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CREATIVE TRAVEL

“Cook More with Nimmy - The Mistress of Spices”

September 2014


Kerala is India's spice central, an Arabian Sea trading port settled by waves of Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial powers and famous for its black pepper, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

Nimmy’s gastronomic journey began as a cookery instructor at Vimalalayam, a finishing school in Kochi which has taught generations of girls from Kerala the subtleties of true blue mallu food.

Over time, she began to take cookery classes for women in the neighborhood. Nimmy soon expanded her classes for foreign tourists visiting Kochi, many of whom were food writers and cookery instructors in their own right.

Nimmy Paul’s cooking lessons are refreshingly different from the celebrity chef variety. Nimmy and Paul have been involved in 'At Home' hospitality for more than twelve years.

Nimmy, a professional cookery instructor for more than twenty years, and her stockbroker husband Paul offer food and hospitality to foreign guests. Nimmy and Paul belong to the traditional Syrian Christian community in Kerala. In keeping with the tradition of their families they enjoy having guests and serving good food. Nimmy teaches guests the nuances of traditional Kerala recipes and is also a food consultant to writers, chefs and magazines.

Among Nimmy's showcase dishes are idli rice cakes, the southern Indian version of the classic Indian breakfast dosa, which are served with coconut chutney packed with green chilies, onion and ginger. ‘Appam’, or thin and crunchy rice pretzels, is another typical Kerala dish, as are rice-flour appam pancakes, with their lacy edges and puffy centres.

Nimmy also demonstrates the making of molee, or fish stew in a turmeric-laden coconut sauce, and moplah biryani, a Muslim rice dish, rather like a pilau, that has spread to other communities and, done traditionally, features about 20 ingredients.
Kerala curries often contain fruit such as plantain or bitter gourd, and typically are thickened with coconut milk.

Nimmy's house is an oasis on a busy street crowded with shops. Hundreds of people an hour probably pass that wall. It's a miracle that it stands unblemished. 

A stroll in her garden reveals old trees replete with giant jackfruit, papaya and mango; a vivid flash of blue between the branches signals a kingfisher dropping by, as if on stage director's cue.

Nimmy's classes have made US Gourmet Magazine's roll call of the world's best cooking schools in the relaxed category, different from the publication's top Luxury or Immersion listings. But with a glass of fresh buttermilk or pulped mango juice to hand and the holiday aroma of coconut in the air, who needs celebrity chefs with their brigades of kitchen hands and designer plate ware?

 

For more information, please contact Mr Rajeev Kohli at india@euromic.com

Kerala Spices

Nimmy Paul

Nimmy Paul's cooking lessons

Nimmy Paul's cooking lessons

Nimmy Paul's cooking lessons

Nimmy Paul's cooking lessons

Nimmy Paul's

Nimmy Paul's cooking lessons