How to enjoy Kerala food in East Delhi

When I’m free — and which means all day as of late – I try to recall some outdated food tales. Take a dish referred to as Chicken 65. I believe I used to be launched to it someday in the early 1990s by a fantastic prepare dinner referred to as Mr Suryanarayan, who used to work for Andhra Bhavan after which began his personal food enterprise. I bear in mind asking him – and a number of other different cooks thereafter – how the dish obtained its identify. The extra cooks I requested, the extra variety of explanations I obtained.

Some mentioned the identify happened as a result of it was began and popularised by Chennai’s Buhari Hotel in 1965; a couple of others claimed that the dish had to be ready with a rooster that was 65 days outdated. And then there have been others who insisted it was cooked with 65 completely different spices. I like all these tales, however I just like the dish much more. It is sizzling and spicy, and leaves you asking for extra (and for quite a few glasses of chilly water, if not a hearth extinguisher).

That is why, once I was going by the menu of a restaurant referred to as Kerala Café the opposite day, I made a decision that I had to order in their rooster 65. It was a kind of evenings once we wished to eat one thing completely different. The decisions are restricted as of late, however we had heard from our buddy Jayan that Kerala Café, in Mayur Vihar Phase 1, had moved to a brand new place in the identical neighbourhood. I referred to as them up (9650696710) and located that they had been delivering by Swiggy and Zomato. So we requested for a plate of Chicken 65 (₹220), Kadala Curry (₹120), Parottas (₹30 for one), Chicken Biryani (₹200) and Set Dosa (₹120).

And what a meal we had! The Chicken 65 was a dish of fiery wanting stir-fried rooster (succulent, and never in the slightest degree dry), and the parottas had been flaky and crispy. I had them each with the Kadala Curry on the facet. The small black chana dish got here in a thick and tart gravy, and I loved it immensely. The biryani was completely different – and far appreciated. The rice was mild and aromatic, and even mildly candy. The rooster in it was enveloped in thick gravy — so collectively, the sunshine rice and wealthy rooster did fairly a pleasant tango.

We saved the set dosa —three spherical and comfortable dosas — for breakfast. The subsequent morning we had the dosa with the sunshine, onion-and-tomato-flavoured sambar that it had include. It was fairly a heavenly breakfast.

It was good to have Kerala food after a very long time. The menu consists of fish curry, egg curry, and rooster curry, in addition to rooster roast and egg roast. Then there are utthapams, puttu, and egg dosas. The costs differ between ₹120 and ₹230, apart from the prawn curry which is ₹300. There was a time once I used to recurrently choose up food from the small Kerala eateries in INA Market. Those days appear to be the golden age now. I discover myself buzzing Mary Hopkins, “Those were the days, my friend; we thought that they’d never end”. That is why the smart say: seize the day.

The author is a seasoned food critic

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