Abida Rasheed and Moplah cuisine are synonymous with each other! Moplah cuisine originates from the northern Kerala region (which also is resident to a large Muslim community). The food in this region has more of an Arabic influence. As self-confessed by Abida herself, “she isn’t a restaurateur, she is a complete home-cook”, the food she plates up for you has a homely touch to it. The recipes are age-old authentic treasures. As she states “I have travelled the world, have travelled vastly in India but people are still unaware of specific cuisines of our motherland”. Abida has been in the industry for as long as 7-8 years to bring forward and create awareness about Moplah cuisine.
We were fortunate enough to have an exquisite experience at The Park, New Delhi which is currently hosting the Moplah festival, served and curated by the master herself – Abida & Executive Chef Abhishek Basu! One look at the menu, and you feel how brilliantly everything has been paired with. Be it the Meen Mulaku curry with the puttu or the Mutton Ishtu with the Pathiri. Abida is very particular on how each item should be eaten and served up.
It was a 3 course meal starting with Snacks, Main course and Dessert tasting platters.
The snacks platter comprised of – Erachipathiri wherein “Pathiri”, I came to know are made of rice flour and they can be made as simple pancakes or fried with meat/fish stuffed into it (which was precisely the item here), Kaduka Nirachatu – Mussels stuffed with mixture of rice flour and coconut and shallow fried, and the Kozhi Porichathu – Chicken deep fried in coconut oil. What stood out was definitely the stuffed meat pathiri and the mussels stuffed with rice flour and coconut (if weren’t told, I would have never believed that it was mussels). The Meat Pathiri was delicious to the core and I was willing to have few more of it.
The main course consisted of – Meen Mulaku Curry – A thick gravy of prawns cooked with onion, tomatoes,tamarind and chilly, tempered with mustard and garlic, served with a log of Puttu. Here we were quickly instructed by the Chef to use our hands and lick our fingers if required, and to enjoy the dish. Next on line was the Mutton Ishtu served with pathiri and Malabar paratha.
The final dish was the Thalassery Mutton Dum Biryani – this one was the icing on the cake. The biryani rice was served separately with the cooked mutton on the side along with a serving of Kerala papad. As coaxed, we dug into it with our hands as soon as it was placed before us. The biryani was flavorful to the core, and didn’t taste at all like the biryanis we are used to. This one dish I can have again and again.
Dessert platter consisted of the – Chakara Choru, Elaneer payasam, Halwas and the Alissa. Starting with Alissa – it’s a variety of Haleem but sweet. Traditionally prepared in Moplah weddings, this one is a must in all their festivities. Delicious! Chakara Choru – it’s a must try, cooked with skinned whole wheat, milk and pine jaggery, something we found very unique in taste and it’s a must-try.
Event : Moplah Food festival (a la carte menu, very reasonably priced) at Fire restaurant, The Park, New Delhi.
When : 4th Dec – 13th Dec