My first taste of Appams were at a nondescript Kerala hotel eons ago. I had associated Kerala food to all dishes being only a coconut-based until then and that’s where my ignorance lay. The Appams and Puttus opened up my world into Kerala cuisine and I’ve since fallen in love with it.
I remember waking up in a houseboat in Alleppy to steam hot appams served for breakfast along with fish curry made using the fresh catch off the backwaters. The same experience lingered along in the shores of Sri Lanka, relaxing in the beach and being served steaming hot Appams. It was a comfort dish, simplistic and yet enticing.
Did I ever think of it getting a high-restaurant makeover? Not until I visited Spice Junxion at Taj Deccan for their Appam festival. Chef Rishi Manucha has applied all of his Chef’s creativity to dish out amazing combos of Appams with various other curries.
So we had the Chettinad flavored Beetroot Appams, where the juice of the beetroot had been infused to give a beautiful tinge of pink and best had with Kori Gassi or the Mangalorean Chicken curry. Not shying away to mix in combos which are essentially Chinese, the South Indian Appams get an Asian twist at Spice Junxion.
So you have your Keerai Appam (flavored with spinach) with Asian Fried Prawns or the Five-Spice Oats Appam with Chili Paneer. Yeah I know you might just be thinking “Whaaatttt?” but it turned out to be delicious. Sometimes our mind just doesn’t register combos until we’ve actually had them and Chef Rishi has done an exquisite job at playing on those thoughts.
But even after all of that mixes and changes that the appams got at Spice Junxion, I couldn’t help myself to sit down with a traditional Palappam with Meen Moilee. After all the Appam is comfort food and there is no better combination for me with the Appam other than with the fish curry. Memories play a huge factor when it comes to taste and that is exactly the one at Spice Junxion left me remembering.
The Appam Festival is on Spice Junxion, Taj Deccan till the 26th of June, 2016.