The Thanjavur Marathas ruled over Bangalore in the 1600s. They were related to the main Maratha rulers but were an autonomous kingdom. The Marathas who settled in Banglore during that time added to the cultural heritage of the city. Sambar, the dish that rules over South India, was a Thanjavur Maratha invention. The history of Military Hotels is a bit unclear. Whether they were around in the 1600s or came about in the 1800s with the decline of the Maratha Empire. But there’s a definite link to the Marathas of South India and the Military Hotels.
For the longest time, the term Military to the civilian population at large. Meant two distinct aspects in terms of food and drinks. Meat and Liquor. The word Military in this context meant that they served meat. They also either served Liquor or a turned a blind eye to their patrons consuming it. Military also meant that these were Hindu owned establishments that served Goat or Chicken. In contrast to Hindu Hotels, which were vegetarian restaurants. The Muslim Hotels served Beef / Buffalo. The Military Hotels of today mostly serve Meat and no liquor. Biryani and Goat meat is the go-to meal here.
Shivaji Military Hotel
The Donne Biryani’s Bangalore’s contribution to India’s Biryani Map. The Donne means Bowl in Kannada. Dried Arecanut Palm leaves are used to make these bowls and the Biryani’s served in them. The Donne Biryani has a typical greenish colour. That comes from the use of mint, green chilly and coriander leaves. This Biryani’s made with Seeraga Samba rice and not Basmati. It’s a short grain rice popular in many parts of South India. Shivaji Military Hotel does an outstanding Donne Biryani. I’ve been going there for many years and they’ve been very consistent with their flavours.
The Other Military Hotels of Bangalore
The other known Military Hotels of Bangalore are the Ranganna Military Hotel in Jayanagar. Sri Ranganatha Military Hotel and Srinidhi Military Hotel in Basavangudi, SG Rao’s Military Hotel, SLN Military Hotel, Sri Jagadamba Military Hotel and New Govind Rao Military Hotel in Majestic. Yashodamma Military Hotel in Malleshwaram.
And here are more details about Shivaji Military Hotel.
Do share your Military Hotel experiences in the comments section below. Happy hunting and Chowder-on!