Despite the incursion of various cuisines from across the country, Bengaluru’s Iyengar bakeries have still managed to stand tall and satisfy the palates of their happy customers.
A whiff of freshly baked cookies and bread announces the presence of Sri Ranganath Iyengar’s Bakery from 100 yards away. Nestled on one of the most congested roads in the city, this bakery has stood majestically in the same spot for over three decades. Vidhyasagar, a resident of Oil Mill Road, says, “This bakery is more of a landmark. The freshly baked soft and hot milk bread and salt biscuits that just melt on your tongue are to die for. Just a bite of the biscuits will unleash the happy hormone in your body.”
For many residents of Kammanahalli, the completion of a healthy Sunday morning walk is always with the hot jam bun from the Iyengar bakery on the main road. Resident Suma Shekar says, “The hot jam buns you get in this bakery are my cheat snack. Both the jam and the bun specially made in the bakery somehow manage to have the right amount of sweet one needs. While you are there, you can also give the aloo bun and masala bun a try. The aloo bun is stuffed with a potato masala paste with a touch of spice.”
These bakeries have managed to survive for several decades even with the invasion of numerous cuisines. While some try to improve their menu by giving in to these cuisines and modernising snacks, the Iyengar bakeries have always kept their offerings authentic, original and simple.
The Sri Surya Bakery, near the Kapali theatre in Bengaluru’s Majestic area, is another such example, Malthesh Rajappa, resident of Gandhinagar, says, “No matter how many new restaurants come up, nothing can give me the satisfaction like the crispy rusks you get here. They are always fresh and hot.” According to him, you should also try the crunchy and brittle vegetable puff or the spicy nippattu, which is fried gram flour. “Our first pastries as kids; the sweet honey cake oozing with jam; the iconic dilpasand - a puff filled with sweetened coconut and tutti frutti,” he lists, lost in the sweet memories.
Mary Ann D’Souza, a local resident and an ardent fan of the SG Iyengar Bakery in Cox Town, also gets nostalgic, “The best part of my childhood was this bakery!” She describes their sandwich and other must-try favourites, “It is the normal bread topped with an onion masala fry and garnished with coriander. It is simple and yet so tasty. The home-baked benne biscuit or butter cookies are like little fluffy clouds descended from heaven. The bakery bakes everything from hot milk sweet bread, bow or khari biscuits that are fragile and bland but go best when accompanied with tea, stuffed buns, khoya bread, etc. These bakeries are part of many people’s childhood and are even hygienic and simple as opposed to the highly sophisticated snacks we find these days.”