Times Kitchen Tales 2: Zero Waste is a brand of good taste

I asked what community the food belongs to, while I sat at the rickety table where a rather vibrant lunch was offered, at the Chittoor Toddy store in Kerala. My question puzzled Kochi culture evangelist, hospitality professional and food writer Shana Susan Ninan, who was showing me around Kochi. When he left Karthik Murali, the founding member of Eat Kochi Eat (Kochi-based food group), speechless, when we later found a cup of Sulaimani tea.

Food has no religion, I learned in God's own country. The toddy store menu does not belong to any community, Karthik said. It is simply spicy since the food is accompanied by large amounts of toddy. The dishes I tried, the tomato-based anchovy curry, the dried dal and the slow-cooked pork and yam, left my tongue singed but did not overwhelm me. The heat ratio was a function of black pepper after all: the original heat-inducing spice in Indian food; No peppers that can be much more intimidating.

Toddy's food is hyperlocal, Shana said. The menu reflects the dietary preferences of the district, which services the toddy store. In Alleppey, it is the fishhead curry that governs how I learned from Oneal Sabu, who writes about the food and culture of Fort Kochi. In the Chittoor Toddy store, I was able to enjoy a thick sauce-based dish made entirely with chicken spare parts or offal; This is a similar dish in philosophy to the Parsi aleti paleti, where the disposed offal of the goat meat of weddings is served the next morning as an abundant breakfast dish. It reminded me of

On the weekend I died from my childhood in Kolkata, where offal and pieces of chicken with bone were as popular as drumsticks and thighs.

This was my first trip to Kochi and I must say that my favorite dish of the trip was one that I had in the Malabar Café of the Grand Hyatt Kochi. I'm talking about the traditional Keralite breakfast plate by Pazham Kanji. It consists of the matta rice left over from the previous day, soaked in water and fermented overnight. Add pickles, coconut chutney, buttermilk or curd, sometimes infused with mustard, to the plate, then mash in small red onions and take it for breakfast. Take bites of fresh green chili while enjoying this more relaxing, refreshing and refreshing delight. It is similar to the bhaat bhaat of Bengal or the pakhala of Odisha. You have it in Tamil Nadu, a reader also said when he saw his photo on my social networks. He was surprised that such a humble dish was offered at a luxury hotel.

Well, that's the beauty of Indian food that we're all waking up with. While 'zero waste' could be a buzzword today, it has been an integral pillar of the Indian food tradition since time immemorial. Whether the ghonto mochar made with banana flowers in Bengal or the phod ni chi roti in Maharashtra (where the rotis of the previous night are crushed and thrown into a pan with spices to prepare a gala breakfast dish), never Wastes nothing in an Indian kitchen.

There are countless other examples of excellent dishes throughout the country that are made with products that are discarded worldwide, and leftovers too. Write us at www.kitchentales.com with examples of such dishes from your kitchen.

By: Kalyan Karmakar

How can you be part of this? Watch for this space, where we will present new topics for discussion every week. Find us at: www.timeskitchentales.com and share your stories. The most inspiring stories from the Times Kitchen Tales repository will be shared in this column.

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