Mouth-watering food items from Rajeshwari dosa to elaneer payasam (tender coconut pudding) made Kuttanadan Selfie 2015—a food festival organised by the hotel management students of Chandanathope Government Basic Training Centre—a memorable event for foodies. Add Kuttanandan neera, kallappam (Toddy-fermented appam) and duck roast to an already sumptuous menu and you have a real palate pampering food festival.
The food fest was held in a tent that was raised in the serene Chandanathope Government ITI campus. Rajeshwari dosa, kallappam and duck roast were the favourites at the event. Visitors flocked the counter of Rajeshwari dosa to taste the spicier version of masala dosa.
"It is called Rajeshwari dosa since it is spicier than the traditional masala dosa," said Ranju George, the training instructor at the centre. Preparation of the dosa is explained through a live commentary from the instructor that starts as soon as the dosa batter is poured on the pan. Once the batter solidifies on the pan kept on fire, a beaten mixture of beetroot and chillies is applied over it before spreading the masala. The demand was so high that 600 Rajeshwari dosas were sold at the festival. Homemakers who tasted the dosa left the venue with the promise of trying it themselves at home.
The elaneer payasam shares all the ingredients with semiya payasam (Vermicelli) except for the vermicelli, which is replaced by elaneer (tender coconut). First the tender coconut water is beaten in a mixer with cow's milk or coconut milk. Then the pudding is prepared with ingredients such as sugar, cashew nuts and dried grapes. Adding a little milkmaid (a brand of condensed milk) to it helps boost the taste of the pudding.
Hot dry ginger coffee prepared in the nearby stall also saw good demand. The duck roast counter at the festival was also crowded. Instructor P. Smitha said that 60 ducks were procured from Alappuzha to prepare the duck roast, which is prepared by sautéing the meat in a mixture of a grated ginger and garlic before seasoning it with coconut milk and adding masala. Duck roast for a thousand people was prepared at the fest. Next to the duck roast counter was delicious kallappam fermented with toddy brought from Alappuzha. Young ans old alike were seen indulging on the famed kallappam and duck roast combination.
Food was served on banana leaves cut to shape and spread on the plates. Tasty meal comprising of brown rice, baked fish in banana leaf and chutney made of green chillies, coconut and tomatoes was also available. While the Kuttanadan neera was also enjoyed by many at the event, the shell fish fry and mango curry, vegetable stew and theeyal also saw many takers.
Students at the event were dressed in the traditional chefs' attire while a small paddy field was also made ready at the venue to render it a rural Kuttanad look. A total of 120 students are studying various courses at this centre.