Hotel Rahamaniya, which is greater than 70 years previous, is the house of Kethel’s fried chicken

Hotel Rahamaniya, which is greater than 70 years previous, is the house of Kethel’s fried chicken

Had KFC, aka Kethel’s fried chicken, in Thiruvananthapuram? Try this KFC at Hotel Rahamaniya, tucked away in a bylane in Chala, the centuries-old market within the metropolis. A white signboard with the identify of the lodge,painted in vibrant pink, on the suitable after you enter Chala from East Fort, serves as a information.

Once you attain the lane the mouthwatering aroma of spices scorching in coconut oil will enable you to discover the place.

Reach the place by early midday to be assured of a desk within the tiny eatery that may seat about 20 folks on 5 lengthy tables and benches. Within no time, a clear, eco-friendly tender inexperienced banana leaf is positioned on the desk. The menu is painted on the wall: the selection is restricted to smooth phulkas (known as chappathis right here), ghee rice, fried chicken and recent lemonade.

Customers having chicken fry and chappathi from Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market, Thiruvananthapuram

Customers having chicken fry and chappathi from Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market, Thiruvananthapuram
| Photo Credit: ASWIN VN

A plate of curry and a recent lemonade attain the desk first. Then comes minimize onion and inexperienced chilli in curd. A beneficiant spoonful of lime pickle, made that morning, is placed on the leaf adopted by smooth chappathis or steaming ghee rice spiced with cardamom, cloves and bay leaves. Savour the lime pickle bursting with the flavours of garlic, inexperienced chilli and lemon. Finally, from an aluminium container Siddique carefuly selects about seven to eight items of the freshly fried chicken and serves it with the reddish brown fried marinade. Spicy and piping sizzling it might be, however that won’t deter you from biting into it.

The Hindu that put us on the culinary map of fame’

“I can always remember that it was a report in The Hindu that put us on the culinary map of fame. That report made the identify Kethel’s well-known. I spoke to a reporter in a small restaurant close to the newspaper’s workplace at Vallakadavu within the metropolis.”

The fried chicken, often called Kethel’s chicken, is the piece-de-resistance, which has introduced the who-is-who of Kerala, to this place. Only spring chicken weighing about 450 gm, is used and nearly 200 kg of chicken is bought on any day on the tiny restaurant.

Marinated chicken ready for deep frying at Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market, Thiruvananthapuram.

Marinated chicken prepared for deep frying at Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market, Thiruvananthapuram.
| Photo Credit: ASWIN VN

Sourced from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, the chicken is ready and marinated at Rahamaniya. The legs, wings and the meaty items are used for the fry and the remainder is was a curry that is served with the phulka and the rice.

M Maheen, who runs Kethel’s now, says it was his thought to stay to spring chicken. Recalls Maheen: “My father, Muhammed Abdul Khader , a resident of Poovar, used to come back to Putharikandam Maidanam to promote tea to the large crowds that used to throng the Maidanam to hearken to leaders combating for an unbiased India. It was the early forties and the warmth was on the British to stop India. From morning to night my father used to promote them tea he carried in a kettle.”

He turned often called as ‘Kettle Sayipuu’ (sayippu was a colloquial phrase used to confer with Muslims, a corruption of the Hindi ‘Sahib’). Over the years, the ‘Kettle’ turned colloquiliased to Kethel’s.

M Maheen, owner of Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market

M Maheen, proprietor of Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market
| Photo Credit: ASWIN VN

“In 1949, he began a restaurant in Chala that used to promote dosa, idiyappam, appam, puttu and so forth with mutton curry. But by the eighties, we stopped the mutton. Even when the very best of mutton was served, folks would marvel if it was another meat,” says Maheen.

Now solely chicken is served at Rahamaniya. Initially, free-ranging nation chicken was used. But that turned tough to supply. Maheen felt that the feel of the meat modified and have become fibrous as soon as the chicken matured.

That is when he determined that they’d serve spring chicken solely and went to Namakkal to satisfy poultry farmers there. “I needed to persuade them to present us chicken that was no more than 400 to 450 gm. We made it with our marinade and it was an prompt hit,” says Maheen with a faint smile. He has been operating the place since 1993 after his father handed away.

“My father was not eager on my becoming a member of the restaurant. When I endured, he insisted that I start by washing the glasses and plates, serving shoppers and studying the fundamentals of cooking within the kitchen. I taught the cooks, a lot of the whom come from Jharkand, West Bengal and Assam, learn how to make the marinade and fry the chicken,” explains Maheen.

Deep frying marinated chicken at Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market, Thiruvananthapuram

Deep frying marinated chicken at Kethel’s Rahmaniya restaurant in Chala market, Thiruvananthapuram
| Photo Credit: ASWIN VN

Work begins by round 7.30am. Fresh spices corresponding to fennel, pink chilli, (Andhra Piriyan) coriander, are sourced from Chala itself and are hand-pounded and floor into the marinade. It is utilized on the chicken and marinated until about 11.30am when the primary batch goes into the scorching oil in a wok on a wooden fireplace, to be served piping sizzling to hungry prospects who’ve come from far and broad simply for this. The marinade is additionally deep fried and the chicken is served with the kootu or podi (marinade), flecks of fiery chilli that depart a punch on the tastebuds. At current, solely the succulent, chicken fry and chicken liver are served.

The masala is made every single day and the chicken is dressed solely the day it is cooked. There aren’t any chilly storage facilites right here.

“In the late eighties and early nineties, I keep in mind actor-producer Maniyan Pillai Raju, movie directror Priyadarsan and Sreenivasan sitting right here for hours from 10.30 am onwards, deep in discussions. They had been those who known as the desk and bench as quickly as you enter ‘the Durbar’. We proceed to name it like that. Even at this time, a number of movie stars and celebrities order parcels from Kethel’s,” he says.

By 1.30pm., the place is packed and a small crowd waits outdoors impatiently to bag a desk.

New branches have sprung up in Kollam, Kochi and Kozhikode, run by Maheen’s son and sons-in-law. “The substances and the recipe are the identical that we now have right here. For many NRIs and people hailing from Thiruvananthapuram, no go to to town is full with out a chew of Kethel’s fried chicken.

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