Muvattupuzha: Mohanan's tea shop is frozen in time and oozes with nostalgia. Steam billows out of the signature samovar and the heady aroma of banana fritters (pazham pori), lentil fritters (parippu vada), and tapioca being fried in pure coconut oil, that too in a traditional fire-hearth, greets one to this tea shop. Bunches of different varieties of bananas could be seen hanging in the modest eating outlet, which has bare unplastered walls and a tiled roof.
This more-than-hundred-year-old tea stall is run by Mohanan, fondly known as Mohanettan, and is situated adjacent to Kadathy bridge near the national highway here in Ernakulam district. The tea shop, which was opened by Kuttan, grandfather of Mohan's wife Valsala, has not changed much over the years. Old tables, benches, doors, and cow dung floors will evoke nostalgia in anyone's mind.
Mohanan took over the tea stall 43 years ago from his father-in-law Narayanan. The tea from Mohan's shop stands out as it is made in a conventional way by mixing black tea from the samovar with milk in a unique way. The traditional snacks of the tea shop such as banana fritters, lentil fitters, and 'pappada vada' have many takers.
The shop will open at 6 am and 'puttu payar' and 'appam chamanthi' are served for breakfast. One can munch tasty snacks such as banana fritters, lentil fritters, 'pappada vada', and tapioca chips along with tea in the evening. The bananas organically cultivated by farmers of Valakom panchayat are also available at the shop.