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Last Updated Wednesday September 27 2017 01:23 AM IST

Of Kannur lunch and Kethel chicken

P Kishore
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Chicken

If you happen to lunch at local hotels in Kannur, the ‘procedures’ of dining would be a bit ‘different’, or ‘weird’ if you prefer it that way. The waiter would serve rice on your plate and then you need to go ahead and make two depressions on the rice served on your plate. In one, vegetarian curries would be poured, while in the other, fish curries would be poured. Then the waiter would serve you with freshly fried fish varieties.

Similarly, there is an outlet in the capital city that offers what is called 'Kethel chicken.' Young chicken-spring chicken or chicken that are about 40 days old are fried using special marinade and served with chappathi, lime curry, lime juice and pickle. If you do not need chappathy, you can opt for other delicacies such as ghee rice. Then there is also a curry that uses neck and other portions of young chicken. In such stores, you would not get anything else to eat. How about marketing this too?

The concept, however, is already being marketed and in Kochi, you can have Kannur-style lunch. However, they serve local fish since exotic clams that are available in Kannur are not available here.

Kethel is now being served at East Night Hotel in Dubai. It seems the organisers were not prepared for the rush once the delicacy was offered.

For Kethel, spring chickens have to be available readily. The cut is also unique and chicken needs to be cut into small pieces. If the business is right, there would be no leftovers and no need to freeze leftover chicken. Since this is a winning formula, there is no need to modify the equations involved to reap similar profits.

There is no point in serving the dish in normal restaurants. You need to provide it with an exotic ambience in order to bring some appeal to it.

However, if one is planning to offer Kannur lunch and Kethel, one has to ensure that the tastes are similar. Fish is not fried in oil, but on stone. Bengalis would not know about it, which means someone from Kannur need to fry it for your hotel. The taste of Kethel chicken lies in the marinade and one would need to know the right ingredients to sell the dish well. Even the cook in the Dubai outlet mentioned above has not revealed the secret. It seems he prepares the gravy, which is used to coat the chicken.

Since people are fed up with food that is available now, they are in search of ethnic food. No doubt they would soon be fed up with the new food, but the rush now would suffice to keep the coins ringing for the hotel owner. It seems Kethel chicken has received enquiries from Canada as well. Perhaps that is a new way to open up more profits.

If you have some old recipes, which could be as simple as fermented rice with fried jack fruit seeds, spruce it up with some exotic name and then market it. If the folks out there fall for the taste nudge, you can laugh all the way to the bank. 

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