Healthy feasting at Pathayam

With fast-food restaurants mushrooming at every nook and corner of the city, residents of the city are starting to adopt a culture of ‘living to eat’. Mouth-watering taste and captivating aroma draw citizens to such eateries, many of which make use of external ingredients in food that do not go hand in hand with the dynamics of the human body. Taking an about-turn from the path of such restaurants is Pathayam, an organic restaurant in Statue, which claims to offer food that is not only delicious but also good for the body. “While health is primary, taste is only secondary,” says Dr. Gangadharan, owner of Pathayam. “The taste of the food you eat stays with you only for a short period. But, what you eat affects your mental and physical well-being. That’s precisely what we’re trying to provide at Pathayam,” he adds.

After its inception in Kozhikode 14 years ago, the restaurant was shifted to Thiruvananthapuram in 2007. It was initially located at Bakery Junction, but later, it was moved to Tutor’s Lane (first right from General Hospital Road) in Statue. Breaking all clichés about how an eatery should look like, Pathayam carves a niche for itself in terms of design. The small eatery is bamboo-walled, giving it a classy ambience. There are only a few tables and chairs arranged neatly, all occupied by an assorted clientele; from silently eating older men to boisterous youngsters and even families. Books, mostly by Osho, are neatly stacked on the wide pillar at the centre of the eatery. There is even a ‘pay-and-park’ facility in this eatery.

Pathayam offers a wide palette of dishes to the average foodie. The place is known for its exquisite lunch which is sold at Rs 75. The appetizer, consisting of fruit payasam, sliced fruits, salad and vegetables (to be eaten in the same order), is served first. This is followed by the main course comprising chapathi, rice, chutney, vegetable ‘thoran’ and ‘kichadi’ along with ‘rasam’, gooseberry soup and vegetable soup. Tasty ‘rice payasam’ offered as dessert is the highlight of the meal.

For dinner, the place has kappa and kadala along with kanji and puttu. This writer was disappointed with the amount of kappa supplied, but nevertheless it was satisfying. The puttu, which took a little more time to be delivered, came in the shape of two hemisphere-shaped globules coloured pink and yellow respectively. The yellow hemisphere is prepared using corn while the pink one is mixed-vegetable puttu. The puttu was served with an orange-coloured curry, which lacks the oil and spices and yet has a refreshing taste. The kanji comes with tapioca, thoran and chutney. Snacks include ottada, ila ada, raagi ada, kumbil appam and avil seva.

The restaurant has a policy of not serving water along with meals. “We don’t encourage drinking water even after meals, simply because each ingredient in our meals is moisture-rich, making water redundant. This also helps bolster digestion as well,” explains Gangadharan. How does the eatery ensure that the food served is of top quality? “We source a lion’s share of our fruits and vegetables from farms in Ooty, and select the rest from the local market, and that too, after stringent inspection,” says Gangadharan. Another thing that makes Pathayam different is that they do not serve tea or coffee. “Our ‘chukku kaapi’ is the best organic substitute for these beverages,” he smiles.

The restaurant is open between 12 p.m. and 9 p.m.