04 Oct A mouthful of Kerala with Prima Kurien
As part of our Home Culinaire series we have someone who has been crowned as the undisputed Mistress of Southern spices. Prima Kurien our newest addition has successfully bridged the gap between north and south and bought with her the flavours from her homeland Kerala to the capital. Lets throw some light on her culinary journey.
Prima belongs to a family of some of the most brilliant cooks both from her maternal and paternal side. Even though she had it in her genes, still she took up cooking much later in life. Born and brought up in Kathmandu, little Prima used to hate the notion of milk and eggs and eventually became lacto phobic. Every morning would be tussle between her and her mom with that brown bornvita milk glass kept on the table. Being headstrong, her mom had to think of a way to make her have both the essential necessities of growing up and started making Crème Brule.’ It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever had’ says Prima beaming with nostalgic joy.
Just like her mother, Prima never ever entered the kitchen before marriage. Her mother who used to converse with her grand mom to take up cooking lessons over telegrams and letters and similarly she underwent culinary classes over calls after her marriage. ‘A point came when I began to miss my home food terribly and I had no other way but to get my hands dirty in the game.’
An art consultant by profession we were curious to know how did she even think of starting her own catering company. ‘Well I just love to feed people’, she started off while prepping for the Fish curry on the stove was getting a deep red colour. ‘My house used to be a Gurudwara coz everyday I had people who would come over for food. Even at the gallery I used to take care of the food for various inaugurations and other events. At that time artists weren’t paid off well, so good food and few drinks down the throat, everything seemed perfect. A friend asked me if I was interested in catering for a party. Till that time I had never thought of it but was confident of my food, eventually I gave in and I never had to look back’.
The lady who bought Malyalee cuisine to our tables loves to indulge in nothing but Rajma Chawal which she says she can eat morning, noon and night and still not get bored of it. On asking weather she experiments with her cuisine, she said ‘well the cuisine is perfection in itself and has been evolved and bought together from various communities than why should I touch it’. It was clearly seen in the menu she had prepared; ‘this Fish Curry is more ours, which is the Syrian Christian Community, Stew and Appams, from Malyalee Christian Community’.
Prima has got unequalled speed when it comes to cooking, even though the stories didn’t seem to end, the food was ready and the table was laid out with an elaborate Malyalee Meal. As we tucked into our first bite, our taste buds were tingling with the flavours with just the right balance. As we finished indulging she got us some lemon chiffon cake for the sweet afters. If you want to have a taste of God’s Own Country, you know where you have to head out to.