The shappu curry and other delicacies you get in Kerala toddy shops have a special place in a Malayali's heart. Especially when it comes to the wide array of lip-smacking fish curries: something so unique and unforgettable that people who tasted it once always wanted more. But over time, many restaurants dropped alcohol from their menu and stuck to just the food, making it more accessible to the family crowd.
Karimpumkala in Kottayam is one such restaurant. Situated near Pallam on the Changanasery-Kottayam route, this restaurant is a hot favourite with a lot of people. The crowd puller here is the sea food. You can chose from pearlspot, crabs, prawns to chicken and duck.
Karimpumkala opens for business early in the morning. You can walk into the restaurant as early as 7.30 am and be sure that you will be served, Appam, Puttu, Dosa and Kappa along with your choice of fish, chicken and duck curries. The crowd gradually builds up and by 12 noon, the restaurant starts filling up. It will be busy till around 4pm in the afternoon, says Premi, who runs the business. The sea fish are brought in from Alappuzha and the fresh water fish and duck comes from Kumarakom, he adds.
It was during his grandfather Bhaskaran's time that they decided to drop the alcohol from the menu. Even now, A.B. Sasi, Premi's father, makes sure that he tastes a couple of dishes before they are served. He adds that there is no change to his grandmothers recipes after all these years.
The star attraction is the Kappa and fish combo. It is available from morning to the time they close at 10pm. Karimpumkala has over the years been a favourite with movie actors and directors. K.P. Ummer, Jagathi Sreekumar, Manoj K. Jayan, Vijayaraghavan, Seema, C.V. Balakrishnan are the prominent names who never used to give Karimpumkala a miss.