Spanish Delight

It is time to try Spanish tapas that comes with a smattering of Indian flavours at Malabar House, Fort Kochi.

Published: 25th July 2015 02:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th July 2015 02:31 AM   |  A+A-

For most mortals, the beautiful land of Spain may start with the numerous   soccer-crazy clubs and end with the La Tomatina fest. But, there is   something more mouth-watering about Espana, its varied cuisine. Everything  from its variety of seafood (squid, scallops and octopus) to cheese and  wine, can be real appetizing, vouches Manoj Nair, the executive chef at Malabar House, Fort Kochi.

Spanish.jpgThe globe-trotter that he is, Manoj’s month-long stint at the creative  kitchens of San Sebastian, the gourmet capital of Spain, has helped him  sharpen his culinary claws. And, the Fifth Annual Festival of Tapas at the  Malabar Junction, the restaurant, is the result of his ‘food sciences’ and the outcome indeed is very fruitful.  

“Tapas is wide variety of appetizers or snacks served cold or hot. In pubs and bars in Spain, tapas has evolved into an sophisticated cuisine with  spreads lined out as an accompaniment to down the drinks,” says Manoj.

Think before you cringe thinking that Spanish may not be your thing, because here in Malabar House, the tapas gets a slight Indian  makeover, not compromising on its taste.

The highlight of the tapas fest is that one can choose from the four special tapa sequence, which includes a desert.

Before you dig into their tapas variety, take a swig of wine offered here and that includes Cabernet-Franc Shiraz, Sangiovese or Chardonnay.

Spanish1.jpgFor seafood lovers, there is tuna escalivada (marinated chunks of tuna) and ensalada de pulpo (tossed baby octopus salad with capers, gherkins and olives.

“Europeans generally believe in focusing on the basic raw material of the  dish, which may either be chicken, fish or beef. This is a far cry from our   preparation where we give prominence to the ingredients (masala). One bite   of their dish can give the real taste of the ingredient,” says Manoj.

And, for those willing to explore the food taboos, it is time to try on  risotto de tinta de calamar which is risotto (spanish rice variety) and squid is cooked on its ink. “Squid ink is something we consider inedible. But, it is extremely favourable and rich. However, one needs an acquired taste to appreciate it,” warns the chef.

Then, there is crab and lentil vada with sweet-sour pineapple rasam. A makeover of our own ‘paripp vada’, the dish appeals our taste buds. Pinxto de pollo (chicken skewer in shahjahani sauce) and croquetas (bacon croquettes served on a bed of mushroom thoran), the local presence is very much there.

For veggies, there is the green quartet section. Vegetarian mezze which is grilled peppers, aubergine and zucchini and paneer parcel in chatpata haryali, tangy spincach and coriander among a few other varieties.

Pinxto de sollomillo de ternera is your mini beef fillet grilled and served with salad basket and bread, a real filling treat. Another must-try is trio de gambas which is crispy coconut, spring roll and pasta wrap.

Spanish2.jpgEqually appetising is the desert counter. Torrijas con platano is rich and mouth-watering good. This Spanish bread pudding is served with toffee banana. Besides, there is the Spanish street snack churros served with warm chocolate besides homemade icecreams.

The festival which began on July first week will run till August last.

Follow The New Indian Express channel on WhatsApp


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp