Food

A food festival that brings together delicacies from Puducherry, Kayalapatnam and Jaffna

Delicacies on display at Welcome Hotel Grandbay's Dakshin restaurant as a part of their Tamil food festival in Visakhapatnam

Delicacies on display at Welcome Hotel Grandbay's Dakshin restaurant as a part of their Tamil food festival in Visakhapatnam   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

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Welcom Hotel Grandbay plays host to Kadaloram, offers delicacies from the Tamil coast

There is pizza, there is pineapple on pizza and then there is Anasi kary, a curry made from pineapple. For someone who is against pineapple in savoury dishes, having it in my curry felt like blasphemy. Sensing my disapproval, Praveen Anand, executive chef at Welcom Hotel Grandbay hastily assures me, “ In the Indian subcontinent it is highly unlikely that we put fruits in our curries but for the Tamils residing in Jaffna, it is no big deal. Anasi Kary which is made with pineapple boiled in coconut milk and spiced up with red chilli powder is a part of their daily diet.”

I am at Dakshin, the south-Indian restaurant of the hotel which is hosting a food festival called ‘Kadaloram’. The festival brings to the table variations of Tamil cuisine found along the coastline of Tamil Nadu and parts of Sri Lanka.

While he curated the festival, Chef Praveen said, “I chose three places- Puducherry, Kayalapatnam and Jaffna. I wanted to highlight how a cuisine undergoes variation as it moves from one place to another. Puducherry cooking is influenced by the French. The palate of Kayalapatnam, a small town in Tamil Nadu has a tinge of South Asian countries as the residents here are traditionally sailors who brought back tastes and traits from the lands they travelled to. So their food has lemon grass and pandan leaves as its main ingredient. Jaffna is still very authentic in its cuisine and sticks by the traditions of Tamil cooking.”

The Anasi Kary and Varutha Pasiparippu Kary, a curry made with roasted green gram are the only vegetarian dishes on my plate. The rest of the food there includes Kozhi Vadisaaru, Malaya Kozhi curry, Kaatu paravai curry and Kothina Kari Perattal along with a Malabar paratha (You can instead ask for appams).

Huge chunks of chicken cooked in coconut milk and lemon grass is what the Malaya Kozhi curry is all about. It is creamy and tasty.

Desserts Harira Paal and Poosini Kazhi served at Tamil food festival hosted by Welcom Hotel Grandbay's Dakshin restaurant

Desserts Harira Paal and Poosini Kazhi served at Tamil food festival hosted by Welcom Hotel Grandbay's Dakshin restaurant   | Photo Credit: K_R_DEEPAK

The Katha Paravai curry is spiced quails simmered in a coconut curry and is a notch spicier than the Malaya Kozhi curry. The curry leaves add it a special flavour and it is perfectly complimented by the paratha. The Kothina Kari Perattal, is even more fiery. The minced lamb, that resembles keema is served along with a boiled potato. The seafood I try is squid, tossed in oil and served with an onion and chilly gravy. Called Mezhukku Peratti it has a strong but not unattractive taste of curry leaves. For the vegetarians the menu offers Marakkari Koozh, a broth of rice cooked with jackfruit and chillies, and a side of Palm jaggery makes it extra special. This can be teamed with Poritha Ulli Kari, a curry made with fried garlic and pepper. The dish draws its roots from Jaffna.

Dakshin, Welcom Hotel Grandbay
  • Hits Malaya Kozhi curry
  • Misses Poosini Kazhi
  • Cost for one ₹1500
  • 660 0101

To put out the fire from all the spices in my mouth, I am served two desserts - Harira Paal and Poosini Kazhi. The Harira Paal is milk with dry fruits and poppy seeds. The cupcake-shaped Poosini Kazhidefinitely tastes better than it looks. It appears as a thick brown paste of pumpkin.

(The food festival will go on till January 12 from 12.30 pm to 2.45pm and 7.30 pm to 11.30 pm)

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 1:26:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/a-food-festival-that-brings-together-delicacies-from-puducherry-kayalapatnam-and-jaffna/article30532506.ece

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