Rasa N16

An Introduction To The Food

Kerala

The south west state of Kerala lies on the Malabar Coast of India, a tropical region made up almost entirely of inland waterways, coconut groves, and spice plantations. Kerala has traded its spices - cardamom, ginger, turmeric and black pepper - with Arab, Chinese and European merchants for thousands of years. Sugatha Kumari, a Keralite poet and ecologist says "Once there was a time when the whole world was enamoured of the fragrance of Kerala."

Kerala's culture has evolved and has an open attitude to visitors and a strong mix of religions. Kerala was the first place the world freely to elect a communist government (and vote it out several years later) it has India's lowest birth-rate and its highest literacy rate, and possibly the highest concentration of poets.

Rasa means taste (but not only of food), and we want you to experience a taste of Kerala's villages and dishes from other southern Indian states. Here we can remind you of Kerala's traditions: the vibrant temple dance, Kathakali; compelling music, the elephant parade and boat festival. Every year around September, Kerala's greatest festival, Onam, is celebrated with music, dance and of course, food.

A South Indian Vegetarian Menu

In Kerala, your dishes are served on a huge fresh banana leaf, a disposable platter. Contact with your food is direct and tactile as you eat with your right hand, mixing wet into dry ingredients - a messy business for the uninitiated.

No meal is complete without a selection of pickles and chutneys to add piquancy (in India these are placed top left on the leaf), rice to fill you, a very liquid dal (spiced cooked lentils) to moisten dry dishes, some yoghurt to cool the more fiery curries, and a selection of crisp savouries. Not surprisingly these dishes are often made from bananas, as Kerala has over 250 types, from bright green through every shade of yellow to clay pink. They also appear in stews, dumplings and a rice breakfast dish steamed in bamboo.

To complete a feast, there may be bananas cooked in raw sugar syrup, scented with cardamom from Kerala's cardamom hills in the east, or a sweet pudding with raisins and cashew nuts, since Kerala is the cashew capital of India.

Chef Special


A hot, sweet, sour and fragrant explosion of taste on a plate, the irresistible taste of seasonal curry sure to leave you asking for more!!!!



 

The Kerala Feast At Rasa  (per head)
£ 17.00

Our team of award winning chefs, are expert at preparing the most exquisite mix of flavours and textures in a Kerala Banquet. Why not let us prepare your own personal feast enabling you to sample a wide range of our dishes.

A taste of all our specialities samples from our pre-meal snacks, starters, curry selection, side dishes, rice, breads and a traditional Keralian sweets.

Please let us know if you have any particular favourites you would like us to include.

 

Pre-Meal Snacks
£ 3.00

These light and crispy treats are popular in Keralian tea shops for "tiffin" (afternoon tea) and to munch while waiting at the station for the Trivandrum main train. They are best accompanied by our unique selection of home-made chutneys and pickles. A snack tray consisting of:

Achappam

A flower shaped snack made of rice flour and coconut, black sesame seeds and cumin seeds. This snack began life in the Christian homes of Travancore and is now eaten all over Southern India.

Pappadavadai

Pappadoms dipped in a light batter of rice flour, cumin and sesame seeds and fried to give them extra "crunch and crackle" - these are Pappadoms with a difference.

Pappadoms

Plain crispy snack made of black gram lentils and rice.

Banana Chips

Crispy banana chips

Murukku

Crunchy sticks made from roasted rice flour, black sesame seeds and cumin seeds.

 

Pickles And Chutneys
£ 2.00

The spicy fresh punctuation of the best Indian food and as important to a South Indian as the food itself. All of our pickles and chutneys are home made.

 

Starters

Vadais, Bolis and Pakodas are very popular and enjoyed all over South India. When the tea shops start making these, the whole area is suffused with the aroma of curry leaves, fried onions and lentils. This in itself is an irresistible attraction to enter these colourful little village restaurants and taste these delicious snacks.

Rasa Idli
£ 3.50

Steamed urad dal (black lentils) cakes topped with chef's speciality mixed vegetable masala. Served with coconut chutney.

Mysore Bonda
£ 3.50

The tea time snack in Kerala, but delicious at any time. Potato balls laced with fresh ginger, curry leaves, coriander and black mustard seeds, dipped and fried in chickpea flour batter and crisply fried. Served with a moist, creamy coconut chutney.

