THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Recipes on Ripples isn’t your average cookery book with instructions from cover-to-cover. Soju Philip, the executive chef at Ramada Resort, states that he took over seven years to write a food travelogue about his sojourns into the backwater haven of Kuttanad.
Ask him what prompted this 180-page book and he has a tragic reply, “The death of a close friend in 2001 is what initially prompted me to visit Kuttanad.” He elaborates, “I was working with Best Western hotel in Virginia (USA) at the time.
Upon landing back in God’s Own Country, I found myself in awe of this land’s paddy fields and backwater-hugging roads.”
Eventually, this led to repeated trips and a growing fascination with Syrian-Christian cuisine that’s rooted in the region.
So of course, one of the chef’s favourite recipes from his book is a Kuttanad staple, vendekka manga curry.
- Cut mangoes and ladies finger into small pieces.
- Grind grated coconut with cumin seeds, two green chillies, shallots, a sprig of curry leaves, and half a raw mango.
- Heat coconut oil in a pot; splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilli. Add the ladies finger and sauté well; add turmeric powder, ground coconut paste, and raw mango slices to the pot.
- Pour one cup water and simmer in a slow flame, till the vegetables are tender.
- Garnish with diced tomatoes and serve during Onam sadya.
Recipes on Ripples is out now. Available for C199.
Vendekka manga curry
Ladies finger 250 gms
Raw mango1 no
Grated coconut 1 cup
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Green chilli 4-5 nos
Shallots 3-4 nos
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Tomato 1 no
Salt to taste
Coconut oil 2 tbsp