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Saturday, Oct 16, 2004

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A traditional fare

A food festival `The Flavours of Kerala' is on at Hotel Regency



Roasted Crabs

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM CITY cannot hope to earn brownie points for cleanliness. After a downpour, the bylanes are best avoided. The garbage piles and slush on the narrow roads in the city are definitely not a pretty sight.

And when one has to write about a food festival at a hotel in one such bylane, trudging along the narrow road does not seem to be a pleasant proposition. When we reach Hotel Regency, we decide to go to the rooftop and check out the naadan (traditional) food festival, `The Flavours of Kerala'. A party is on at the rooftop and we are escorted to the restaurant on the ground floor. The room is dimly lit; its dιcor and ambience is nothing much to describe.

We browse through the menu. Tapioca and fish curry, Squid Thoran, Roasted Crabs and Karimeen Pollichathu, Pathiri Kozhi Curry, Idiyappam, Mutton Curry and Vegetable Stew are some of the items on offer.

K. Rajesh Kumar, food and beverages supervisor, suggests that we try out their appam and stew. The appam is soft and the stew is not very spicy. Tapioca (kappa) is served with fish curry made of seer fish. The curry tastes hot; the gravy is a little too thick.



Karimeen Pollichathu

We decide to taste their elayappam (made of rice flour and stuffed with jaggery). We take a small helping and find that it tastes fine. Idiyappam is served with chicken curry made in the traditional way. The curry is a good accompaniment to the idiyappam. Karimeen Pollichachu wrapped in plantain leaf is what we decide to eat next. This fish is well-cooked, tender and quite hot.

Spicy dish

The roasted crabs look tempting. After deliberating for a while, we give in as the dish smells quite good. The chef, Babu, has done a decent job garnishing the roasted crabs with spices that add to its flavour. Our initial enthusiasm begins to fade as we realise that eating it is a tough job.

Here is a suggestion: Ask the chef for the recipe and if you are good at cooking, try out the recipe at home. The fare is limited unlike what you would generally find at buffets and food festivals organised by upmarket hotels. The food is fine, the service better.

The food festival is on till October 17.

SMITHA SADANANDAN

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