Tuesday, January 3, 2017
The Eater's Digest - 11
It has been quite a few posts since the last Eater's Digest came up - and because there was a craving for beef last evening, this one had to be today's post. A generation ago, Kalpaka on TTK Road was the place to go for beef - especially the Syrian Beef Fry, as it used to be called. Funnily enough, that name never evoked any association with the middle east, but the very mention called to mind the flavours of Kerala. That's where the Kalpaka Beef Fry was born, from the Syrian Christian kitchens of that state.
Kalpaka was of course a Malayali kitchen. That meant Kerala porottas and aapams for sure, with a bunch of dishes that you could find in pretty much any restaurant. But what was impossible to replicate was the peppery-coconutty combination of the gravies, which has been the signature taste of the Malabar coast. And in the 1990s it was possible on occasion to smuggle in some nice Old Monk to go with the food; the tradition of Malayalees being able to hold their drink was never contradicted at Kalpaka.
These days, you cannot get the Syrian Beef Fry at Kalpaka. The price of political correctness, possibly, has led to the dish appearing as Kalpaka Beef Fry. Must go back to try it, so reassure myself that 20-odd years cannot change the taste of that signature dish from the Suriani kitchens. If you would like to try that for yourself, this may be a good place to start!