If you think Buzzfeed Tasty has aced the idea of one-pot meals, I beg to differ. A glimpse of Indian cuisine and we would realize how this concept has been rooted in our culture, from Biriyani, Khichdi, Pazhankanji, Bisi Bele Bath to dishes we might not be even aware of!
While these ‘yummers’ have a solid recipe and procedures for us to follow, the humble chatti chor came to life thanks to man’s greed. The pleasure of mixing leftover rice in the ‘Chatti’ (earthen pot) in which a spicy fish curry was cooked, is a luxury. The face of a person devouring it can give you a better idea of the emotions galore! How and when this simple routine transformed into a dish one would pay for, we do not know, but it truly did take the Kerala restaurant industry by storm.
A teaspoon of homely emotions, A tablespoon of ease of service, mixed together with a drizzle of local produce is what makes Chatti Chor popular. If we were to place an order for veg/non-veg meals in a restaurant, the first thought would be of how many little containers would be arranged in front of us. Discarding the assorted fair and bringing together all those tiny elements into a single platter reduces the herculean task of dishwashing (wink). That being said, the options aren’t limited: variants of veg, eggs, fish, chicken, beef, chicken and beef, beef and fish, we are spoilt for choice.
The world is moving rapidly, people do not realize what they are feasting on. It took me 14 days of being locked up to acknowledge that what I paid for was what my parents have been feeding me. Better late than never, in these 14 days I have been able to understand that when you look at things from a marketing perspective even the smallest of elements are worth more than what one can imagine, like a Chatti Chor that gets sold for approximately Rs.100/-.
പറഞ്ഞത് ശെരിയാണ് but എല്ലാവർക്കും മടി അയതൊക്കെ കൊണ്ടാണല്ലോ ഈ ഹോട്ടല് ഫുഡ് ന്റെ ബാക്കിൽ പോകുന്നത് പല അമ്മമാരുടെ കൈപുണ്യം മനസിലാക്കുന്ന പല especially പല ഫുഡ് ബ്ലോഗേഴ്സും ഇപ്പോൾ ആണ് മനസിലാക്കുന്നത് ആൽകാരുടെ മടി ആണല്ലോ മാർക്കറ്റിങ് സോ ഇനിയെങ്കിലും അത് മൻസിലാവട്ടെ NB I’m a chef
Sathyamanu. Late realisation thanne aanu 🙂
*le malayalam maathrm aryaavnna vdo knd article vaaykkaan vanna njn🥴
Le njan: Sheda!
Its always so good of you writing such articles on things we miss out, even though it happens to us daily. I learn new things each time 😄. And yes ‘ I’ll make sure no one uses spoon in a banana leaf’.
Thank you 😀
Amma: moone aaa curry chattiyil itt kurach chor kazhichooo
Njan: onn Po Ammee
Hotel staff: sr our special chattichor und onn try cheydoode
Njn: of course!!!!!
I haven’t had a chatti chor in a restaurant. Probably I will never have one because chatti chor is more than just food for me. It is an emotion. It is a connect with my past.
Chatti chor for me is simply the fare my grand mother (paatti) made by mixing rice with the left over fish curry from the previous day. By then, the fish curry would have been heated multiple times to keep it from spoiling, as in those days, there were no refrigerators. The re-heating would make the fish curry absorb smoke which lent to it a distinct smoky flavour. Also in those days, there was no gas stove. The Chatti with the fish curry would be heated over a brick stove. The secret was to mix the rice with the fish curry in the same pot (chatti) that it had been cooked. My grandmother used to have it. She did not serve it to us as she did not want us to have left over food. But I could never resist the temptation of the smell and I would join her in her simple meal. We would sit on a mat (made out of dried palm leaves) on the dimly lit kitchen floor and we would have the food. I was about 4 or 5 back then. The taste has stayed with me as has the habit of eating in the kitchen. I still prefer eating on the floor in the kitchen if possible.
The fish I prefer for chatti chor is Tuna. A day old Tuna curry (along with the head and bones) made with drum sticks and raw mango in a coconut gravy (southern Kerala style – Thenga aracha curry) heated three or four times (not refrigerated) over the past 24 hours and then mixed with rice is nothing short of a delicacy. A pickle on the side would definitely enhance the experience.
Writing packed with nostalgia 🙂