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A taste of Kerala

Kerala cuisine won many fans thanks to Nimmi Paul



Nimmi Paul had gourmets asking for more

APPAM, INJI curry and Meen Vattichathu tickled the taste buds of gourmets at the recently concluded International Flavour Festival in California. And to present Kerala cuisine, at the event, in all its authenticity was a housewife from Kerala, Nimmi Paul. Says Nimmi, " It was a great honour to represent the country in an international event." Nimmi was one of the two women who participated in the Worlds of Flavour, the Seventh International Conference and Festival organised by the Culinary Institute of America from November 11 to 13. The other woman was from Vietnam. The theme of this year's conference was `Savoring Asia.'

Nimmi and her husband Paul provide accommodation for tourists at their residence in Thevara, Kochi. Here tourists learn the nuances of Syrian Christian cookery and they also get to taste Kerala cuisine. In fact, an Assistant Editor of New York Times, R.W. Apple, who visited them last year, recommended Nimmi for the conference.

"The people in the West like our spicy food, especially our traditional items. All of them found our food delicious and different,"

Spices

Nimmi and Paul carried all the spices she needed, including traditional vessels like `uruli' `para' and `nilavilaku' and clay pots. Their luggage weighed more than 80 kilograms.

Nimmi prepared `Appam' and `Inji curry' for lunch and `Meen Vattichathu' and `Fish Molee' with Halibut, for dinner, for more than 300 people. She demonstrated the preparation of `Inji curry' that fascinated most of the delegates who tasted it. "The taste was not exactly the same since we used local green ginger. But most of the delegates found it unique and tasty. They were very keen to learn and I was amazed to know that some of the volunteers were highly qualified professionals," remembers Nimmi.

She also demonstrated the making of `Idi Appam.'

Event details

The event selected traditional and contemporary flavours from Asian countries such as India, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore.

Held at the Napa Valley Campus of the Culinary Institute of America, the participants included senior chefs, menu and food product development specialists, food writers and food marketing executives attended it.

Apart from Nirmala Paul, three chefs from India were also invited to speak, demonstrate and present Indian cuisine at the conference.

T.K. SADASIVAN

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