Quality of Ingredients Used
For all materials/ingredients there are first quality material and second quality materials. For example in a vegetable market if you take the example of curry cucumber (vellarikka); there are is good quality cucumber and there may be cucumber that may be decayed on one side (the other side will be completely okay). These bad cucumber or any similar vegetable that are damaged and kept for throwing away will be bought by restaurants in half the price. We do not make such second quality purchases. We purchase only the first quality vegetables and whenever possible, buy it directly from local farmers as it is one of our policy from the very beginning to promote and support local farmers.
Following Legal Norms
There are many rules and regulation from the part of government that has to be followed for running a restaurant business . As per one of the rules of the government, it is mandatory that every hotels and restaurants should follow certain set rules and regulations. You will be surprised to know that many of the restaurant owners do not even know what type of government certificates should be obtained and kept at the restaurant. For example, there is rule that the drinking water in each restaurant should first be sent for analysing in a government approved laboratory and the certificate for the same should be obtained. This rule is not followed by a vast majority of the restaurants, not because they are not taking it, but because they don’t even know about the existence of such a rule. At Vazhiyorakkada all the necessary certificates are obtained and are kept up to date.
No Oily Snacks in the Evening
Those who have been to our restaurant might have noticed that there is no oily snacks available at our restaurant. The reason for that is because it is not at all healthy. Considering the rush at our restaurant, we could easily sell 100 -200 vada or similar snacks, but it our policy not to sell deep fried snacks at our restaurant. This is the reason why we are selling ‘elaappam’ that is steam cooked. It is a traditional snack and is a better option over the fried snacks.
Use of Handmade Pappadam
The pappadam that we are using at Vazhiyorakkada is handmade one. It is made by mixing rice powder and ‘uzhnu’ in the traditional manner and made by hand. We source it directly from a nearby shop who we personally know. Actually in 90-95% of the restaurants machine made pappadams are used, the ones that we get in packets. Difference between handmade poppadoms and machine poppadoms are similar to packet chapatis and handmade chapatis. Handmade poppadoms usually have better quality and taste.
Another thing is about the oil used for making pappadam. Usually in restaurants, oil used for making other items like fish fry and chicken fry are used to make pappadam and it does not make much difference except a slight difference in its taste; but we use fresh refined coconut oil every time we make pappadam. Also we do not reuse the oil the next day and we are very strict about it. We have been following this policy since the beginning.
Own Preparation of Curd
The next thing is about the preparation of curd at our restaurant. We make our own curd at the shop using only fresh milk that is sourced from local farmers. It is prepared in the traditional manner without the use of any water. This curd is also used for making ‘pulicheri’ and other dishes that uses curd. It is made really fresh and we have been following this since the beginning of the restaurant. We have never used any type of packaged milk or curd for preparing these.
No Use of Soda Powder
Usually when we go to the restaurant and order egg curry, we find that the onion in egg curry will be in a liquid form, i.e.,it will be fully mashed; whereas at our home, it will be more firm. Have you wondered why this happens? This is because, in restaurants, while roasting onion for making the curry, they add some soda powder to it. It makes the onion cook faster, and makes it more thin and watery; it will be cooked in 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes. At vazhiyorakkada, we don’t use this easy method, we make it the traditional way and that is the reason why the egg roast at our restaurant taste like homemade traditional curry.
Non-refrigerated System of Preparing Poultry
As we discussed earlier we follow a non-refrigerated system of preparing poultry, i.e., we do not refrigerate the chicken or duck meat before cooking. We prepare the meat as and when needed and fully avoid regregrating the meat. We are really proud of this tradition of ours and we are very sure that only very very few restaurants in Kerala follow this method. Those who really wish to taste the real taste of freshly made chicken and duck should visit us.
Preparing Food Using Wood
At vazhiyorakkada, all food are prepared using wood fuel stove (virakkaduppu). This is one of the specialities of vazhiyorakkada. The food prepared using wood fuel stove taste better and gives a traditional flavor to the food. We have been using this method since the beginning of the restaurant and still follow it. It is really a challenge for us especially since it is a big restaurant and the difficulty of finding firewood at this scale. But we still do it since it very uncommon to find such a restaurant at the present time. This is one another tradition we are proud of.
[Stay Tuned for More…]