By Yashasvini Kumar

Delhi is accused of many things, but diversity isn’t usually one of them. People seem to imagine us as a horde of muscle tees, swigging whisky and gorging on butter chicken. All of which I wholeheartedly endorse, but we aren’t as predictable as that. Set aside the butter naan and check out some of the unexpectedly authentic {and delicious} Mallu food being served up in this city. The proof, as they say, is in the parotha.

Keeping the old guard of Mallu eateries like Kerala Hotel at INA Market and the unnamed joint in Gowtham Nagar good company is the unassuming Kerala Food Channel. Nestled in a bylane of Kalkaji, the place only has three tables; the single page menu and the service are equally fuss-free. Since they don’t have air conditioning and these guys aren’t really into “decor”, I wouldn’t blame you for just ordering in and eating in the cool comfort of your home.

The menu is a lovely single sheet offering dosa, uttapam, and various curries. In the spirit of full disclosure, I need to explain that I love short menus. Life already involves making too many decisions for my liking, without someone trying to paralyze me at lunch with a menu that doubles up as an encyclopaedia of global cuisine.

The portions are very generous and I doubt I could finish any one dish myself. I tried the Chicken Curry/ Egg Curry and Set Dosas. The curries are explosive, and appropriately paired with the faintly sour and yeasty slab of dosa. If you’re really hungry, try the Kerala Meals, which come with a shot of rasam, a bowlful of tart sambhar, and a couple of vegetable dishes. Dedicated carnivores will want to order the off menu Buff Fry, the meat so rigorously and ruthlessly spiced and fried it’s almost too much to handle.

Though rather basic in terms of infrastructure, Kerala Food Channel is one of the few places I’ve eaten at recently without fear of picking up a stomach bug – each dish is scalding; straight off the stove and onto your plate. To cool off after, get yourself a Chickoo Shake or freshly squeezed fruit juice at Chawla Juice and Shakes Corner next door.

Notes in our Little Black Book |

Kerala Food Channel is a small, unassuming space in Kalkaji with some authentic Mallu food. Not much in terms of decor and with no air-conditioning; we recommend you order yourself the Chicken Curry and Set Dosa on a lazy Sunday, when you can spend the rest of the afternoon sleeping off the after effects of the fireworks that went off in your mouth.

Where: 1220/52, DDA Flats, Ground Floor, Near Bus Stand, Kalkaji, New Delhi

Contact: 9717789571

Price: INR 300 for two {approx.}