02 March 2009

is it worth the waiting for? .....i think i'll eat the menu

we have a menu now. a lean one in keeping with our mantra of keeping it simple

there will be five moolis. yes our wraps are not mere wraps, they are moolis.

the beef mooli is inspired by keralan beef. or olathi erachi as we syrian christians of the malabar coast call it* the mooli is spicy and meaty. a unique peppery and chilli flavour, perfectly offset by crunchy coconut pieces (yes, this dish may contain traces of nuts, if a coconut is a nut. is it?). the beef is slow cooked for several hours to infuse the beef with the spices and to make the beef tender and succulent. in kerala we would keep roasting this till the sauce almost disappears and the beef becomes lovely and crisp on the outside**. but leaving just a little of this sauce to coat the beef is probably ideal for the mooli. we are yet to decide on the perfect accompaniment - tangy pickled radish (mooli!) is the strongest contender at the moment.

yesterday we made our first attempt - it can be improved, but it was good.

i think i need to break for food now.

*yes, i am one. in fact every other Mathew from India is one. we all have just a single t and we all love our olathi erachi (with a peg of whisky). but we differ on whether we are descendants or converts of st. thomas & co who came to kerala just AD. yes, the same st. thomas, the doubter himself. and in the tradition of my forefather i doubted the viability of mooli's for several months. and so i tested and prodded and prodded for many months and now i believe. wholeheartedly.

** this is the "olathi" in the name. i dont know the equivalent english word. it is somewhere in between roasted, sauteed and fried, but not quite.

ps: i know of a syrian christian inspired song that is similarly ethereal. it is called "kandisa" by a rajasthani folk-rock band called indian ocean. most of the lyrics are in ancient aramaic (only spoken by a few kurds now) and used to be sung in the orthodox churches of kerala. it played in church as my beautiful wife walked down the aisle. and when we buried my father.

download it, play it loud but on good speakers. close your eyes.


Gautam said...

Good God man, do you have to do this during Lent? *sigh*

So what's for the vegetarians?

mathew said...

soon to be unveiled....

sameer said...

i really liked kandisa! music for mooli's? its definitely distinctive.

today i go shopping to make the beef. i am convinced it will go brilliantly with mu saengcha (a mild thinly sliced radish kimchi, not kaktugi, which is cubed radish kimchi)!

mathew said...

i made the bengali prawn last night, but once again not completely satisfied, so will need some critical input. also pickled some mooli which will go well together and also with spinach leaves (couldnt get methi).

yes, we need music ideas. i've got plenty, but none that i'm completely sold on.

teresa said...

kandisa and olarthia erachi- its soul food for malayalees abroad-

I am dreaming of a 'rost tharavu'Olaviape style mooli or a beef'cutlet'mooli and hold the avacado!

Keep on mooliing- I'm drooling!

Sam said...

Kandisa are great! Downloading from emusic now.

Thanks to you and the wonderful convoluted paths the internet runs whereby I started on twitter looking at coffee twits and ended up here slathering at the thought of your food and downloading new tunes I would never have found otherwise.

Thanks again!