Rasa Travancore

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 village 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 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.

FEAST AT RASA TRAVANCORE

Our team of award winning chefs are expert at preparing the most exquisite mix of flavours and textures in 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 Keralan sweet. Please let us know if you have any particular favourites you would like us to include.

 

FEAST AT RASA TRAVANCORE

Our team of award winning chefs are expert at preparing the most exquisite mix of flavours and textures in 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 Keralan sweet. Please let us know if you have any particular favourites you would like us to include.

CHRISTMAS SPECIAL( December 18th TO 21st)

Travancore turkey curry - famous Christmas speciality of Syrian Christians in Kerala. Turkey cooked in fresh coconut milk and lovely pepper masala made from garlic, curry leaves, ginger and green chillies.

 
 

Travancore Feast
£20.00

 

Pre-Meal Snacks
£3.00

These light and crispy treats are popular in Keralan teashops 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 (V)

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.

Banana Chips (V)

Crispy banana chips

Murukku (V)

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

(V) Vegetarian, 12.5% Service charge extra as applicable

 

Pickles And Chutneys
£2.75

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

Sagara Rasam
£ 4.95

Special Seafood soup from our Samudra menu, made from Crab, Fish, Prawns and Rice, flavoured with fresh tender coconut and spices.

Konju Fry
£ 5.50

Fresh king prawns marinated in refreshing spices and fried in the traditional fashion

Lamb Puff
£ 4.50

The aroma of lamb puffs beckons you at teatime to the many bakeries in Kerala where they are sold in little paper bags. Baked puff pastry stuffed with Kerala bakery special lamb Masala and vegetables and served with chef's special chutney

Kerala Fish fry
£ 4.50

Kingfish marinated in a spicy paste made of ginger, green chillies and coriander, then shallow fried in traditional fashion

Chicken Cutlets
£ 4.50

A home speciality from a mixed chicken and potato mix rolled on breadcrumbs crisply fried. Vegetarian Starters

Mysore Bonda (V)
£ 3.25

A 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 moist, creamy coconut chutney.

Kathrikka (V)
£ 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.

 

Main Dishes

CHICKEN

Kozhy Olathu Curry
£ 6.25

A famous recipe 'The Christmas Speciality'. Fried chicken cooked with onions, ginger, garlic, curry leaves, chilli powder, chopped tomatoes and black pepper.

Nadan Kozhy Curry
£ 6.25

The most common chicken curry made in Kerala. Cubes of boneless chicken cooked in a lovely pepper masala made from garlic, mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger. A fantastic combination with paratha and lemon rice

Chicken Stew
£ 6.50

Famous Easter speciality of Syrian Christian in Kerala. Chicken cooked in fresh coconut milk, with finely chopped ginger, green chillies and flavoured with cinnamon, cardamom, cashew nut and raisins.

LAMB

Mutton Muppas
£7.45

A traditional lamb curry cooked in a green masala made from fresh coconut, green chillies and ginger.

Erachi Olathiyathu (Dry)
£ 7.95

An essential item from the Toddy shop and the bar menus of Kerala . Boneless cubes of lamb and dry cooked in turmeric water, then stir-fried in an open kadai with an abundance of black pepper, curry leaves, and finely sliced fresh coconut slivers. A spicy dish. Great with a combination of paratha bread or chapattis.

Lamb Stew
£ 7.75

An indispensable combination with appams after the Easter fast for Travancore Christians. Lamb cooked in fresh coconut milk, with finely sliced ginger, chillies and flavoured with cardamom and turmeric.

DUCK

Tharavu Roast
£ 8.50

This is a Kuttanadu Christian speciality. Duck cooked in a thick sauce with ginger, garlic, onion and coriander.

PRAWNS

Konju thenga curry
£ 8.50

Taken from the famous 'Coconut Grove' menu, this is a delicious and mildly spiced prawn dish cooked in the sauce of ground coconut, turmeric powder and green chilies tempered with aromatic curry leaves and mustard seeds. It is a mouth-watering combination with Coconut rice or appams.

Chemmeen Masala
£ 8.50

A contribution from the Christian community on the coast of Cochin and very frequently seen I traditional fish bars on the shore. When fishermen bring the catch, customers purchase the prawns and take them to these bars that cook it fresh. It is spicy prawn dish with a thick sauce made of onions, tomatoes and green chillies. Ideal to combine with paratas.

CRAB

Crab Varuthathu
£ 9.50

The most popular dish in Rasa Samudra. Fresh crabs cooked in turmeric and chilli water stir fried with Indian shallots, black pepper and curry leaves. Combines with paratha.

FISH

Arachu Varatha Meen
£ 8.25

A signature dish of Ms Mariamma from Trivandrum, this is tilapia fish gently cooked in a turmeric coloured coconut sauce flavoured with tomatoes, curry leaves and mustard seeds. Superb combination with lemon or coconut rice.

Kappayum Meenum Vevichathu
£ 8.95

The most popular kallu shappu ( Toddy shop) delicacy in Syrian Christian populated hilly areas, The fame of this dish is unparalleled and people throng village bars just to taste this fish curry, which is a uniquely combined with Kerala staple tapioca. King fish slices prepared with tamarind and fresh spices in a medium spicy sauce served with steamed tapioca root, seasoned with curryleaves, mustard seeds and grated coconut. Lemon rice can be added to complete this divine combination.

 

Vegetarian

Moru Kachiyathu
£ 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.

Travancore Kayi Curry
£ 4.50

Chef Narayanan’s signature dish. Cubes of Carrot, potatoes, peas and beans steamed and cooked in a special sauce made of freshly ground coconut, green chillies and turmeric powder. Goes well with parathas.

Vazhutananga pal curry
£ 4.50

Baby aubergines slit into quarters, lightly fried in vegetable oil and cooked in a special sauce made of roasted coriander seeds, onions, coconut milk and garlic. Goes well with any rice or chappati.

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.

SIDE DISHES

Koottu Parippu
£ 4.50

Traditional lentil curry made of three different lentils cooked with tomatoes, green chillies and tempered with fried garlic, curry leaves and mustard seeds. Excellent side dish with any curries.

Bean Carrot Thoran (Dry)
£ 4.50

Fresh green beans and carrots finely chopped and cooked in the traditional thoran style with onions, fresh grated coconut, green chillies curry leaves and dry red chillies.

 

Rice Dishes

Coconut Rice
£ 2.75

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

Lemon Rice
£ 2.75

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

Plain Rice
£2.50

Steamed plain white basmati rice.

 

Breads

Chapatti (2 Pieces)
£2.00

Traditional Roti! Round, flat wholemeal bread.

Appam
£2.00

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

Malabar 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.

 

Madhuram (Dessert)

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.

Banana Dosa
£ 3.25

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

Kesari
£ 3.25

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

Pal payasam
£ 3.25

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

Mango Sorbet
£2.50

Ice Cream (Vanilla/Strawberry/Chocolate)
£2.50

Ice Cream(Coconut)
£2.50

Mango Sorbet
£2.00

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