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 …

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. …