The food from Malabar coast evokes strong emotions. The region has been a hub for spice trade since 1000 BC and has a large population of the Mappila Muslim community. The cuisine of Malabar has influences from the Portuguese, Dutch, English and most heavily, Arab cuisine that has been amalgamated with local fare. As a result, Malabar cuisine is unique and has a large fan following.

The Dining Room at Park Hyatt Chennai is currently hosting a Malabar food festival that has been curated by Masterchef Latha, who has close to three decades of professional experience. She informed us that she has used her grandmother’s recipes and all the spices used have been prepared by her and team in-house.

We relished the entire spread. We started with chicken and squid appetisers prepared with typical hand-blend masalas and a flavourful Muthira Charu. Soon we were served with five different varieties of pickles – prawn, tuna, yam, dates and lemon. They made our day! You can completely finish a meal with them. The main course comprised of soft and fluffy Kalappams that went well with Kappadu Meen Curry and Kannuvacha Pathiri that was perfect with Malapuram Mutton Curry. We also couldn’t get enough of the magical Malabar mutton biriyani. Mild and flavourful, this biriyani was the star dish of the spread.

For dessert, we polished off Apple and Banana Payasam and Chatti Pathiri. Both rich and sinful, but not to be missed.

We were informed that the menu might vary slightly on a daily basis but major dishes will be constant through the festival.

Location: The Dining Room, Park Hyatt Chennai Hotel, 39 Velachery Road, Near Raj Bhavan

Festival dates: Ongoing. Till November 30

Timings: 12 pm to 12 am