Thakkaaram brings to Kochi the wealth of traditional Kannur cuisine

The stretch of bypass near Vytilla junction is becoming a hub for food lovers in the city, and the options have become more diverse with Thakkaaram opening its second restaurant in Kochi opposite Gold Souk mall. Known for its selection of inventive dishes from the Malabar region, the restaurant traces its roots by paying homage to the people and dishes that made the cuisine as popular as it is today.

The decor

The plain white walls of the restaurant are adorned with drawings of cooks and tea stall owners preparing their signature recipes. A main central hall explains the principles of an ‘okkathakka’ or gathering while each of the small seating rooms that branch off from it have been given names in the traditional Malabar dialect. Mukkola, Kappalam and Karyambalam are a few examples of the naming scheme, with even the washing area being referred to traditionally as ‘choli’.

Parked in the courtyard outside the restaurant building is what the owners call the ‘Thakkaaram Bus’. With a seating capacity of around 20 people, the bus provides patrons the experience of dining within the vehicle, with ambient sounds recreating the experience of a bus journey.

The menu brings all the dishes that have become popular at the Panampilly Nagar branch including a variety of biriyanis and preparations made from chicken, beef and lamb, not to mention seafood and even Chinese.

“We have a very rich food culture in Thaliparamba and any small child can tell you the names of people who prepare authentic Malabar food there. We have tried to explain some of the terms and traditions of this culture through the rooms here. While the menu is mostly unchanged we have brought in a few new dishes,” says Shanavas, one of the four owners of the restaurant.

New dishes

Regulars who have eaten their way through the entire menu can try the new dishes that are being introduced at the Vytilla restaurant. Kozhi aanam and meen aanam include karimpacha kaya and coconut milk gravy, while mutton kekkanulli is a delicious combination of succulent chunks of mutton with a smattering of onions on top for added flavour. One of the more interesting additions to the menu is khalbinte kottucurry, which Shanavas explains is beef with edible bones. The spicy gravy is a good match for the soft wheat parottas and creamy neyypathal, but chewing through bone with little meat is an acquired taste.

With its simple ambience and the culinary tradition motif adorning the walls, not to mention a bus to boot, Thakkaaram presents an update worth considering.

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