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Food @ Trivandrum

Hotel Lilac: Pothichoru

I have always had mixed feelings about the food from Hotel Lilac at Vettu Road Junction on the highway… Its because though they call themselves as The Fusion Restaurant and have an interesting menu, my experience with their food has been such that, they do appear to have some serious consistency issues… However, I came to know recently that they are most famous for their Kerala style Meals with Fish and I realised that I never tried the same from the place… So, today when my mom asked me to order food for lunch, I thought this would be the best opportunity to try and here we are… 🙂

So, it is their Pothichoru that I got for me today and it got delivered as shown in the pic above… According to the menu, their Pothichoru consists of Chemba Rice, Parippu, Sambar, Pulissery, Aviyal, Thoran, Kichadi, Chammanthi, Payasam, Pickle, Omelette, Fish Fry, Fish Curry Gravy and Pappadam and when unpacked, the Pothichoru was as can be seen in the pic below…

As can be seen in the pics above and below, what arrived in the Banana Leaf ‘Pothi’ was the Chemba Rice, Omelette, Fish Fry, Aviyal, a Thoran made using Cabbage, Carrots and Green Beans and the Kichadi made using Beetroot… I first thought that they forgot to put in the Chammanthy and the Pickle as it wasn’t visible… But turns out as shown in the pics later, both were pretty much buried inside ie, the pickle was the White Lime Pickle and was buried underneath the Kichadi and the Chammanthy was the usual Coconut one seen usually and was buried underneath the Aviyal… As can be seen from the pic above, the wet curries ie, the Sambar, Parippu, Fish Curry Gravy and Pulissery along with the dessert ie, the Payasam were packed separately and hence unpacked into separate cups as can be seen in the pic…

Now, lets talk about the individual items and their taste… First of all, the Chemba Rice was boiled and cooked perfectly for me and I felt it had been infused with the fragrance of the toasted Banana Leaf… The Omelette was sadly too salty and overcooked for my taste and hence a let down… The Beetroot Kichadi was nice but the flavour of the beetroot was very mild and felt like it was the taste of the Buttermilk that was dominating its taste… The Thoran was quite crunchy with the taste of Coconut Oil and Mustard Seeds… Seasoning was just right for that one… Then the Aviyal was something I liked quite well this time… The vegetables (Green Beans, Snake Gourd, Aubergine, Plantain, etc) were all nice and crunchy and the flavours felt clean and I felt it was seasoned just right… As for the Fish Fry, I felt that its flavours were perfect and the Fish was nicely cooked too where there was some softness left in it… However, I wish they had given a bigger piece considering the quantity of the rice and everything else… Thats my only complaint regarding that… Now, as I mentioned before, the Chammanthy and Pickle were found buried (as shown in the pics below) but, the pickle was the kind known as White Lime Pickle and it was nice with the flavour of Lime and the right amount of saltiness and sourness… The Chammanthy in most cases tend to be made with Raw Mango as an ingredient when it comes to making them to have with Rice in Kerala… Here, I couldn’t feel the flavour of the Raw Mango and instead it was just the flavour of the Dried Red Chillies that dominated its taste along with the Coconut…

Now coming to the wet curries, the Sambar was nice and very flavourful with quite a handful of vegetables in it like the Madras Cucumber, Carrot, Green Beans, Snake Gourd, Aubergine, Onions, etc all cooked so well done that it was on the verge of disintegrating into the curry (which is not considered overcooked in case of curries like Sambar)… It was indeed on the spicier side with the flavour of Red Chillies powder and Asafoetida powder dominating the taste and the use of lentils was clearly on the lower side so that the Sambar was not thick… The Parippu felt to be just like any other made with the Green Gram in the typical Travancore style… Pulissery was made with Pineapple and hence had the sweet and sour taste which Sweetness coming from the Pineapple and the slight sourness coming from the Buttermilk used… It was quite watery in terms of consistency and I felt it could be drank as if a soup or a refreshing savoury drink… As for the Fish Curry Gravy, I felt that it incredibly flavourful with the flavour of Sardines and Mackerel, and I felt it was one of the most flavourful Fish Curry Gravies I have ever had… However, unfortunately it was way too spicy for my taste… But thankfully that sweet and sour pulissery came to the rescue as it helped to mellow out the spiciness of this gravy… 🙂

Last but not least, coming to the dessert ie, the Payasam… It was made using Semolina and Sago and felt quite sweet indeed… It was as expected quite rich in terms of the Milk usage… However, sadly, they missed the key fundamental when it comes to Payasams like this which is that the ingredients used has to be cooked in the Milk thats used itself and should not be precooked especially with Water… But short of that, I felt the payasam was fairly good nonetheless…

Overall, I ended up liking this meal in spite of the flaws mentioned above… In terms of flavour, I think this Pothichoru is indeed worth trying again and I am hoping to be able to do so soon… 🙂

So, thats it for now… Feel free to try this Pothichoru and feel free to let me know how it ended up for you in the comments section below… 🙂

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