People always say that our style is totally different to the other places they have eaten in Kerala…
Jeanette’s passion for cooking started with her mother, who is a very good cook in her own right. We are the descendants of the Portuguese – so the dishes we serve have a Portuguese touch fused with Keralan style. It’s a totally different way of cooking. Even the flavoured rice tastes different. The Portuguese make great use of pepper, cinnamon, cloves and spices, ingredients which we always incorporate into our own dishes. It’s a popular part of cooking here and is also very good for your health.
We do culinary demonstrations, cookery classes and market visits followed by lunch or dinner. The demos and classes will always be led by someone from our family – either one of us, our daughter, and occasionally our son. During a cooking class and sometimes in our demos everyone gets involved whether that’s grating coconut using the old coconut scraping blades or cleaning shrimp and you’ll learn secrets like exactly which oil to use to get the correct taste and flavour. On a visit to the market, we introduce our guests to the vendors and browse the fish, meat and all the spices (which they sell wholesale in bulk) before taking the ingredients home to cook.
Mostly we cook fish curry since we get lots of fresh fish. Or maybe coconut rice and ball curry which our family usually eat on Sundays. It’s an Anglo-Indian way of cooking. Even the desserts are Portuguese style, like caramel custard and payasam (sweetly spiced rice pudding). We also offer homemade grape wine, ginger wine and sometimes homemade sweets which people love snacking on when they’re sightseeing.
We look forward to having guests because we really enjoy hosting and meeting new people. Some have become lifelong friends. Jeanette puts her entire heart and soul into her cooking because we treat everyone who visits us like VIPs. Everyone is important. Say it’s a couple on their honeymoon, we will have a cake cutting ceremony including singing and dancing (we know how to jive) – it’s what we do in our own family home. She cooks for them the same way we cook for our family – with her whole heart. That’s why it tastes better.
What’s next? A cook book with our favourite recipes.