Tastes from all around the world are invading Kerala, even if the popularity of traditional dishes never wanes. Foodies in the state are enticed most by experiments with tea and coffee.
Till recently, Sulaimani tea was a favourite among Keralites. Though still in demand, other choices like masala tea, green tea, and tandoori tea also are widely available.
Everybody has tasted or at least heard about masala tea and green tea, but what is tandoori tea? How does it taste?
If you wish to learn the answers and enjoy the flavour and aroma, head to Kottakkal in Malappuram district. Here, steaming hot tandoori tea can be relished in small cups. Prepared in vessels made of baked clay, a heavenly odour pervades all around as the tea gets ready.
Tandoori tea belongs to Pune and was tasted incidentally by a group of five friends from Malappuram who had visited the Maharashtrian city. The friends, all Gulf returnees, could never forget the flavour even after reaching Kerala and soon made another trip to Pune. This time, it was to learn the secret of tandoori tea preparation.
After their plan met with success, the friends arrived in Kottakkal and opened a tea shop there which offered authentic tandoori tea.
The aroma and the taste quickly spread by word of mouth and customers began crowding the shop for tandoori tea. Thanks to the friends, Keralites heard about and tasted yet another flavour of tea.
Patrons at the shop can enjoy the flavour, but the ingredients still remain a secret. The owners of the shop are particular about not revealing it.
Though priced at Rs 30, which is much more than ordinary tea, tandoori tea is attracting eager customers from far and wide and the shop always sees a rush. Tandoori tea is served from 5 pm every day.
Regulars attest to the distinct flavour of tandoori tea and highly recommend it.