Sukhaina Moosa’s FoodieMeSu brings the distinctive, yet very little-regarded cuisine of Minicoy Island of Lakshadweep to the mainstream
Sukhaina Moosa’s FoodieMeSu brings the distinctive, yet very little-acknowledged cuisine of Minicoy Island of Lakshadweep to the mainstream
“Let’s start with breakfast,” says Sukhaina Moosa, chef and founder of FoodieMeSu, Kerala’s only restaurant serving common foods from the Lakshadweep islands. Seated at her compact, nevertheless perfectly-retained restaurant kitchen in Kaloor, Kochi, Sukhaina clarifies what constitutes a common Minicoy breakfast. “A few of faratas, which are rectangular maida (refiend flour) paranthas cooked on a pan till golden-brown, with Rairiha, a fiery red fish curry,” she claims. At the cafe, nonetheless, she serves Thelulimas (fried fish) far too, with the combo. “The people today listed here have been offering me excellent opinions,” she says.
Farata, Thelulimas and Rairiha combo
| Photo Credit history: THULASI KAKKAT
The rairiha pairs very effectively with the faratas . “It is extremely comparable to Kerala fish curry, in that it has coconut milk, coconut oil, curry leaves and spices, but we really don’t use kokum or tamarind in our curries,” suggests Sukhaina. The delightfully dependable gravy, which contains garlic, onions, coconut milk and tons of chilli powder, is a unique just take on fish curry.
Kiraliappam is another well known breakfast item of the islanders — a rice-flour pancake dipped in coconut milk, which is relished with rairiha. Fish, coconut and rice type the main of the delicacies in Lakshadweep veggies and meat are not staples. Just about every of the ten inhabited islands of the archipelago, nevertheless, has a unique tradition and cuisine.
Sukhaina’s restaurant provides the minimal-acknowledged, but abundant culinary record of Minicoy to the mainstream. She provides a combination of conventional dishes in addition to a several of her possess recipes.
Sukhaina Moosa, chef and founder of FoodieMeSu
| Photograph Credit rating: THULASI KAKKAT
Lying shut to Kerala in the mainland, the language, lifestyle and delicacies of the Lakhshadweep islands have many similarities to that of the Condition but Minicoy, currently being at the southern most suggestion of the archipelago, has drawn greater influences from Maldives and Sri Lanka. “Our foodstuff has drawn inspiration from the two international locations. Even the language we speak, Mahal, is a combine of Arabic and Sinhala.”
All the fish curries are organized applying coconut milk (not ground coconut, Sukhaina clarifies). When Kavabu is a coriander-based mostly curry, Sannathu is a thick semi fish gravy manufactured of a masala consisting of ground greens and ajwain. It is garnished with lemon juice and environmentally friendly chillies. “This is typically had with Kirufoli, a crepe made of rice flour and tender coconut,” she states.
A regular food, acknowledged as Garudiya, is a finish platter which includes soup, rice and side dishes. The soup, also recognized as Garudiya, is a very clear tuna soup, accompanied by Rihakuru, a fish sauce produced with sea water and contemporary drinking water. “This sauce is cooked for a 7 days constantly, adding new fish to the vessel until it turns brown. This sauce, which does not have any artificial preservative, can keep for yrs.” The food also arrives with Lonumirus, a salty, chilli paste with garlic and Mas-huni, a dry fish, coconut and environmentally friendly chilly chutney.
Nevertheless born in Minicoy, Sukhaina has spent a large share of her daily life outside the house — in Kerala, New Delhi, Bengaluru and other sections of India. When she settled in Kochi, she became a household chef and ‘chef handler’ for a food platform that delivered residence-cooked foods to distinct sections of the city. “I have often been fascinated by foodstuff. My dad was a gifted cook and I remember the flavor of the dishes he made use of to make. I derive my inspiration from him,” suggests Sukhaina.
When the pandemic struck, she started out her have YouTube channel, ‘Foodiemesu’, exactly where she shown regular Lakshadweep dishes. Progressively, she started toying with the notion of getting her individual cafe. Soon after months of thought and preparing, she opened FoodieMeSu two months back. “When I drew up the menu, I resolved to have a combine of common dishes and my own recipes,” she states.
Sukhaina presents a portion of ‘butterfly chicken’, her personal recipe — grilled hen breast dipped in soy sauce and egg, lavished in butter and herbs with a sprint of lemon juice, which she serves with garlic rice. “I didn’t want to supply only conventional dishes, I wished to add some thing typical as a fried rice and rooster, as nicely,” she says.
She gets her provides from Minicoy. “The fish, coconut and oil below does not style the very same, so I desire to get them from Minicoy.” (The island is 398 km from Kochi and can be accessed by sea).
Tuna is the only fish that is applied, even though white snapper (recognised as Filolu) is also treated as a delicacy. Sardines, mackerel and prawn, which are ample and relished in Kerala are only utilized as bait in Minicoy. “In Minicoy, persons however use the stay bait pole and line approach of fishing, ” Sukhaina adds. Through monsoon, when tuna is unavailable, the islanders rely on fish from the lagoon, which are equally delicious.
However meats are not a normal fare, on festive instances these types of as Eid, mutton, beef and rooster are cooked. “While in Minicoy, just one would not even uncover a meat store, Androth Island favor beef to fish. Nevertheless linked, the islands are diverse.” Biryanis are not produced typically and the one that is manufactured is pretty different from the ones discovered in the mainland, suggests Sukhaina.
| Photo Credit history: THULASI KAKKAT
The Fiya biryani, which she serves, is a flavourful biryani, yet refined on the use of masala. Aromatic rice is placed on a bed of spicy fried chicken and caramelised onion. The layering is carried out and topped off with a lot more caramelised onion. “This will involve a ton of operate, as we use a great deal of onions, which have to be caramelised.“
Snacks and desserts
Fuhggan (arrow root consume)
| Photograph Credit history: THULASI KAKKAT
Sukhaina has not however extra treats and desserts to the menu, but options to do so quickly. “We have a platter total of attractive snacks,” she suggests. Bisfarata, the most preferred, is deep fried farata made utilizing maida and egg with a hint of rose flavour. Sukhaina’s favorite is the Fathufukuthu — rice crepes rolled and loaded with tender coconut and coconut sugar, folded into a crescent and steamed in banana leaf. “I cannot get ample of its flavor,” she suggests. The Fuhggang is one more of her favourites, which is a translucent consume produced of arrowroot cooked and slash into jelly-like squares, rose-flavoured drinking water and sugar.
The cafe is open from 4.30 pm to 11 pm and is a just take-away outlet.