Kerala, located at the South-West tip of India’s map, with a running coastline of 580 km, with maximum literacy is also known for some good food. So it goes without saying, besides having a heart full of humanity, Malayali people are great cook! Take for example Chef Regimon at Crowne Plaza Kochi, who takes care of Trilogi restaurant. Besides leading the team here, he has a number of accolades including a Masterchef feather in his hat.
Elucidating the food culture of Kerala, he says, the state can be divided into three regions: Malabar, Kochi and Travencore. Malabar region, which is dominated by Muslim population, like their food with numerous spices. All the spices found in Kerala, right from Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove, and Pepper are used by these people in their food. However the spice-level is minimum. Compared to this, Kochi region likes their food spicier. A good meal of rice and Kochi Beef Curry would leave you searching for water with every gulp, if you aren’t used to spicy food. Travencore, just like Kochi uses a high level of ‘hotness’ in food.
What about the Biryani?
With the word Biryani, you visualise a huge handi (vessel) of rice, meat and spices blended with an authoritative ‘dum’ (sealing of the cover and cooking in low flame). With Malabar’s strong Arab connection, Biryani is staple of this part of Kerala. As a result the Biryani that you get here is similar to the cooking process of Arab.
What makes this Biryani unique?
Well, you won’t believe it’s the magic of rice. Most part of India, in its Biryani, uses Basmati rice, the patented long grain rice as the base. However, in Kerala, the biryani is cooked using Kaima rice. Kaima is a short grain rice and has a unique taste. Moreover, the meat isn’t sauted in spices and onion before putting into the layers of rice. The uncooked chicken blends with the rice and result in handi full of aromatherapy for your tastebuds. Also, as Masterchef Regimon cautions, Kerala Briyani doesn’t use red chilli. Instead a lot of home grown spices, Garam Masala, goes into the making of the Biryani.
So next time you are in Kerala, don’t forget to sample the Biryani and feel the magic of Kaima rice.
The coconut oil infused Biryani certainly brings in a melting pot of aroma and flavour – all at the same time.
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