Kerala came calling at Thyagaraja Hall on Raja Basanta Roy Road on Saturday as the Calcutta Malayalee Samajam served up the best of Malabar cuisine at its annual food festival. “We started the Kerala Food Festival on a large scale last year. It is a one-day affair because the items are all perishable,” said TK Gopalan, the vice-president of the Samajam
Tapioca (Kappa) and Fish Curry
Surmai fish, popular among Malayalees, cooked with kappa (tapioca roots), grated coconut, green chillies, mustard seeds, curry leaves, salt and turmeric
Malabar Parotta with Chicken Curry
Soft, layered paratha, similar to lachha parathas, make a fantastic combination with chicken curry cooked in coconut milk
Malabar Chicken Biryani
Nothing like its north-Indian cousin, this biryani uses Jeerakashala rice, a particular variety with small and roundish grains. It is cooked with very little oil and the chicken is added separately after cooking.The rice is rich in flavour
Pithe with a twist! These deep-fried cakes of coconut, rice flour, banana and spices like cardamoms and cloves have similarities with malpua. For those with a sweet tooth, there was also Payasam, rice cooked in coconut milk with raisins, coconut and a hint of ghee
She is from Bengal and he is from Kerala. Amrita Kundu and Rahul Nair have been regulars at the Kerala Food Festival. “I am Malayalee but my wife seems more excited about the food here,” said Rahul. “I just love the fish with tapioca roots. So I got them packed for home too,” said Amrita, busy tasting Payasam.
Behala resident Vandana came with her one-year-old son Vansh Chandrasekharan to taste biryani. “I am a Malayalee and I cook these items at home. Only the Malabar Biryani is something I don’t get here. I love it!” she smiled.