Food

Memories of good old-fashioned Malayali food come alive

Kappa Chakka Kandhari’s menu gives one ample chance to savour the three ingredients integral to the cuisine

If your exposure to Malayali cuisine has been limited to banana chips, parotta and mutton stew and the yearly Onasadya, then a visit to Kappa Chakka Kandhari should be on your bucket list.

Kappa (tapioca), chakka (jackfruit) and kandhari (bird’s eye chilli) are an integral part of Kerala cuisine and the 11-page menu inclusive of drinks and dessert, gives one ample chance to savour all three ingredients.

While trying to decide on the choices for your meal, sip on innovative variations or buttermilk, lemon juice or tender coconut water. They will serve as a sampler of what is to follow.

Memories of good old-fashioned Malayali food come alive

Perhaps one of the best things about Kappa Chakka is the range of dishes curated by Chef Regi Mathew that most people may not have thought about. Like the vazhappoo cutlet made from banana flowers and served with beetroot sauce or the avoli nellika masala fry — fried fish marinated with sundried gooseberries.

Then, there are unusual combinations here like the pazham pori, which is batter-coated, deep-fried sweet banana fritters and meat curry (yes, served together!) unearthed from a tea shop on the suburbs of Kochi.

Memories of good old-fashioned Malayali food come alive

Idlis are a staple in most south Indian homes, but it would still be nice to try the Ramassery idly with chutney powder and sambar. Ramassery is a small village near Palakkad and while the idli here looks like a cross between a set dosa and an idli that has been flattened out, it still is unbelievably soft and goes well with any non-vegetarian curry.

Tubers like Chinese potatoes and colocasia that are given a wide berth at home, courtesy the cumbersome process involved in making them edible, can be relished here without a second thought.

Memories of good old-fashioned Malayali food come alive

Try the prawn kizhi (prawn and shredded coconut steamed in banana leaves), the mutton coconut fry or the chatti meen curry (fish curry cooked in an earthern pot) or the muringakka (drumstick) curry, rich in in subtle spices and coconut milk-based which would go well with rice, appam or pathiri. All these dishes are redolent of Kerala and all its culinary goodness.

Memories of good old-fashioned Malayali food come alive

Dishes like the chakka vevichathu (jackfruit cooked in coconut masala) or the pineapple nendram masala will appeal to those who appreciate a hint of sweetness along with their meals.

No matter how full you may be at the end of your meal, make sure you try the cloud pudding made from tender coconut or the kandhari icecream, even if it means sharing it with someone. You won’t regret it!

Memories of good old-fashioned Malayali food come alive

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Printable version | Apr 3, 2020 8:27:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/memories-of-malayali-food-come-alive/article30762037.ece

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