My Eureka Moments at Festival of Appealing Appams at Taj Deccan Hyderabad
It is rightly said, “Little knowledge is dangerous.” When I was in Kolkata, I used to labour under the thought, “No other food than fish in Bengal has so many varieties.” After I relocated to Hyderabad, I came to know different varieties of biryani. If I had not been to Appam food festival at Taj Deccan yesterday, I would have probably not known so many amazing varieties of appam, a staple dish of fermented rice batter and coconut milk in the state of Kerala.
I had tasted appam the first time during Onam food festival at Madras Café in Hyderabad last year. I had no idea that this simple dish has so many varieties to compete with north Indian parathas. Thanks to Taj Deccan for coming up with Appam food fest for foodies in Hyderabad like me, who believe that variety is a spice of life when it comes to satisfying their taste buds with different tastes.
The Festival of Appealing Appams at Spice Junxion, Taj Deccan Hyderabad, is a celebration of Keralite food culture from the land of backwaters. It is not unjust saying that it was a sort of eureka moment for me to see so many varieties of appam with different curries during the ongoing festival. There are five non-veg varieties and five veg varieties.
The first appam to hit my plate was Palappam from the traditional wedding menu in Kerala. It was served with Meen Moilee (creamy fish curry) which was delicious enough to silence orthodox Bong foodies who always brag about their fish delicacies. I found it so yummy that I binged on it twice.
The next was Chettinad Flavored Beetroot Appam served with Mangalorean Chicken Curry. This combination was not only tempting in look but also delicious in taste. The appam was spongy and soft. The chicken curry from the cuisine of Mangalore was not typically spiced as Hyderabadi chicken curries to prick the tongue. Each bite of the beetroot appam with this chicken curry was a ‘wow’ moment for my taste buds.
Mutta Appam with spicy grounded meat (keema) was the next on the menu of the Festival of Appealing Appams at Spice Junxion. It is an egg variant of appam. Steamed egg flavor and spicy grounded meat made an excellent combination that you can’t help craving more. Keerai Appam with Asian spiced prawns was a strong competitor too.
Nei Appam is traditional appam with ghee flavor. Served with bhuna gosht, it was another great entertainer on the festival menu. Bhuna gosht seasoned with coastal spices reminded me of kosha mangsho which is popular in Bengal. As suggested by Chef Rishi Manucha, I tried Nei Appam with sweet coconut milk. Believe me it felt heavenly when I savored it with my eyes closed.
The vegetarian foodies in Hyderabad need not be disappointed as the festival menu offers five varieties of appam with veg curries which are as delicious as the above-mentioned non-veg curries. Interestingly each of five appam varieties for the vegan has unique flavor because they are made of different ingredients.
Simamulanki Appam is a carrot flavored appam served with traditional ulli theeyal (Keralite onion curry). Though I did not try this variant, other foodies in attendance certified it as a must try. After too much of the non-veg affair, I found coconut flavored appam with Chettinad flavored cheesy corn very refreshing. The natural flavor of coconut appam was not subdued by spiciness of cheesy corn.
The next show stealer was Ragi Millet Appam served with mushroom gassi. The raw flavor of ragi millet appam was in harmony with the spicy quotient of mushroom gassi. No need to worry about your abdominal health after having 3 or 4 appam varieties because Five Spice Oats Appam is high on the health index. It was served with chilli paneer, which I think better suits the Hyderabadi palate.
Gothambu Appam is the fifth variety on the veg menu of the festival at Spice Junxion. This whole wheat appam was served with baingan bharta which was mild and dull compared to other veg curries.
Chef Rishi Manucha has meticulously curated the varities of appam from the cuisine of Kerala to please different taste buds, particularly the Hyderabadi palate. The Festival of Appealing Appams will continue till 26th of this month.
- Venue: Spice Junxion, Taj Deccan, Banjara Hills
- Pricing: Rs 500 for non- veg and Rs 450 for veg
- Timing: Lunch and dinner