Mohanan’s quaint tea stall in Vallichira, near Kottayam's Pala is where you get the tastiest pazhampori or banana fritters and beef curry. The huge heaps of plantains stacked in front of the tea stall are evidence of the incredible popularity of this delicious combination.
Interestingly, around 200 kilos of plantains are fried in hot oil here on rush days. The dishes are cooked on wood-burning stoves. Even though plantain fritters and beef are the champion dishes here, there are takers for their special ullivada, chili fritters, tapioca and pork too.
You could easily reach this eatery at Vallichira, Murinjara in the Pala-Marangattupally route. Other than those who come in search of the shop, which got featured by several food vloggers, the shop is a favourite pit stop for those travelling between Pala and Kochi. Travel 4 kilometres from Pala in this route and you'll reach a small junction where you can easily spot the eatery. The entire shop is painted bright canary yellow. Bunches of bananas are hung in front of the hotel. The combo makes it an easily noticeable yellow spot on the side of the road.
The building it functions in is a fairly old one with a tiled roof and wooden shelves. The eatery was opened around 55 years ago. Though the original name was Asad hotel, the shop came to known as 'Mohanan chettan's chayakkada' (Mohanan's tea shop) after the dishes whipped up by its owner earned a name. With the eatery getting viral for their fresh hot pazhampori-beef combo sometime in 2021-2022, it earned another moniker – the pazhampori shop.
Sizzling hot pazhamporis become ready by around lunch time every day. Other than the snack options, the hotel also serves a delicious non-veg meal with rice, stir fries, beef, pork and chicken dishes. Grabbing a plate of meals and then getting some pazhamporis as take out would be the ideal way to avoid rush time. There are only a handful of tables at the eatery which can host some twenty plus customers at a time. By tea time, the shop will be full of those who come to enjoy freshly fried snacks. The shop opens from 7am to 7pm.
A plate of beef curry costs Rs 60 while you can get one pazhampori at Rs 10. Chicken curry also costs Rs 60.
Here's how to prepare delicious banana fritters with crunchy outside and soft insides.
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup chickpea flour
1 tbsp rice powder
4 tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp baking powder
Oil to fry
Prepare a batter by mixing all purpose flour, chickpea flour, rice powder, sugar, salt and water
Add baking powder
Dip the plantain pieces in the batter
Fry in hot oil.