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Fish and FRYS

Frys offers lovers of Kerala cuisine some authentic varieties


IT IS good to touch base with traditional home food every now and then. It refreshes ties with one's roots. So there I was busy being the `daughter of the soil', savouring the aroma and taste of onions fried in coconut oil at Fry's Restaurant on Montieth Road, Egmore.

There obviously is a Malayalam food wave sweeping across Chennai. A Kerala joint is popping up once in every three or four months. May be the shallot, curry leaf and coconut oil magic works on all! Frys being a well-known restaurant in Ernakulam for years has enough credentials to jump on the bandwagon.

Though the dinner menu claims that it represents the Malabar Moplahs and the Syrian Christians and the Central Travancore Hindus, the fare almost entirely belongs to the second community. The ghee rice and the mutton curry are the only Malabar presence. The barely there vegetarian fare is of Central Travancore origin, but from the Christian community.

But Frys offers quite a yummy treat. The original smoked kokum flavour of Kerala prawn roast (Rs.60) is unmistakable and, of course, irresistible. If only the prawns weren't so overdone, this dish could be the signature dish of the restaurant. The ghee rice for Rs.60 ought not to be missed. The set includes a piece of chicken fry, mutton curry, sweet chutney, salad, pappad and a veg curry. Good both quantity and quality wise.

The meat, whether it is the chicken fry (Rs.45) or the mutton curry, is moist and soft. After an enjoyable egg roast (Rs.20), the fish masala (Rs.60) literally set the tongue on fire. So those who can't take the heat, stay off this one. Among the staples offered, appam (Rs.6 a piece) and wheat parotta (Rs.7 each) need special mention. Soft and faintly sweet, the appam will go down very easy. The more flavourful and robust wheat parotta can take on the usual parotta any day.

Let's cut the frills and get down to brass tacks. At Frys, the relation between the happy tummy and the wallet is not an unequal one. Both get a good deal. Are you looking for anything more?

MARIEN MATHEW

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