A bowl of shallot salad

Quick and Easy Shallot Salad

Chefs love to talk food. And, we love to know what they are cooking – both professionally and at home. We always ask about their favourite dishes. Often, they are amazingly simple recipes like this Quick and Easy Shallot Salad. This is a dish that one of the CGH Earth Experience Hotel‘s chefs – Francis …

Kerala Chicken Ishtoo

Keralan Chicken Ishtoo (Stew)

We learned to make this Keralan Chicken Ishtoo (stew) at Brunton Boatyard in Fort Kochi, Kerala. It was our first day in the “land of coconuts” back in 2016. We attended the nightly cooking demo that CGH Earth Experience offers at all their properties. Chef Noble Francis expertly conducted the demo. He explained that coconut …

Keralan Vegetable Ishtoo

Keralan Vegetable Ishtoo

Vegetables are a huge part of the diet in Kerala. And, locals enjoy their vegetables especially when they are served in Keralan Vegetable Ishtoo. Ishtoo is the Malayalam word for stew. The vegetables involved in this stew vary depending on what’s fresh at the local markets. Cooks pick the freshest seasonal ones. Then, they simmer …

Appams with Fish Molee, Coconut Prawns, and Vegetable Ishtoo

Appams

Appams are steamed rice and lentil crepes. We made them with Aroma Dipu of Casa Linda in Kochi. We watched in fascination as she spread the batter in a concave pan, then created a flower petal design by tipping it to and fro. The batter is then steamed by placing a lid on the pan. …

Casa Linda fish molee

Aroma Dipu’s Fish Molee

After learning to make Fish Molee at Nimmy Paul’s Cookery School we were excited to try our friend Aroma Dipu’s Fish Molee. Fish Molee (pronounced moy-lee) is a classic Keralan dish. It has a minimal number of ingredients and maximal flavour extracted from those ingredients. Nimmy Paul’s recipe does not have turmeric. Aroma’s does. We …

A dish of coconut prawns sits on a blue tablecloth

Susheela’s Coconut Prawns

Large flakes of fresh coconut accent this dish of Susheela’s Coconut Prawns. It is the favourite recipe of Susheela’s daughter-in-law, Aroma Dipu. Together, Aroma and Susheela shared how to make it when we joined them for a cooking lesson at Casa Linda Cooking School in Kochi, Kerala. Testing the recipe at home was almost as …

Crispy banana chips from the Kumari Banana Chip company

Kumari Banana Chips

It’s 9:30 in the morning. Traffic is picking up in the market district of Kozhikode (Calicut) not far from the beach and the fish markets. Stall keepers are pulling up their retractable doors and shops are opening. One of them is Kumari Banana Chips. From across the road we watch a small red-bodied mini-truck with …

Milk, Soda or Water Sarbath

If you go to the Bhaskarettante Kada (Brother Bhaskar’s shop) Sarbath shop in Kozhikode, you can order one thing three ways – Milk, Soda or Water Sarbath. That’s it. That’s what they make. And, they’ve been making it very successfully for over six decades. Also known as South India Soda the Malayalam names are paal sarbath …