Equally good with phulka or rice,
kootukari beautifully balances
Kerala is the strip of land that according to myths emerged out of the ocean when Sage Parshuram flung his blood-stained axe into it to wash off the stain of matricide. There are many other legends that lend colour to it. This was where Vishnu assumed the dwarf form to dispatch the demon king Bali to netherworlds. Till date fact and fable mingle in everyday life in this colourful land. It is home to Kalarippayattu that brilliant martial art form and this is where you can spend nights soaking in kathakali performances that make epic heroes and villains come alive. Among the myriad delights of Kerala, its culinary gems rank high.
Food lovers can savour not one, not two, but four distinct cuisines — Mapila Muslim, Syrian Christian, Naboodiri-Brahmin, Nair-Menon martial Hindu not to forget the white Jewish.
Those who dwell here have a penchant for coconut — oil, grated, dry, desiccated — and like to follow the wisdom of ayurveda in everyday diet. This is the spice garden to the world where aromatic cloves, pepper and cardamom are grown. And, of course, the fruits of the sea are relished greatly.
However, to set the record straight, Kerala foods are much more than chemmeen, karimeen, add the rest. Vegetables considered plebeian elsewhere are treated with respect and combined in unusual karis — beautifully balanced nutritionally and providing a relief to the spice-jaded palate.
is one such recipe that is prescribed for the ceremonial sadyam
feast when, at least, eight different karis have to be prepared. We
are particularly pleased the way grams are paired with yam and
flavouring is minimalist. Do try this out. Equally good with phulka