What about a bamboo tumbler full of pure toddy along with fish gravy or duck roast? Sometimes it could be tapioca tossed in oil with chilli, shallots, and mustard seeds that would go with the freshly-tapped sweet and sour white elixir. If you are a food lover, you can't ask for more.
The toddy shops have always been the face of Kerala's rural landscape. These modest outlets, besides serving a rather healthy drink with a dash of intoxication, evoke a sense of nostalgia. The alcohol content in toddy tapped from coconut trees is around 4 to 6 percent. The toddy shops no longer have a shabby look as they were spruced up as part of tourism activities to attract people with families. Let us walk through the toddy shops where one can visit with family and have tasty food and frothy toddy.
A toddy shop built in a conventional way with creepers spread on its roof and anyone would only love to step inside this unassuming but attractive eating outlet. And once inside it is indeed a gourmet's delight as palm toddy is served with various spicy and delicious dishes made of fish, rabbit meat, beef, and chicken. This is Kochiites' Mullapanthal shaap, one of the best places where one could have delectable food in the company of family members, at Udayamperoor in Ernakulam district. Apart from palm toddy, the ‘shaap’ also serves coconut toddy and ‘munthiri kallu’, grape-based toddy. The toddy shop’s specialties include spicy curries made of heads of big fish such as tuna (kera) and pomfret (avoli) besides duck curry. Other delicacies on the menu include ‘kohuva (Indian anchovy) peera’, ‘karimeen (pearl spot) pollichathu’, beef roast, chicken curry, mutton curry, rabbit meat fry and quail fry.
Mullapanthal – MLA Road, Udayamperoor, Thripunithura, Kochi.
Kadamakkudy toddy shop
Kadamakkudy, a suburb of Kochi city in Ernakulam district, is replete with paddy fields and lakes, and its pristine beauty is reflected during sun sets. This place is special for many people as it houses the Kadamakkudy toddy shop which serves traditional food and locally tapped toddy in serene surroundings. This shop’s signature dishes are chicken curry and crab roast.
Kadamakkudy toddy shop: Kadamakkudy village, Kadamakkudy junction, Kadamakkudy south road.
Another toddy shop one could visit along with family members is the Nettoor shaap in Ernakulam. The outlet near Nettoor boat jetty is known for chemeen (prawns) ulathiyathu, crab fry, beef liver, fish head curry, tapioca and rabbit meat roast. As the footfalls in the toddy shop tend to increase by evening, it is better to visit this shaap before dusk. The USP of the Nettoor shaap is appetizing food served in the backdrop of mesmerizing charm of Kochi lake. This traditional eating outlet is pocket friendly and cleanliness is one of the hallmarks of the Nettoor shaap.
Nettoor shaap: near Nettoor palli, Nettoor, Maradu, Ernakulam.
Mapranam shaap, one of the sought-after toddy shops of people in Thrissur, is situated on Thrissur road, which is 2 km from Iringalakuda. This outlet specializes in seafood that includes fish, squid, and crab. Apart from this, this toddy shop also serves rabbit roast and duck roast. Visitors to this outlet can choose between 26 traditional dishes of Kerala.
Mapranam shaap: Thrissur-Kodungallur road, Gandhipuram, Iringalakuda north, Porathissery.
This toddy shop opened its doors at Pallam on Kottayam-Changanassery route on MC Road in 1958. Now, it's a famous family restaurant in the town with delicacies such as karimeen (pearlspot) pollichathu, crab roast, prawns fry, duck roast, fish head curry, and dishes made of chicken and beef.
Karimpinkala: MC Road, Pallam. Kottayam.