Experience a tribute to the monsoon at Ramada Resort

A small cup of chukkumalli kaapi arrives, which could be downed in one shot or sipped at gingerly. The spicy concoction, as chef de partie Balaji P. of Ramada Resort informs, is to set the mood for the restaurant’s monsoon special evening.

The food festival is a tribute to the monsoons with weekend dinners devoted to “feel-good” dishes meant to keep one warm in wet weather.

“We have included only those foods that would make you feel warm. The chukkumalli drink is ideal to start off, as it is a traditional recipe using dry ginger, coriander and jaggery. It also soothes the throat, a perfect antidote for monsoon-induced throat problems,” Balaji adds.

The therapeutic spice, however, seems to have been taken a bit too seriously. As soon as the punch of the kaapi settles down, the starter arrives—delectable mushroom cutlets coated in melted creamy cheese, in which hide menacing pieces of green chilli. A note to the weak-hearted: Even a seemingly tame pulao packs a handful of chilli chunks. “We decided to keep it spicy all the way as it is generally preferred during the rains,” Balaji says. The sauces, too, have a biting rawness to them. The sauce served with the tandoori hot and cheese mushroom is made with tandoor-cooked tomatoes and garlic and seasoned with generous quantities of red chilli.

The menu for the “monsoon festival” has been designed quite simply, offering a basic selection of soup, starters, two non-vegetarian curries—chicken and fish, two vegetarian curries, rice and pulao, a choice of bread and dessert. Each section in the menu has about four to five choices, one or two of which would be served.

“We have tried to bring in a mix of continental and Chinese and a little bit of the Kerala cuisine, too,” Balaji says. The soup on offer last week was Tom Yum Goong, a Thai dish with chunks of the staple galangal ginger and delicious prawn.

The rice selection has four to five biryanis, fried rice, steamed rice and the Kerala brown rice. If you are going for the traditional red rice, which comes along with crisp pappadams, an automatic choice would be the meen mulakittathu, a fiery orange fish curry.

If it is the bread that you prefer, chicken kalimirch, which has juicy chunks of chicken in a thick, sweetish gravy is an option.

Vegetarians can try the achari paneer tikka masala or the dal maharani, a green dal preparation, to start with.

The spices don’t plan to slink away. They make an appearance in the desserts, too. The oregano jelly mousse is experimentation with herbs and fluffy white mousse. The less-adventurous may take a while to interpret the taste. For those who are looking for a simpler option, try the ice cream with a cookie and chunks of fresh fruit.

The weekend festival is on till the first weekend of August.


Eat leaves and shootsJuly 31, 2013

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