A glimpse of Kerala Cuisine
The normal procedure to mention about a cuisine is immediately to start with recipes and have a happy ending to it. But before we go into it, its always good to have a knowledge of the place, and how the aspects that are interlinked .
The Cuisine of Kerala, a state in the south of India, is linked to its history, geography, demography and culture. Kerala’s openness to outside influences such as new foods and new people, is notable and quite different from mainstream South Indian patterns, which tend towards conservatism.. Meanwhile, there are certain items associated strongly with a community identity and the very food items which are the ones people seem most attached to. They are the foods that evoke food memory, which comfort and provoke desire and appetite, which are the subject of nostalgic longing.
We have an array of food cultures the Hindus, The Christians and the Muslims of Malabar. Everyone`s food has their own distinctive characteristics. The Hindus are basically vegans, but of late they take Non veg. as an unavoidable dish in their daily meal. But the traditional meal in a Hindu family will be an elaborate Sadya that’s being served in Plantain Leaves.
Coming to the category of the Christians in Kerala, is vast and vivid with the Latin and Syrian Christian cuisines and they have no taboo to any particular food.
The Muslims of the Malabar region , who have an influence of the Portuguese,Persian and Arabic, reflect on their cuisines and and culture. That’s why theysay for the Muslims, or as for any one cooking is an art and the Malabari cuisine, it depicts their culture too.
The cuisine of Kerala Basically is spicy and now the Keralites having had goodexposures and later, taste buds take a u turn for subtle and non spicy [ Hot ] non greasy , but flavorsome and tasty food..
So as I said Kerala cuisine with the usage of spices, the liberal use of coconutsBeing abundant in Kerala, in grated form and as an extract for Coconut Milk , thetamarinds giving a sharpness to the curries that goes as an accompaniment forstaples like rice, hoppers and appams . of course we cant forget the Pathirisfrom Malabar cuisine, the avials, the theeyals, Pacchdys etc…make you feel good and tempting.
THE GODS OWN COUNTRY IS the apt punch line that applies to the
CUISINE TOO. Yes its GODS OWN CUISINE TOO
We at The Daily Brunch In the forth coming days are ready to bring you the motley of all the goodies of a bygone Era, crafted by our Chef NANDU to Cherish and treasure thro` out your lives.
Home Style Tomato Soup
- Tomatoes fully ripe: 500gms
- Onions: 2 nos
- Carrots: 1 no.
- GG julienne Cut: 1 tbsp
- Pumpkin grated: 100 gms
- Cumin Powder: ¼ tsp
- Chilly Powder: ¼ tsp
- Coriander Powder: ¼ tsp
- Tomato Sauce: 1 tbsp
- Coconut oil: 100 ml
- Coconut Milk: 2 tbsp
- Curry Leaves: 1sprig
- Salt & Pepper: To taste
- Daniya Leaves: for garnish
- Wash and clean the tomatoes, remove the core, make cross gashes keep for boiling taking care that the water level is just above the tomatoes
- Heat coconut oil in a pan, add bay leaf and cloves, and sauté sliced onions, roughly cut carrots, GG and pumpkin grated, add all spices powders.
- By this time the tomatoes would have boiled, remove from fire and allow to cool. remove the tomato skin and mix in a blender. When ready mix the tomato mix to the pan and sauté till smooth and have a saucy consistency. Add the tomato boiled stock to this and allow to boil.
- Once this is cooked well, remove from fire and pass through a sieve, mixing with a wooden spoon.
- The puree is in the final stage. Blend with coconut Milk, Pour into soup bowls, and garnish with a Half a spoon of Coconut milk and fine chopped coriander leaves.
Accompaniment for the soup
- Take a few Ladys finger wash thoroughly before cutting, trim both ends and cut into thin roundels or thin diagonally sizes.
- Smear with salt, black pepper, chilly powder Ajwain little chat masala and Basen flour.
- Mix well, sprinkle little water, blend well again.
- Keep for 5 mts and when the oil is hot.
- crispy fry the lady`s finger and serve as an accompaniment to soup in a flat Basket.
Chef Nandakumar Menon or ‘Chef Nandu as he is known evolved into the Super Chef series. He was at the CASINO HOTEL in Kochi and later at the remarkable COCONUT LAGOON in Kumarakom. Both iconic Hotels and restaurants of repute for the quality and consistency of food offered at their restaurants. Coconut Lagoon where Chef Nandu headed the kitchen moulded him to cater to international clientele from all over the world coming in to experience the magic of the backwaters of Kerala and Kerala itself as a unique destination.
From his early Catering Technology days at Adayar, Chennai and training at the famed TAJ MAHAL INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL, Mumbai, Chef Nandu was back again at the Welcome Group’s ADAYAR PARK INN, Chennai.
Later he headed the setting up of the various F&B outlets of the ABAD PLAZA group, Kochi as its Corporate Chef.
And then with the Quilon Beach hotels, Chef Nandu created a redefined art of culinary expertise. His clientele were Doctors, Cashew businessmen and of course celebrities from the tinsel world, the cloyed connoisseurs had a different feel with his nouvelle cuisine.
He still loves to cook and share his valuable experience of the world of food with The Daily Brunch and its readers in our series on SUPER CHEFS.