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What were Thiruvananthapuram’s food trends in 2023

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Eating out has never been so exciting. There is something to suit every taste and every pocket at all times of the day. From all-day outlets and fine dining restaurants to tiny chayakkadas, with out-of-the-box names and some without even a sign board, there is a wide spread to choose from.

Let us take you on a quick trip through the year that was in terms of food.

Biryani fever

Ambur Star Biryani.

Ambur Star Biryani.
| Photo Credit:
SIVA SARAVANAN S

Looks like one can never have enough of biryani. In addition to different biryanis in Kerala such as Malabar, Thalassery, Travancore and so on, brands from Tamil Nadu have created quite a stir. Beginning with Thalappakatti, brands such as Aasife, Asquare and Ambur Star made steady inroads into the flavours of the city.

Biryani at Saranyaa Mess

Biryani at Saranyaa Mess
| Photo Credit:
Aswin V N

In fact, Saranyaa Mess, Kulathoor, which serves Salem-style biryani, serves it even in the wee hours of the day. Moreover, hotel chains, home chefs, cloud kitchens and small-scale food-preneurs have launched their own brand of biryani with meat, seafood, paneer, vegetables, jackfruit and tapioca too. 

What’s in my dosa?

Dosas come in over 100 varieties thesedays

Dosas come in over 100 varieties thesedays
| Photo Credit:
SIVA SARAVANAN S

Imagine choosing a dosa from over 100 varieties? It has everything to do with the filling, ranging from vegetables (sautéed or raw), meat, egg, seafood, cheese, noodles to chocolate and everything else. While Mothers’ Veg Plaza introduced over 100 varieties a few years ago, now the field is thrown open with the presence of brands such as Pai’s Kitchen, Vaigas Oottupura, Ali’s Express and random shops like the one at Kuravankonam, selling dosa with fillings that stretch your imagination. All the same, thattudosa still has a special place in the heart of many a dosa lover. That is not all. With millets being the buzzword, millet dosas are also getting popular, courtesy places such as Millet Cafe.

Go green

Salads and greens have several takers in Thiruvananthapuram

Salads and greens have several takers in Thiruvananthapuram
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Eat healthy, stay healthy is the mantra these days. This has seen the mushrooming of food ventures, especially takeaways that focus on salads and healthy meals. Eat Green Tvm, Salad Caffe, The Salad Bistro and Whealthier serve customised salad bowls besides giving weekly, fortnightly or monthly subscription plans. Meliorem, a cloud kitchen, caters to those following diet plans. Many restaurants and eateries are expanding their salad menu with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Microgreens are finding a place on plates, thanks to entrepreneurs selling home-grown greens.

Balle, balle

Aloo paratha from Vishnu Ka Dhaba served with butter, curd and pickles

Aloo paratha from Vishnu Ka Dhaba served with butter, curd and pickles
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Any fan of Punjabi cuisine will tell you there is more to it than butter chicken, lassi and paratha. Over the last two years, the city saw a handful of places such as Vishnu Ka Dhaba, Delhi Café, Shri Ramdev Marwadi Punjabi Dhaba, North Bites, Desi Bites, Lunch Box, and Madhuvan serving authentic Punjabi cuisine, mostly vegetarian, while the older ones such as Sharma’s, Ramji Bhojanayala and so on continue to keep their customers happy with hot phulkas, rajma-chawal and more. 

The thrill of grills

Mixed platter of grilled items 

Mixed platter of grilled items 
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Starting with eateries of myriad kinds serving Arabian cuisine, Indianised and authentic, these are now found in every corner of the city. The Kowdiar-Kuravankonam road has several mobile eateries serving mostly grilled meat while Kovalam has outlets where the fresh catch of the day is grilled to your taste. Many restaurants have grilled food in addition to the ubiquitous Malayali, Chinese and Mugalai cusines.

My cuppa tea

Blue tea 

Blue tea 
| Photo Credit:
SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Most Malayalis start their day with tea and a newspaper. However, during the last two years, tea has become a brew with attitude. The frothy milk tea still reigns but ice tea is giving it a stiff competition. In addition to black, white and green, tea is available in several flavours such as strawberry, peach, and pomegranate. Even kattan, just good old black tea, has many options. Kattan with honey, ginger, spices, lemon, masala etc are some options in  Kattan Delight. Bubble tea is the speciality in Café  Boba Queen while places like Tea World serve blue  peaflower tea, hibiscus tea, Saffron Sulaimani and more. Then there are Desi Bites, Chaikaari, Chai Cult, Tea Company, Tea Point, Tea Bite, Booster Chaya etc. How about tandoori tea or a dancing tea?

Just desserts

Paalada being filled into container at Ambi’s Kitchen

Paalada being filled into container at Ambi’s Kitchen
| Photo Credit:
ASWIN VN

Payasam outlets are now dime a dozen with even roadside vendors selling the creamy, sugary dessert. Makachiyude Payasakada was one of the first in the city to specialise in payasams. Now, they have competition from malls, high-end shops, speciality outlets like Maha Boli and Ambi’s Kitchen, bakeries and caterers and roadside vendors.

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