If you are a food lover seeking authentic “naadan” Kerala cuisine or just happen to be traveling to Kerala and feel a little adventurous, toddy shops are just the place for you.
Toddy is a mildly sweet alcoholic beverage indigenous to Kerala along with Coconut Toddy Kerala. Toddy and toddy shops are intricately woven into the fabric of the common man here. The food served along with the beverage is mouthwateringly spicy and zesty.
1. Mullapanthal Toddy Shops
If you are inclined to try toddy shop dishes, then there is one place you can’t afford to miss – Mullapanthal toddy shop
Located at Thripunithura, just outside the bustling city of Kochi, this place is a favorite spot amongst foodies from all over the place. The 50-year-old jasmine plant (mulla) in its front yard forms a canopy and renders it the name Mullapanthal. This popular joint serves all kinds of delicious varieties of “shapp” (toddy shop) food.
The signature dish here is the Tharav (duck) curry. It is a lip-smacking recipe where the duck is slow cooked in coconut milk, one of the common ingredients of Kerala cuisine. The masala which gives it its unique flavor is freshly prepared here at the shop by the chefs who have more than 20 yrs of experience under their belt.
2. Nettoor Toddy Shops for Thala Curry!
Situated on the picturesque banks of Kochi Lake, Nettoor toddy shop not only promises amazing food but also a soothing ambiance to go with it. This shop is frequented by tourists, families and locals alike. Nettoor toddy shop menu offers a wide range of seafood delicacies.
The signature dish here is the “Thala” curry, a dish made out of the head (Thala) of a big fish. Kingfish is commonly used for this recipe. The head is cleaned and then boiled in water mixed with salt, turmeric, and tamarind. This is then cooked in a spicy gravy. The “Thala” curry is not for the faint-hearted, but if you are up for some hot and savory deliciousness, then this is a must-try for you.
3. Karimbumkala Toddy Shops – Check Karimeen Pollichathu!
With a legacy of around 60 years to boast of Karimbumkala toddy shop in Kottayam is a seafood lovers’ paradise. Though the signature dish is the “karimeen (pearl spot) pollichathu” other delicacies seafood varieties including kakka (oyster), konju (tiger prawns), chemmeen (prawns), njandu (crab) etc are also served here.
If you are a seafood lover do not miss the Karimbumkala toddy shop. Though pearl spot cooked in banana leaf -“karimeen pollichatu” is a common traditional recipe of Kerala, it has its own different flavor because the “karimeen” used here is half boiled.
4. Kadamakkudy Toddy shops – Taste Njandu Roast here!
Kadamakkudy is a sleepy little village nestled deep within the busy city of Ernakulam. Kadamakkudy toddy shop is sure to surpass your expectations in every way.
This tiny joint offers a vast menu including Njandu (crab), pork and fish items. Apart from the delicious food it also offers a breathtaking ambiance, as the shop is surrounded by water and paddy fields on all sides.
The chef’s special is the “njandu”(crab) roast. Fresh crab is caught from the surrounding waters and used for this recipe. A number of ingredients used in authentic Kerala cuisine are used in this dish giving it a distinctive taste.
5. Kailasam Toddy Shop – Koondal Roast Best!
Part of lower Kuttanadu, Chambakkulam, is a small village on the banks of a tributary of Pamba River in Alappuzha district of Kerala. Kailasam toddy shop is huddled within this village.
Farmers after a hard day’s work, flocking towards toddy shops in the evenings are not an uncommon sight here. The abundance of water bodies ensure a constant supply of fish, crab and prawns etc and they hence find a constant place in the toddy shop menu.
The signature dish is the “koondal” (squid) roast. “Koondal” is a favorite delicacy amongst seafood lovers in Kerala. This heartwarming dish is hence always in demand.