Banana Boli
£ 3.50

Plantains, like coconut and spices, are an integral part of Kerala cooking. Plantain slices are dipped in a batter of rice and chickpea flour seasoned with black sesame seeds, then crisply fried. Served with our specially prepared peanut and ginger sauce. Perfect for children and people who prefer non-spicy starters

Medhu Vadai
£ 3.50

Literally translated as "soft silky dumplings". A spongy dumpling in a crunchy case, made from urad beans and chillies - served with coconut chutney.

Masala Vadai
£ 3.50

Vadias are South India's great treats, crunchy, deep-fried patties made of mixed lentil batter laced with fresh curry leaves, ginger and green chillies, served with coconut chutney. A favourite tea time snack in the family home.

Kathrikka
£ 3.50

Finely sliced pieces of aubergines are dipped in a special batter, blended with coriander and chilli, before frying. Served with a fresh tomato chutney.

Bhel Mix
£ 3.50

Famous Bombay roadside snack made of fresh crispy chickpeas, bhel, sev, peanuts, onions blended in spicy tamarind juice and freshly chopped coriander leaves.

 

Soups

Rasam
£ 3.50

The essence of Kerala - a peppery lentil broth laced with garlic, tomatoes, spices and tamarind.

Parippu
£3.50

A soup made from a combination of three different lentils, flavoured with tomato, garlic, coriander and black pepper.

 

Main Dishes

Chilli Onion Rava Dosa
£ 6.75

A large lacy, crispy pancake made of semolina and rice flour batter mixed with ginger, green chillies and cumin seed. Served with sambar (lentil and vegetable sauce), coconut chutney and spicy potato masala.

Masala Dosa
£ 6.75

A paper thin pancake made of rice and black gram, folded in half with a filling of spicy potatoes cooked with onions and ginger and served with sambar and coconut chutney. A most popular southern dish.

Nair Dosa
£ 6.75

A speciality dosa from Kerala, usually eaten during festivals and celebrations. A rice and black gram flour pancake filled with a mixture of potatoes, beetroot, carrot, onions and ginger. Served with sambar and fresh coconut chutney.

Plain Dosa
£ 4.50

A paper-thin pancake made of rice and black gram, sered with Sambar and coconut chutney.

 

Curry Selection

Thakkali Curry
£ 4.75

A fresh and tangy dish made of fresh tomatoes, cooked in yoghurt with fresh ginger, onions, spices and coriander.

Avial
£4.75

This famous Keralian dish is the ultimate for feasts and celebrations. Potatoes, carrots, beans, green bananas and drum sticks (discard the fibrous outer part and enjoy its fleshy centre), steamed in turmeric water, and mixed with fresh coconut, chillies and home made yoghurt.

Beet Cheera Pachadi
£ 4.75

An amazingly vibrant dish, traditionally only served at wedding feasts. Fresh beetroot and spinach are blended together in a yoghurt sauce with roasted coconut, mustard seeds and curry leaves - a must for the adventurous.

Rasa Kayi
£4.75

A mixed vegetable speciality from the Southern State of Karnataka. A spicy curry made of beans, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and simmered in a sauce of garlic, ginger and fennel.

Bagar Baingan
£ 4.75

A Hyderabad recipe of aubergines cooked in a ground paste of roasted onions, coriander seeds, chillies and tamarind, mixed with yoghurt and cashew nut sauce.

Cheera Parippu Curry
£ 4.75

Fresh spinach and toor dal cooked in a thick sauce of garlic, tomatoes and green peppers, flavoured with curry leaves.

Rasa Vangi
£ 4.75

Aubergines cooked in a thick tomato and onion sauce, flavoured with curry leaves, chilli and coriander.

Nadan Paripu
£ 4.75

A Kerala lentil curry made of washed mung beans and split yellow lentils with tomato, chillies and garlic.

Cheera Curry
£ 4.75

Home made Paneer (curd cheese) and spinach cooked with garlic, peppers and tomato in a creamy sauce. Goes well with lemon rice.

Moru Kachiathu
£ 4.75

An unusual combination of sweet mangoes and green bananas cooked in yoghurt with green chillies, ginger and fresh curry leaves. A sweet and sour dish that is highly recommended.

 

Side Dishes

Savoy Cabbage - Stir Fried
£ 4.25

Thoran, an essential dish at every Kerala feast, can be made from a variety of vegetables. This one is made from chopped cabbage, cubed potatoes and lentils stir fried together with onion, fresh coconut and mustard seeds.

Spicy Potatoes
£ 4.25

A combination of potatoes, peas and peppers stir fried with onions, cloves, black pepper and tomatoes.

