Food @ Trivandrum

Chatti Choru & Naadan Seafood A La Hopper

Over the past couple of months, I have been occassionally visiting Hopper Restaurants at Akkulam for lunch… This post is basically about the reason why I started preferring the place whenever I feel the craving for some naadan rice meal with seafood…

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So, presenting to you, the Chatti Choru which is basically the Kerala style rice meal served with Seafood / Meat in an earthen pot… This way of eating roots back to the traditional eating habits of the people of Kerala and was mostly forgotten due to modernisation thanks to western influences and so its nice to see some people bring this back especially as a trip to the old days which is a nice nostalgic touch for the older generation and an interesting take for the new generation as its unknown to them, as was the case when the concept of Pothichoru came back recently…

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The Chatti Choru at Hopper has been evolving for some time (some of the earlier versions shown in the above pic) and I have been waiting for it to be finalised and perfect before posting about it… They have 3 kinds now ie, Fish, Chicken and Beef variants of the Chatti choru… Since I don’t eat beef, I ended up trying both the Fish version and the Chicken version and personally, I am a guy who prefers seafood with Kerala meals and so, ended up having the Fish version more… So, lets talk about the Fish version first…

The fish version is called Muthassi Chatti Choru or Mean Chatti Choru and its as shown in the pics below where I have shown two recent instances of what I got from there, along with pics showing the various seafood side dishes I have had from there over all this time… I believe they all deserve a special mention here cause of how awesome they all tasted and how perfectly cooked they all were… The Chef there clearly is a master of his craft…

Coming to the Meen Chatti Choru, what you get is the good old boiled Chemba rice mixed with Fish Curry gravy giving it the red color… Along with this rice, they give a piece of Fish Fry, Pappadom, Kootu, Thoran, Chammanthy and Pachadi as seen in the pics below…  In the first instance, I got cucumber Pachadi, Pumpkin and Lentil Kootu, Cherupayar Thoran, Omelette and Chammanthy and the in second one, I got the mixed vegetable Kootu, Manpayar Thoran and Pineapple Pachadi along with the Fish Fry and Pappadom as can be seen in the pics below…

Coming to the taste, the Rice mixed with the Fish gravy was just so yummy to have on its own… The Fish fry was cooked perfectly and the individual side dishes were a mix of sweet and savoury that was well balanced overall, with the Pumpin Kootu and Pineapple Pachadi being the sweet component while the rest being savoury… The Omelette is indeed a good thing to have with the rice which I did miss in the second time… So, basically everything was well cooked and seasoned and to be frank, I can’t find a fault with any of them now… Classic recipes made to perfection indeed and I am looking forward to my next visit there…

Now coming to the seafood side dishes, I felt they were all perfectly cooked using traditional spices (Chilly/Pepper, Turmeric, Coriander power and/or Garam Masala), served as shown in the pics above… The Fish curry is usually the Mulakittathu kind here and hence the bright red color because of the Red Chilly powder used… The Fried seafood options, ie, Sardines/Mathy, Anchovies/Netholi and Prawns were all seasoned similarly and fried perfectly and served with the same accompaniment of Onions, etc as shown… The usage of spices here was quite on the delicate side without letting them overpower the flavours of the seafood used… My favourite of the bunch was the Chemmeen / Prawns Roast cause not only was it a peppery garam masala goodness with the flavour of coconut oil, I liked them particularly because of how fresh and good the prawns were as can be seen in the pics below… I don’t think I have had fresh prawns as good as these for quite some time… Kudos to the chef for doing this…

Now, even though I simply loved and preferred the seafood over everything else here, I think this post would be incomplete without mentioning about the Ammumma Chatti Choru or the Chicken Chatti Choru… This is similar to the Meen Chatti Choru except that instead of Rice mixed in Fish gravy and the piece of Fish Fry, they give you a portion of a Chicken Curry as can be seen in the pic below… The rice is not mixed in anything and you get the same set of veggie side dishes similar to the ones before, which in this case is again a Pachadi but this time had pieces of Okra in it, along with a cabbage and Ivy gourd thoran, and instead of the mixed veg kootu, it was the famous curry called Aviyal and the Chammanthy was made with green chillies instead of red and there was a also a piece of Sun dried Curd Chilly as can be seen in the pic below… The Chicken they use is the local country chicken which is much more flavourful and healthy…

Tastewise, again, this too was awesome, but personally I do prefer the Seafood version above this one… But thats just me… Do feel free to try either and also the beef version that I can’t try… 🙂

So, thats it for now… I wish the team at Hopper my best wishes and hope that they continue serving the best seafood options in the area and I hope to be able to enjoy the delicacies again soon… 🙂

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