The Ente Keralam toddy shop fest is the closest you are probably going to get to a toddy shop in Kerala
The lowdown: It’s officially a thing in Kerala. More and more foodies are flocking to toddy shops for a meal experience like no other. Picture this – no refrigerators, small kitchens and certainly no fixed menu. What you get is fresh catch of the day and a daily menu largely shaped by the cook’s whims and what’s available in the market. The belt around Kottayam, Alapuzha and Ernakulam is home to the toddy shops with the most delish fare and yes, it’s mostly fiery.
The deets: The Ente Keralam promotion is on till March 20 (at their restaurants in Chennai and Bangalore) and the menu has been put together by Radhakrishnan and Suresh (who’ve run toddy shop kitchens in Alapuzha and Kasargod). Meal for two: Rs 1500.
Must try: The Idi Erachi (air-dried beef beaten to a coarse mixture with shallots, garlic and spices), prawns marinated with their special seasoning and deep fried with pepper, Mushy curry (a catfish that is thankfully not Vietnamese Bassa) and the Edanayappam (jackfruit and jaggery cooked with pounded rice and steamed in a fresh bayleaf) for dessert. No, there’s no Vegetarian fare usually at toddy shops; so, sorry folks. But you can sample the large veggie selection on the restaurants’ regular menu.