Kovakka Olathiathu
£4.25

Tindori, similar to baby cucumbers, and cashew nuts dry roasted with coconut, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Black Eye Beans
£ 4.25

A very unusual dish from Kerala made with black eye beans stir fried together with onions, coconut, mustard seeds, dry chillies and curry leaves.

Vendakka Masala
£ 4.25

Fresh Okra stir fried with shallots, garlic, then tempered with chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Kerala Salad
£ 4.00

A very unusual salad from Kerala made with guava, avocado, stir fried Indian shallots. Fresh coconut, lemon juice and chilli powder.

 

Rice Dishes

Rice is the staple diet of Kerala and South India. Keralites cook their rice for variety and texture.

Coconut Rice
£2.95

Plain rice mixed with fresh coconut, urad dal (black lentils) and curry leaves.

Tamarind Rice
£ 2.95

Rice tossed gently with tamarind juice (a sweet and sour fruit), cooked with cashew nuts, peanuts and dried red chillies.

Tomato Rice
£ 2.95

Basmati rice cooked in coconut milk with fresh tomatoes and cashew nuts.

Lemon Rice
£2.95

A tangy, fresh tasting rice tossed with lemon juice, fresh curry leaves and mustard seeds.

Brown Rice
£ 2.95

Kerala brown rice

Boiled Rice
£ 2.50

Plain white basmati rice.

 

Breads

Paratha
£ 2.50

A Kerala speciality - wheat dough layered and coiled into a coil mat shape then cooked on the griddle. A must with our curries.

Chapatti (2 Pieces)
£ 2.25

Round, flat wholemeal bread.

Poories (2 Pieces)
£ 2.50

Traditional puffed wheat flour bread.

Uzhunappam
£2.50

A very fragrant bread made of rice flour, Indian shallots, cumin seeds and roasted coconut blended together and cooked into a thick, crispy flat bread.

Appam
£ 2.25

A crispy, spongy rice pancake, essential for mopping- up moist curries.

 

Madhuram

Any auspicious feast in Kerala is not complete with out a "payasam". It is said that the payasam (the sweet) will make the meal memorable for years. We have a selection of traditional Keralan sweets rarely seen outside our villages and those ever popular Kulfies.

Pal Payasam
£3.50

An auspicious rice pudding from the famous Krishna temple in Kerala. Rice cooked in boiling milk with cashew nuts and raisins.

Banana Dosa
£ 3.50

This is the Palakkad Iyer (Brahmin) speciality with a difference. These tiny pancakes are made from bananas, plain flour and cardamom.

Mango Halwa
£ 3.50

Chef's speciality sweet made from pureed Indian Alphonso mangoes flavoured with cashew nuts and raisins. Suitable for vegans.

Kesari
£ 3.50

A Brahmin recipe of semolina, mango, cashew nuts, and raisins, they are more like Halwas but much lighter and with more flavour.

Mango Sorbet
£ 2.75

Vegan Ice Cream (Please ask for details))
£2.75

Ice Cream
£ 2.75

Vanilla/strawberry/chocolate

An optional service charge of 12.5% will be added on the bill.

 

Starters

Vadais, Bolis and Pakodas are very popular and enjoyed all over South India. When the tea shops start making these, the whole area is suffused with the aroma of curry leaves, fried onions and lentils. This in itself is an irresistible attraction to enter these colourful little village restaurants and taste these delicious snacks.

Rasa Idli
£ 3.25

Steamed urad dal (black lentils) cakes topped with chef's speciality mixed vegetable masala. Served with coconut chutney.

Mysore Bonda
£ 3.25

The tea time snack in Kerala, but delicious at any time. Potato balls laced with fresh ginger, curry leaves, coriander and black mustard seeds, dipped and fried in chickpea flour batter and crisply fried. Served with a moist, creamy coconut chutney.

Banana Boli
£ 3.25

Plantains, like coconut and spices, are an integral part of Kerala cooking. Plantain slices are dipped in a batter of rice and chickpea flour seasoned with black sesame seeds, then crisply fried. Served with our specially prepared peanut and ginger sauce. Perfect for children and people who prefer non-spicy starters

Medhu Vadai
£ 3.25

Literally translated as "soft silky dumplings". A spongy dumpling in a crunchy case, made from urad beans and chillies - served with coconut chutney.

Masala Vadai
£ 3.25

Vadias are South India's great treats, crunchy, deep-fried patties made of mixed lentil batter laced with fresh curry leaves, ginger and green chillies, served with coconut chutney. A favourite tea time snack in the family home.

