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 …

Unnakkai - Cotton Pods sit on a white plate.

Unnakkai – Cotton Balls

It’s easy to see why Unnakkai – Cotton Balls are such an instant hit with all who try them. Banana fritters stuffed with coconut? Yes, please. There are some recipes that are hard to replicate at home. This one for Unnakkai – Cotton Balls might be one of them. First, these spindle-shaped treats are made …

Kozhikode-Fish-Market

Kozhikode’s Fish Auctions

It was four thirty in the morning and pitch black when we crawled into Chef Babu’s car. A quick drive down the hill and we crawled back out to roam the huge dock that’s home to Kozhikode’s Fish Auctions.  Lights blared from the top riggings down a long line of trawlers backed into the wharf. …

Chef Babu from the Taj Hotel Kozhikode at fish market.

Chef Babu

We planned to do our research for Faces, Places and Plates in the off-season. It gave us the chance to access people who would otherwise be too busy to spend time with us. Executive Chef Babu at the Taj Gateway Hotel Beach Road Kozhikode was one of those people. During peak season, his job would …