KOCHI: If summers are synonymous with blazing sun and never ending sweating, for foodies they are also a season to rejoice, munching the best delicacies to be found around at food fests. While sandwich, burgers and biriyani fests are the talk of the town, here is a food festival which stands out in terms of taste and uniqueness. The ongoing Mappila Food Fest at Spice Route, Oberon Mall serves you authentic Malabar delicacies. Ask the sous chef Sudheesh Gopi why they went in for Malabar style food this year, and he says, “It is vacation time and a lot of people from the northern part of Kerala visit the mall, so appealing to their appetites was a natural choice for us.”
Unlike any other fest, in the Mappila fest foodies are welcomed with the traditional refreshing drink ‘nannari sarbath’ which is famous for its cooling effects. As Malabar is a coastal area and famous for sea foods, for starters either one has the choice of crab or prawn soup to sip in. The signature dish of the chef comes in the form of ‘kozhi nirachathu’ and kozhi nirthi porichathu which are the favourites among Muslims in Malabar. As the name suggests, Kozhi nirachathu is stuffed with boneless chicken which is steeped in with spicy marinade while in kozhi nirthi porichathu, whole chicken is deep fried in Malabar masala. Both are priced above ` 320. These dishes have to be ordered separately and are not included in the buffet.
One’s taste buds are tickled merely by seeing the vast menu spread out. Pathiris are an important part of the Malabar diet. There are stuffed pathiris made from mutton, fish and prawn to munch on. Another dish is ‘mutton liver kurumulakittathu’ and ‘sea food masala’ which is a mix of prawn, crab and other sea fish. Ask him the secret of achieving a ‘homely’ taste, and chef Sudheesh says, “We want our dishes to taste like homemade food. And for that, all the masalas and spices are grounded in our kitchen only. From rice powder needed to make pathiri to chilli required for the curries are ground in our kitchen.” Kozhi anam made from pure coconut milk with onion, tomato and coconut goes well with appam.
How can a Malabar food fest end without having its traditional snack and dessert items. And at Spice Route one can find a spread of traditional desserts like ‘kaay ada’, ‘unnakaya’, ‘taripola’ and ‘chatti pathiri’ to gorge on.
And to end all this heavy and fulfilling dinner, there is a surprise drink that awaits you. The traditional ‘sulaimani’ that is consumed by people from Malabar having a heartfelt meal makes one feel extremely content and happy. The fest which is on till May 20 is priced at ` 375 during lunch and ` 425 for dinner. The restaurant time is from 12 pm - 3.30 pm and 7 pm - 10.30 pm.