Trilogi’s Malayali food festival puts a fresh spin on traditional favourites

The modern Malayali has developed a highly evolved taste in food and is increasingly seen at eateries offering international cuisine, deftly manipulating Chinese noodles or slicing up succulent steaks.

Occasionally though, an opportunity presents itself that opens the eyes once again to the goodness of local food, with spicy masalas, creamy coconut milk and a variety of meats and vegetables that welcome food lovers back to the gastronomic delights of Kerala. And the ongoing food festival at the Trilogi restaurant in the Crowne Plaza hotel is an opportunity of this very kind.

In the soft lights that illuminate the tables in Trilogi, the peppery seafood broth with tender coconut malai happily occupies the spotlight, served in a tender coconut shell for effect. The broth provides a soothing warmth and the creaminess of coconut, which is a highlight in most of the dishes on the menu, is apparent here as well. Another unconventional member in the soup menu is muringakka noolappam soup, with idiyappam chunks added to the mix. “Among the many cuisines we offer at Trilogi, Kerala was the one we had not focussed on yet, so we decided to promote local food this time. As usual we have added our own twists to the dishes, but even this has been done using local ingredients,” says Executive Chef Rajeev Menon.

This experimentation leads to interesting results, with dishes such as the toddy-infused ilaneer neera pidi kozhi and the kozhiyirachi mutta idli, which has the ingredients put in idly batter before preparation. For tapioca lovers, the prawn and tapioca masala wrapped and steamed in a banana leaf is a must-have.

Moving on to the main course, the usual suspects are in attendance: attirachi kudam biriyani, Syrian pork varattiyathu, Kuttanadan tharavu roast and Kumarakom meen curry complete the meat lover’s fantasy. A Kerala seafood platter brings to the table the best of seafood in a spread worthy of two people. The steamed goodness of chiratta puttu offset by the mildly spiced kozhi varutharacha curry is a perfect fill that complements the aftertaste of the starters. Vegetarians can sample the slightly sweet eenthapazha kalan, koon koorkka theeyal or broccoli vendekka chaps.

The dishes are rich and filling and a testament to what can be achieved by local cuisine when prepared and displayed in all its glory. As the sweet nenthra pazham payasam arrives to provide a dash of sweetness after the creamy, spicy richness that preceded it, Rajeev explains that the most popular dishes from the festival will be included in Trilogi’s regular menu. After a meal filled with elements of the best provided by the State, one cannot help but feel grateful to have experienced a culinary tradition so closely linked to the land that inspired it.

The promotion is on for dinner between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m. on all days till May 11.

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