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KCK Evergreen Kerala Food Festival & Buffet

“A preview of the upcoming festival being held in Bangalore”

I was recently invited to attend a preview of the upcoming “Kappa Chakka Kandhari” Kerala food festival taking place on Jan 29,30,31 at the St. John’s College Medical Auditorium, here in Bangalore.

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Image Courtesy: KeralaTourism.org

Kerala is my home state where I was born but unfortunately I missed out on several aspects of the cultural experience since we moved abroad when I was little. After having spent 25 years outside India, the only memories I have of the food from Kerala are some of the dishes my mother used to prepare and the few trips to Kerala on summer vacations. I remember dishes my grandmother used to make – some of which cannot be easily found at restaurants. If you’ve ever read the book my cousin Arundhati Roy has written, “The God of Small Things”, then you’ll understand what my trips to Kottayam and the backwaters in Kerala are like. If you haven’t then think of waterways, lakes, coconut palms, small villages and food cooked over firewood with local ingredients and spices.

It would be nice to make up for lost time and experience authentic Kerala food again and that’s exactly what this festival aims to do.

Background

Kappa Chakka Kandhari (KCK) is a venture started by Chef Regi Mathew (founder of Benjarong/Ente Keralam), Augstine Kurian and John Paul – a concept that aims to replicate traditional Kerala cuisine prepared by housewives from Kerala using fresh ingredients from Kerala. Everything from the vegetables, meat , seafood and spices used are sourced fresh from Kerala. No preservatives are used.

Augustine Kurien, Chef Regi Mathew, John Paul 1

L to R: Augestine Kurian, Chef Regi Mathew, John Paul

Kappa Chakka Kandhari means Tapioca, Jackfruit, Green Chili (Bird’s eye).

Chef Regi and his team traveled across Kerala speaking to 85 housewives, sampling cuisine from different parts of the state to come up with a menu that showcases this. Syrian Christian, Allepy, Trichur, Palghat are some of the styles you can expect to see.

To promote their concept they have have embarked on showcasing dishes via food experiences in various cities (Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkotta and across the Middle East) as well as creating an on-line store for those wishing to pre-order preserves (jams. pickles) and snacks, which can be collected at the festival. Ingredients and cooks have been brought in from Kerala to keep it as authentic as possible.

“Our vision is to recreate the cuisine which we enjoyed in our childhood and make it more acceptable for the new generation. Over time we hope to get this cuisine ingrained as a food habit of people who crave for good food” said Chef Regi Mathew.

What to Expect

The event is in two parts:

  1. Food Festival – Pickles, Snacks & Desserts & Savories on sale. Entry is free. Timings – 11am to 8pm
  2. Buffet54 dishes (veg and non-veg) to choose along with live music. Price: Rs 1250 per head all inclusive. There are early bird offers (see links at the bottom of the post). Timings – 7pm to 10pm.

At the event, you can expect to see dishes from the following regions in Kerala:

  • Backwaters of Kerala
  • Meenachil – Kottayam
  • Malabar Cuisine
  • Celebrations of Thrissur
  • Palakkad Cuisine

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At the preview, we got to hear from all three founders as well as try out a few of the 54 dishes (veg/non-veg) and preserves they plan to showcase at the festival prepared by a team brought in from Kerala.

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Chef Regi with his team of cooks

On the menu for the preview:

Appetizers – Kappa Cutlet, Idichakka Cutlet, Prawn Kizhi, Pork Kappa Ilayil

Preserves -Beef Pickle, Fish Pickle, Chakka Chips, Date Pickle, Kandhari Pickle

Mains-Kappa Biriyani, Kuzhikuthi Chakka, Vella Chammanthi, Vattukappa Vevichathu, Meen Vattichathu, Chendakkappa,Kandhari Pottichathu, Chena Puzhungiyath, Red Mulagu Pottichath, Asthram, Shappu Kappa, Kozhi Curry

Desserts – Churuttu, Pazham Nanachathu, Meenachil Pudding, Jack Fruit Ice Cream, Kandhari Ice Cream

My Favorites

I did not get to try all the dishes mentioned above and kindly excuse the names of the dishes – remembering the names was quite a daunting task considering I was all too focused on tasting what was in front of me.  At the buffet, you can always ask what for an explanation of the dish and read off the placards and you’ll have a lot more to choose from. Did I mention 54 dishes? Yes, 54!!!

Appetizers -My personal favorites were the kappa and chakka cakes served with coconut chutney, onions and dried shrimp mixed with chili. Did someone say flavor explosion?

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Mains – The Beef cooked with chakka, the leaf wrapped slow cooked shrimp and pork were just mouth watering. The different types of tapioca with accompanying chutneys ensured repeat helpings.

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Dessert – I only tried one of the two available. This I am told is a must try and indeed it certainly is – The Khandari Ice Cream. Sweet, creamy with a nice spicy finish that leaves you wanting another spoonful! I’ve never quite had anything like this before.

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Pickles/Preserves – The Date and Raisin pickle is my absolute favorite -so good that I’ve been spreading it on toast as a snack! The Kandhari and Gooseberry pickle are equally good. Remember these are homemade with no preservatives and there are several more varieties on offer at the festival – bring a bag!

 

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Overall Impression – I was really happy to taste some of the things I last had when I was younger. When you go to the event this weekend, please fast before hand – you’ll need a lot of space!  Remember they have 54 different dishes at the buffet and a vast selection of pickles, preserves, savoury items and snacks to choose from at the festival. You can pre-order from their online store and make use of the early bird offers for special buffet pricing.

Take in the aromas ,savor the flavors and have yourselves a great time!


 

Event Details

 

KCK Event picture

Dates: January 29,30,31

Timings:  Food Festival – 11 am to 8 pm . Buffet – 7 pm to 10 pm.

Venue: St. John’s Medical College Auditorium, Koramangala (Opp. BDA Complex)

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1667875023465039/

KCK Online Store: Click Here

KCK Facebook Page: Click Here


 

All Images Courtesy: KCK, Tales Of Froth (except where noted)

 

 

 

 

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