aur O and the anecdote here is that along with chai and coffee, you can also go for the O, which looks like a portion of dosa, idly, an egg puff, or bun curry," says Kailash Murthy, Co-Founder of NLCCO.

While there are different kinds of coffee bars or cafes almost everywhere these days, most of them tend to have a stereotypical food menu that features pre-made snacks like muffins, croissants, cakes, puff pastries, etc. And for something substantial, you might get some sandwiches and not-so-tasty burgers. All-in-all, there are very few cafes or coffee bars that offer nostalgic eats of the city like bun and curry, GG Rajeshwari chitranna, ragi malt, sabudana dosa, and koodai idly with chicken or fish curry to savour along with an adda chai and filter coffee or a syphon and a pour-over coffee too.

This place serves some of the tried and tested traditional recipes from South Indian cuisine, like ragi pops with peanut chutney, pongal, and vada, that are approved by the locals who flock here at all times of the day. The dosas, idlis, etc. are accompanied by a chutney made of niger seeds, also known as gurellu or uchellu in Kannada.

All the dishes are traditionally prepared with naturally available ingredients, making them chemical-free from food additives, colours, essence, and ajinomoto (MSG). They are prepared home-style, taste hearty, and are healthy options as compared to the pre-made eats that are otherwise usually available in cafes. The self-service area that looks like a fancy chai-kade also dishes up almond cream buns, cookies made of oats, biscuits, puffs, and appa roti.

"The idea is to offer people a good choice of authentic and home-made South Indian food, but with a twist in either the way we make or the way we serve our offerings. For instance, our ragi pops are served with peanut chutney instead of traditional saaru (curry). The idea here is to bring back my mother’s recipe of the ragi ball dish with stone-ground peanut chutney," says Jay, Co-Founder of NLCCO, who is also a certified Hotel Administrator with 22 years of hands-on experience in the industry.

The island bar counter in its centre sends out traditional coffee and tea preparations along with the new-age versions that are accompanied by the equipment all through the day. Apart from that, cold bobba teas, Ice teas, Red wine Sangria, Malt spritzers, and panchamritham frappe (temple prasadam in cold coffee flavour) are some of the popular recommendations. "Nimma Local is a café designed by combining two different concepts of a Speak Easy bar and a local adda under one roof, which offers a miniature yet ambient dine-in space for our guests who can leisurely enjoy their food and beverage. And for others who would like quick service or take-aways, we have created the Local Adda space," says Jay.

If you are a nostalgic eater or simply crave some traditional South Indian dishes with your coffee, tea, or sangria, you can pay a quick visit to Nimma Local for a pleasant experience. And it caters to all kinds of tea and coffee drinkers. So, you can relax and enjoy a syphon coffee brew along with some ragi pops and peanut chutney if you like, or quickly chat up with your friends over a shot of coffee and a cream bun standing by the table and get on the move.