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HomeA Story of FoodThe Tale of Famous Iyengar Bakery!

The Tale of Famous Iyengar Bakery!

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Anyone who grew up in Bangalore will most likely mention aloo buns, nipattu, veg puffs, and the sinfully sweet “honey cake,” which is a sponge cake doused in honey, and syrup, and topped with jam and desiccated coconut. All of these can be found in any neighbourhood bakery, which is commonly referred to as “Iyengar Bakery,” regardless of the exact name of the establishment.

The Hassan connection

The Iyengar bakeries are assumed to have been founded by HS Thirumalachar, a Hassan native. Along with his brother, he founded the first Iyengar bakery, BB (Bengaluru Brothers) Bakery, in 1898. HS Thirumalachar, a shop in the bustling Chickpet area, have learnt the art of baking from a Britisher who was a regular visitor at his shop, which initially sold only sweets. 

The bakery grew quickly and strongly thanks to its successful formula of delicious bread, buns, and biscuits, and it was renamed Bengaluru Brahmins bakery in the 1970s.

His success triggered a migratory movement, with several members of the Hassan Iyengar community moving to Bengaluru to learn the craft and open their bakeries. “We are from Hassan’s ashtagrama villages,” says HR Ramaprasad, owner of the 62-year-old Srinivasa Brahmins Bakery (SBB) in Gandhi Bazaar, Bengaluru. 

It is also believed that the severe drought that hit Hassan district in the 1950s and 1960s forced many people to relocate because they could no longer farm. “Government jobs were scarce.” As a result, my father entered this field,” says Arun of Iyengar’s VB bakery in Saraswathipuram, Mysuru, whose father founded the bakery 30 years ago.

The USP of Iyengar bakeries

Iyengar bakeries’ USP, after 120 years in business, is simple: fresh and high-quality products. The majority of their products are prepared daily in the afternoon and sold until the same time the next day. Butter, Khara (savoury), and coconut biscuits, as well as a variety of puffs, buns, bread, and cakes, are typical products. Their vegetable puffs, potato buns, and desserts such as sugary sweet honey cakes and dilpasand are delectable.

So Many Iyengars?

While Bengaluru remains the pioneer, Iyengar bakeries can now be found in Mysuru, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Pune. Bengaluru has nearly 2,000 bakeries, but not all are authentic Iyengar bakeries. Most of them have mastered the recipes by working in the original bakeries. Earlier the trademark “namam” worn by Iyengars on their foreheads was a distinguishing feature, but the younger Iyengars prefer not to wear one. Iyengars’ Bakery in Austin Town, Bangalore, has patented its brand name in response. They are one of the few bakeries to have received such a patent.

There are very few bakeries in Mysuru, as few as 10, while the number in Chennai is less than 25. Pune and Hyderabad each have about 100-150 bakeries with the prefix ‘Iyengar.’ People say most of the owners are from Hassan and use traditional Bengaluru recipes.

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