Chef Mahesh Kutty from Palakkad looks to revive the vanishing Ramassery Idli

Kochi, September 26: When he came to Kochi from a remote village of Palakkad district, Mahesh Kutty was determined to food lovers with his signature dish – the famed Ramassery Idli of exquisite taste and a history of over a century.

Mahesh, who hails from Ramassery village, was one among the 16 professional chefs participating in the finals of the ‘Kerala Chef’ competition organised as part of ongoing Spice Route Culinary Festival at Bolgatty Palace and Island Resort.

“I am not at all interested in competition. My sole aim is to present my village’s ethnic cuisine in front of a global audience,” said Kutty, who speaks proudly about his native village in the typical Palakkad dialect.

What makes the Ramassery version of idli stand out? Kutty explains that the batter is prepared with rice, black gram and the secret ingredient is castor seeds. 

Unlike other idlis, Ramassery idlis are a trifle flat, and look almost like a mini dosa.

Kutty’s cooking station at the competition attracted many visitors as he was using traditional mud utensils. His idlis had traditional chicken curry, sambar, coconut chutney and spicy chutney as accompaniments.

He also stood out from the patch in presenting the dishes. The table was laid with coconut palm leaves and an arrangement of all the earthen vessels and ingredients he used for preparing the dishes.

The ‘Kerala Chef’ competition was an initiative to promote local culinary flavours and talent from across the state – for both culinary professionals as well as amateurs.

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