Dotted with beaches and heritage sites, Kannur is an idyllic city that holds an eventful past. In today's episode Anubhav along with our knowledge host Muhammed Shihad from Kannur City Heritage Foundation are taking you on a fascinating food tour that revolves around dishes which are integral to the daily food habits of the locals.
Our first stop was Bismi Bakes at Neerchal. It's a one stop place for a wide range of traditional and modern bakery products and snacks. With the help of Shihad's guidance, we picked up some Balappam and Kannurappam from the counter and headed to Bismi Parlour to enjoy them with tea. There we met the calm and hardworking Velasattan ji who made us a super frothy adicha chaya. Bismi Parlour is a tea and snacks corner that attracts lots of locals.
Once the chaya was served, we opened the two snacks and also ordered some muttapam from the shop when we came to know that it is their bestseller. The pretzel shaped Balappam tasted like a cake, while rice flour based Kannurappam was soft, fluffy and doused in coconut oil. Muttappam on the other hand was a mildly savoury and fluffy ball that easily fills up one's tummy.
As a matter of coincidence, Shihad had arranged for muttappam making session at the beautiful and renowned homestay by the beach named Seashell Haris Home. So after finishing off our tea we headed there to have some piping hot muttappam.
The genial and gracious owner Haris had also arranged for a pleasant breakfast spread. But first we joined Sulekha Ji who showed us how muttappam are made in a special frying vessel. The secret behind a perfect muttappam lies in the batter. In the expert hands of Sulekha Ji the muttappam came out really amazing. She has been making and supplying them to many popular eateries since long. Soon we joined Haris for breakfast in the lap of the pristine beauty around the homestay.
From there we headed to a 90 years old coffee shop which feels like a slice from the past. Shihad led us there to try the very unique ghee coffee. The old world ambience and the simple menu at this coffee stop seemed quite fascinating. The visitors mostly included common masses from the locality. We also picked up some kappa fry to see why it's such a preferred combo over here. The ghee and jaggery based black coffee had a wonderful earthy and warm taste while the mildly spiced kappa fry reminded us of sweet potato.
The next stop was Juice Cocktail Corner where we went for Kannur special chilled beverage called Kannur cocktail. This thick and luscious drink made of papaya, carrots, milk, ice cream and nuts has taken the city by storm and people don't miss any opportunity to indulge in this beverage.
After this we visited Tams Fun City in Mattool Central Beach for two amusing experiences. First was a pet station run by the passionate entrepreneur Zaaby and the second was a wonderful restaurant that serves amazing local and popular cuisines in backdrop of the beautiful setting by the beach.
The gracious owner and the amazing staff at Beach Dinning restaurant served us a wonderful fish biryani with another classic dish from the region called chemballi pollichathu. This spices marinade based fish cooked in banana leaves parcel was an absolutely delish. The biryani on the other hand was a deviation from the Thalassery biryani due to the use of basmati rice and a few other spices. But it too was great.
Heartfelt thanks to Shihad for showing us his city's food culture.