Exploring Moplah cuisine is all about sneaking a peak into the rich cauldron of typical Malabari delicacies. And as you hear the term Malabari cuisine, there follows the rich listing from the Malabari non-vegetarian basket.
If you are on a foodie adventure of typical North Kerala, try out this cosy place in the heart of the city. ‘Aalibhai’s Thattukada’ is all about those heavy meaty recipes the Moplah community relished ages ago.
Situated on the beach premises, the thattukada boasts of everything traditional, be it the seating arrangements or the bowls and spoons! Definitely there’s a lot to say about the typical fish and meat dishes spread out over there.
‘’When we thought of starting an eatery in Kozhikode, we knew it was going to be a challenging task. Stacked with non-veggie eateries in the city’s nook and corner, putting up something of the same kind was not going to work out. And thus the idea of a Malabari thattukada popped up,’’says Ummer, a partner of the eatery. ‘’We have a revolving menu here,’’he adds. Do you think the eatery follows every norms and rules of a normal restaurant? Then you are mistaken, because the moment you are in, you get the feel that you are in a half-lit street and ordering food from a normal thattukada. At Aalibhai’s, you sit in benches and eat food in clay plates . As the curators explain, the building is believed to have been a major hub for Arabs who came down to the Malabar region with their trades . From brain fries and masalas to goat head dishes, you’ll simply gasp when the waiter takes your orders. ‘’We cook brain dishes of mutton and beef. Not surprisingly, there is a good crowd for these typical Malabari dishes,’’explains Gireesh Pulparambil, executive chef.
Not at all behind is the demand for ‘Kozhi Thaalichathu’. “Kozhi Thaalichathu is also called Kozhi Veluthulli [garlic] Curry in the Moplah community. Cooked in ginger, pepper and green chilly mixture, the curry gets its flavour from the immense addition of garlic which is the chief ingredient of the dish,’’ he says.
The meaty varieties range from pepper fries and masalas to thick chilli gravies of mutton, beef and chicken.
“Our Kozhi Mulakittathu and Mutton Varattiyathu are prepared from exclusive recipes. We follow the traditional Moplah pattern while cooking these dishes,’’ says the executive chef, who further adds that the fish basket is again rich in varieties.
“Meen Mutta (fish eggs) dishes are our masterpiece items in the menu. They are prepared from the eggs of various fish,’’ he says. If small onions and green chillies are the primary ingredients of Meen Mutta Fries, there is a bigger story to narrate about the 32 varieties of fish fries available at Alibhai’s. ‘
’Paccha Kurumulaku (green pepper) Fish Fry and Paccha Mulaku (green chilly) Fish Fry are the items in demand at the fry counter. But Thengapaal Mulaku Fry (fish fry prepared from thick coconut milk paste and green chilli) tops the chart. It is served with Kannu Veccha Pathiri, Orotti, (tyre pathiri), Masala Pathiri, Kati Pathiri, Puttu and boiled tapioca, to name a few. The eatery, which is open from 12 pm to 12 am, is also famous for its spicy Sulaimani. “This Sulaimani is a rich mixture of pepper, ginger and various spices. This should be the best way to wind up your meal,’’ he says. So, wait not, because here’s the time to pamper your taste buds with everything from pepper and chillies to brains and eggs.