As Malayalis, we have the inherent ability to survive in any part of the world. Often, we bring back with us food from the places we have travelled to.
At the same time, we are also host to other communities that now call Kerala home. We have welcomed their food as heartily as we would a hot plate of fish curry and rice.
A visit to Jeff Foods in Thoppumpady is a prime example of the camaraderie between the different communities in the city. Sporting a long white beard, Zoyeb Ebrahim has a distinguished air.
As he begins to speak, his friendliness and warmth take over. While he was raised in Kerala, his sons, Hussain and Hatim grew up in Mumbai.
They began their catering business in 2006 in a decorated Maruti van, serving home-made food to the locals.
Today, they have a very popular joint that serves traditional Bohra Muslim versions of biriyani, kebabs and cutlets. Their signature bhuna ghosh is sumptuous and the mutton biriyani melts in your mouth.
The small restaurant serves hungry diners from all over town and also at parties. A favourite with large groups is the tandoor stuffed bakra, which is an entire goat grilled and served on a bed of rice with sheekh kebabs and boiled eggs.
Every dish on the menu is home-made and each recipe is perfected by the family. “No curtains, no screens; our kitchen is open for our customers to see what goes into their food.” says Zoyeb with a flourish of his hand. What does the family think about
? They say it is their home; as good as
Mumbai, often better. Kochi