When a friend of mine invited me to a tea shop in a village near his hometown, Kozhikode, he had a little hesitation in his voice. All he wanted to know was whether I was comfortable with a tiny, unpretentious place, where the food served was extremely delicious and homely. I wasted not a moment before saying yes. What mattered most to me was taste, and of course, some basic cleanliness, of which he assured me.
Location of Chandrettante Chaayakkada:
Near Kuruvattoor, Kozhikode, Kerala
Location Map: https://maps.app.goo.gl/kPztefErfTxneNur9
While on a trip to Kozhikode, I decided to try out this tea shop. It was quite early in the morning when we reached there. I parked my car on the roadside, looking for any signs of a shop. There were no vehicles, no shops, just a few houses and tall trees on both sides. This shop was right in the middle of a tiny village. I was amused when my friend pointed to a narrow pathway as the entrance to the shop. Walking along that path was the best experience I had in the past few days. Early morning breeze, gently swaying trees, chirping of birds, all were so invigorating.
With tons of expectation and excitement, I climbed the stone stairs that led to the tea shop. Think of my surprise when I found that the shop was missing a name! They didn’t feel the need for a name to carry on their business! We were welcomed by the owner, Chandran chettan. Needless to say, there were just bare necessities inside. Just two tables and benches, but all neatly arranged. Music from the radio kept reminding me of the good old days of childhood.
With a cup of hot tea, I stepped into his cooking area. I had ordered a Kai pathiri and sardine curry. While Chandran chettan showed his expertise in making perfect round pathiris using only his hands, his wife was busy with fish frying, and son was in charge of fish curry. A united family effort! When the dishes were placed before me, I found them entirely to my choice. Though they were cooked in a style different from our Kottayam style, I relished them completely. It was the combination of Pathiri with Papadam that fascinated me the most. Never before had I thought of such a combo.
It was a pleasant surprise that a nameless shop in obscure surroundings served such lip-smacking food. A good option for anyone who longs for a change from air-conditioned interiors.
Price of the delicacies that I tried from Chandrettante Chaayakkada
Pathiri (hand-baked rice pancake): Rs. 8.00 per piece
Mathi Curry (Sardines curry): Rs. 20.00
Mathi porichathu (Sardines fry): 20.00
Tea: Rs. 8.00