“I visited the homes of the locals in Kerala, India and learned to cook with them.”
The Life of Lewis
Meet Lewis the London born, Indian food enthusiast and owner of Kerala Kitchen. “I worked in the newspaper business for 16 years before deciding that my passion for Indian food could help me establish my own food business”.
He was inspired for this venture during his travels in Kerala in Southern India. Kerala, often called the “Land of Spices”, is a natural paradise with overlapping hills of spice plantations that have been gifting the world with flavour, colour and texture for centuries. “I wanted to study the art of Indian cooking so I visited the homes of the locals and learned to cook with them”. Lewis soon discovered how to use freshly ground spices, herbs and coconuts (a staple of the Keralan diet), to produce healthy, flavourful, traditional Indian food that Ireland had not yet experienced.
“I set up my own Indian food stall in 2009, cooking and serving fresh, healthy and authentic food at popular festivals around the country. My first gig was Sea Sessions in Donegal but I soon found out that I couldn’t keep up with the customer queues all by myself. I employed a chef and then hired a small team who have helped Kerala Kitchen to become part of the thriving Dublin street food scene”.
Kerala Kitchen has grown from strength to strength, trading at various lunchtime markets showcasing aromatic and nutritious dishes that are packed with flavour and that stay true to their Indian roots. “My biggest achievement to date has been opening up our restaurant on Baggot Street” which caters for all Indian food lovers and transports them to the exotic land of Kerala. A warm welcome awaits everyone!
The Keralan coconut chicken curry is a warm fuzzy reminder of what is good in the world.
This hearty dish comprises a rich, beautifully spiced coconut gravy that surrounds chunks of tender chicken. The sauce is creamy and fragrant, slightly spicy and is bursting with unique flavours of coconut, pepper, mustard seeds and curry leaves. These spices are tempered (heated in hot oil) to release their deep aroma and full-bodied flavour, giving the curry a super savoury element and a smooth and satisfying feel in the mouth.
The dish is served atop a mound of steamed white rice and garnished with fresh coriander and jalapeños for a further fiery kick. The crispy poppadoms are the perfect accompaniment for this South Asian dish.
Other items on the market stall menu include:
- Chicken tikka masala – simmered in a mild, silky tomato sauce with fenugreek that is said to warm you deliciously and provide ultimate comfort in a time of need.
- Chana saag – A rich creamy and flavourful chickpea and spinach curry with cumin, fennel and spice.
- Vegetable Jalfrezi – Fresh vegetables simmered in a tangy tomato sauce with fiery green chillies.
- Onion Bhaji – Handmade spiced onion fritter.
The food is nothing short of delicious and I would highly recommend bathing yourself in the pleasure of its company. There is nothing better then that feeling of post meal smugness; when you are nourished, comforted and truly well fed!
*Food for Thought
- The British invented the word ‘curry’ back in the 18th century when they colonised India. It was most likely derived from the Indian word ‘kari’ (meaning sauce) and was a term used to describe a sauce-based dish flavoured with a variety of spices.
- Takeaways have given Indian food a bad rep as they use copious amounts of oil and butter to stop food burning on the high heat burners. Kerala Kitchen use fresh grated coconut or coconut milk in many of their recipes to replace these ingredients (oil, butter, cream) to create healthy and lip smacking alternatives!
You will find Kerala Kitchen at their permanent location – 5 Baggot Street Upper, Dublin and at lunchtime markets during the week:
Wednesday: East Point and Spencer Dock
Thursday: Mespil Road and UCD
Friday: Percy Place (Grand Canal) and Sandyford Industrial Estate
For more information take a look at their website – http://www.keralakitchen.ie/