There were quite a few of main courses that made their way to the table, signature thali and katori style. Helpings from these dishes were ladled into each of our katories and were accompanied by Rice Pathiri - a staple thin chapati-like bread that is usually served with an array of meat dishes, just like it was this evening. Ummi explained how this pathiri is not really an easy thing to make and takes a long while mastering it. Along with the rice version, is a slightly sweeter coconut version that is deep fried, slightly greasy, but so satisfying with the likes of the tomato chutney and bhindi masala that was served
One of the first dishes from the main courses that came our way was the Alisa - a wheat and mutton porridge preparation which looks very similar to the haleem, but is a lighter (thanks to the lower meat, higher wheat proportion), made fragrant with caramelized onion and a light hand on the ghee. This is the dish that you will go back for, all through your meal and then, if you are like me, post dessert too.
Each of the main courses were distinctive in their flavours. The Kozhi Varattiyathu with onions and fennel paste rubbed on chicken drumsticks is mild, yet very flavourful, with a strong punch from the fennel. Both the Vendakkai Mulakitthatu (Bhindi Masala) with a touch of chilli and Thakkali Vatichathu (Tomato Chutney/Gojju) had distinctive tangy flavours, pairing very well with the pathiri. The Erachi Varatharacha Curry (Mutton Curry) is quite typical of a Kerala style mutton curry that is coconut based.