Kathrikka
£ 3.25

Finely sliced pieces of aubergines are dipped in a special batter, blended with coriander and chilli, before frying. Served with a fresh tomato chutney.

Bhel Mix
£ 3.25

Famous Bombay roadside snack made of fresh crispy chickpeas, bhel, sev, peanuts, onions blended in spicy tamarind juice and freshly chopped coriander leaves.

 

Soups

Rasam
£ 3.25

The essence of Kerala - a peppery lentil broth laced with garlic, tomatoes, spices and tamarind.

Parippu
£3.25

A soup made from a combination of three different lentils, flavoured with tomato, garlic, coriander and black pepper.

 

Curry Selection

Thakkali Curry
£ 4.50

A fresh and tangy dish made of fresh tomatoes, cooked in yoghurt with fresh ginger, onions, spices and coriander.

Avial
£4.50

This famous Keralian dish is the ultimate for feasts and celebrations. Potatoes, carrots, beans, green bananas and drum sticks (discard the fibrous outer part and enjoy its fleshy centre), steamed in turmeric water, and mixed with fresh coconut, chillies and home made yoghurt.

Beet Cheera Pachadi
£ 4.50

An amazingly vibrant dish, traditionally only served at wedding feasts. Fresh beetroot and spinach are blended together in a yoghurt sauce with roasted coconut, mustard seeds and curry leaves - a must for the adventurous.

Rasa Kayi
£4.50

A mixed vegetable speciality from the Southern State of Karnataka. A spicy curry made of beans, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes and simmered in a sauce of garlic, ginger and fennel.

Bagar Baingan
£ 4.50

A Hyderabad recipe of aubergines cooked in a ground paste of roasted onions, coriander seeds, chillies and tamarind, mixed with yoghurt and cashew nut sauce.

Cheera Parippu Curry
£ 4.50

Fresh spinach and toor dal cooked in a thick sauce of garlic, tomatoes and green peppers, flavoured with curry leaves.

Rasa Vangi
£ 4.50

Aubergines cooked in a thick tomato and onion sauce, flavoured with curry leaves, chilli and coriander.

Nadan Paripu
£ 4.50

A Kerala lentil curry made of washed mung beans and split yellow lentils with tomato, chillies and garlic.

Cheera Curry
£ 4.50

Home made Paneer (curd cheese) and spinach cooked with garlic, peppers and tomato in a creamy sauce. Goes well with lemon rice.

Moru Kachiathu
£ 4.50

An unusual combination of sweet mangoes and green bananas cooked in yoghurt with green chillies, ginger and fresh curry leaves. A sweet and sour dish that is highly recommended.

 

Breads

Paratha
£ 2.25

A Kerala speciality - wheat dough layered and coiled into a coil mat shape then cooked on the griddle. A must with our curries.

Chapatti (2 Pieces)
£ 2.00

Round, flat wholemeal bread.

Poories (2 Pieces)
£ 2.00

Traditional puffed wheat flour bread.

Uzhunappam
£2.25

A very fragrant bread made of rice flour, Indian shallots, cumin seeds and roasted coconut blended together and cooked into a thick, crispy flat bread.

Appam
£ 2.00

A crispy, spongy rice pancake, essential for mopping- up moist curries.

 

Madhuram

Any auspicious feast in Kerala is not complete with out a "payasam". It is said that the payasam (the sweet) will make the meal memorable for years. We have a selection of traditional Keralan sweets rarely seen outside our villages and those ever popular Kulfies.

Pal Payasam
£3.50

An auspicious rice pudding from the famous Krishna temple in Kerala. Rice cooked in boiling milk with cashew nuts and raisins.

Banana Dosa
£ 3.50

This is the Palakkad Iyer (Brahmin) speciality with a difference. These tiny pancakes are made from bananas, plain flour and cardamom.

Mango Halwa
£ 3.50

Chef's speciality sweet made from pureed Indian Alphonso mangoes flavoured with cashew nuts and raisins. Suitable for vegans.

Kesari
£ 3.50

A Brahmin recipe of semolina, mango, cashew nuts, and raisins, they are more like Halwas but much lighter and with more flavour.

Mango Sorbet
£ 2.75

Vegan Ice Cream (Please ask for details))
£2.75

Ice Cream
£ 2.75

Vanilla/strawberry/chocolate

An optional service charge of 12.5% will be added on the bill.