Our Buffet

Annalakshmi ON Swan buffet is based on Traditional Indian recipes. The main buffet is suitable for vegans and gluten free diets. The dessert may have dairy or wheat and may include cashewnuts or almond nuts. Annalakshmi daily buffet does not use ghee or peanuts. Guests are encouraged to inquire at Annalakshmi reception.

Annalakshmi regular buffet spread consists of 9 – 10 items.

White Basmati Rice– Annalakshmi serves only the best Basmati rice we can source. Long grains, fluffy, pure white rice is the best base, to taste the variety of vegetarian side dishes.

Pulau Rice or Saatham– Traditional North Indian or South Indian flavoured rice. Select spices/ herbs are cooked into Basmati rice, using the ‘Dhum’ method of cooking. This method involves cooking the rice in a flavoured spice/ herb stock and sealing lid in the last stages of cooking. This allows the rice to cook in its own steam, absorb flavours and remain fluffy and separate, giving you the unique Annalakshmi pullau rice experience, the gold standard in pullau rice.

Rasam – a traditional South Indian digestive liquid dish made from spices that help you break down, digest and make bio-available, the fiber and nutrients inherent in the dishes on the buffet. Rasam is best eaten poured on to the rice, as food should not be dry when swallowed.

The spicy flavour of Rasam comes mainly from pepper and ginger, not chili. Annalakshmi offers our guests a large variety of Rasams, sourced from our traditional Indian vegetarian cuisine recipes.

Always finish off your meal with a little white rice with rasam. This will make sure your digestion is complete.

Annalakshmi Potato Masala – an all- time favourite dish with Annalakshmi patrons. A dish that is varied from day to day depending on the spice mix added to cook the potatoes. Though chili is one of the many spices used, this dish is not unduly hot to taste.

Varai / thoran- an Annalakshmi guest pleaser. This is a stir fry dish cooked over high heat with a select choice of spices relevant to the vegetables chosen. When coconut flakes are added the dish is usually referred to as ‘Thoran’. This is the ingredient of choice when leafy greens are cooked in this method. We use seasonal vegetables to vary this dish.

MINI DOSAI–Traditional South Indian light meal item. Served only at night.

Our regular – Siriya dosai  – is a small [ mini] dosai, made from rice and urud dhal. It is an ideal food item for guests with wheat intolerance. The correct level of fermentation gives the dosai its light and fluffy texture. Annalakshmi draws on her vast knowledge of traditional recipes to lend variety to this buffet staple

Occasional change – Lupenta siriya dosai -Annalakshmi serves Lupenta siriya dosai x1-2/week. There will always be a sign placed on the counter to highlight this. The Lupenta siriya dosai is an Annalakshmi On the Swan original recipe, invented at the behest of West Australian grain growers. It is made by a select mix of lupenta grits, urud dhal and rice, ground to the correct texture with select spices and fermented.

Annalakshmi is proud to support and encourage the use of West Australian sweet lupin, by putting this item on our regular menu.

Occasional change – Annalakshmi adai –This is a substitute dish for Siriya dosai. We will, on occasion, serve adai, a high protein variation of the dosai recipe that includes a variety of dhals soaked and ground with spices.

 Dhal – this item is the protein in a vegetarian diet. It is a must on the buffet. This pulse dish may be cooked with one of 6-7 dhal/ lentil variety or bean variety available in Western Australia. Each pulse can be cooked in a variety of ways. At Annalakshmi we have the luxury of drawing on a vast array of traditional North Indian and South Indian vegetarian pulse recipes, to tantalise your palates.

 Vegetable side dish– seasonal vegetable or vegetable mix, cooked in different styles, with spices, condiments that highlight the vegetable. The North Indian and South Indian styles require different spice combinations.  Some of the recipes require coconut / cashewnuts ground into the masala or spice paste. We do not use peanuts in any of our recipes. We do not use dairy to make any of our staple vegetable dishes.

DRINK – Jeera Paani, Filtered Water.

DESSERTFinish off a satisfying meal with a dessert. Annalakshmi On the Swan makes a variety of desserts from pulses, fruits and cereals. We do not use ghee in any of our desserts.

Our” liquid” desserts- Payasum or Payas are based on either dairy or coconut milk, using jaggery or white sugar. Inquire at the reception desk or ask our volunteers.

An all- time favourite, regular soft dessert’ Kesari’ does not use any form of milk, it is made from durum wheat, sugar and cardamom.

Annalakshmi draws from a vast knowledge of traditional North and South Indian desserts. Inquire at the cash counter or ask our volunteers, if you have special dietary requirements.

  • Note our buffet is vegan friendly however desert on certain evenings are not. Please inquire at the front desk or ask our volunteers.
  • Annalakshmi does NOT allow outside food and drinks including BYO alcohol, to be consumed on its premises.
  • We encourage guests to revisit the buffet station for 2nd or subsequent helpings, rather than filling up the plate and being unable to consume the food. Help us avoid food wastage.
  • Bookings are not required for 6 guests or below.
  • If you have a food allergy or have a specific dietary requirement, inquire at the cash counter.


Jeera Paani – Jeera Water – Cumin Water

Annalakshmi introduces Jeera Paani.

A traditional drink served before or with food in Indian households, promoted in all ancient texts on culinary science. The health benefits of jeera/cumin, is recorded in Ayurvedic and Siddha Medicine texts, promoted in all Indian health clinics and is a daily practice in all traditional Indian households.

Annalakshmi supports societal moves to reduce sugar consumption. Obesity is a growing concern especially among children and teenagers. High sugar consumption is one of the foods implicated, as contributing to this problem. Annalakshmi has removed the supply of fruit juice from the buffet.

We have replaced this with jeera pani/ cumin water. Take a glass before your meal and sip jeera paani through your meal. The health benefits are present taken as a hot or cold drink.

Jeera is a spice that  improves taste, improves digestion and digestive strength, breaks down fat, reduces the level of sugar in the blood, improves vision, removes toxins, has antimicrobial effect,  improves immunity, it is a carminative, improves intelligence, and a natural aphrodisiac.

The Rasa [characteristic and action during digestion] is light, hot and drying.

The science behind this understanding has to do with the chemical compounds found in jeera seeds and their bio activity. Jeera seeds contains thymol- this helps in production of saliva, bile and other enzymes responsible for digestion. The aroma is due to a number of chemical compound, e.g. cuminaldehyde, which helps induce secretion of digestive juices and bile.

It is rich in essential oils that make cumin a good expectorant. Cumin contains riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Vitamin B6 and niacin [Vitamin B3]- essential for improving cognitive functions of the brain. These are all water soluble vitamins. Steeping in water does make the nutrients bioavailable to the body.

Recipe:  Bring 1 1/2 L of water to boil. Turn off the fire.
Add 2 teaspoons of clean dry jeera/ cumin seeds, mix and allow seeds to settle.
Allow to steep overnight and drain off the seeds.
Jeera paani/water can be drunk hot or cold.
Many recipes suggest boiling the seeds. This may make the drink bitter.
Dry roasting the seeds will remove the beneficial volatile oils.

Annalakshmi culinary science
October 2018.