Kalamassery-based restaurant offers unique dishes like clay baked chicken
Grilled chicken has become a staple on Kochi’s dine-out menu, no doubts about that. Al-faham and rotisserie chicken, alongside shawarma, have almost become comfort food. But, this means these dishes have fallen into an unimaginative rut. Pathirakozhi—located barely 100 metres off the highway from Apollo Tyres, Kalamassery—is spicing things up, quite literally, in this regard.
We spot dishes like kurumulakil chutta al-faham and tikka shawarma, and don’t wait to visit them. The space sports astoundingly beautiful decor (think fairy lights in jars hung from the ceiling, wooden chandeliers and quirky quotes set to a theme) for a 20-cover doorless eatery with barbeque grills out front.
“We are both night owls and keep exploring food options around the city. We had this idea of opening a restaurant with a focus on unique chicken dishes and decided to design our space around the idea,” says Geethu Raj, who co-owns the place with partner Jimmy Joseph, a restauranteur with over half a decade of experience.
We settle down on a table next to mithai jars holding nostalgia-evoking sweets (like gas and thaen mithai) and order a pachmanga juice. The natural drink triggers childhood memories of eating raw mango with chillies and salt.
We skip the usual kuboos shawarma and instead try their Pathira special with a wheat parotta wrap. More of a kati roll, this one has an egg base and is stuffed with shredded chicken, Schezwan sauce, onion, green chilli and fries—definitely distinct.
“When it comes to Arabian dishes, we’re attempting a fusion with naadan ingredients,” says Jimmy. Sure enough, their al-faham variants include names like kurumulakil chuttath and kanthariyil chuttath.
We try the latter to find that it’s spicy, but hardly carries the flavours of bird’s eye chilli. We’re informed that they’re trying different methods of marination as it’s difficult to bring out the flavours of the chilli after grilling.
Vegetarian options at this eatery are mostly limited to kebabs including potatoes and paneer. With a reputation to keep as hardcore non-vegetarians, we try a chicken tikka from their kebabs section—apart from excessive use of masala, the meat is evenly cooked and has flavours of mustard oil and fennel seeds.
Finally, the kali mannil chutta kozhi, which one must pre-order, is brought in. “The meat is marinated and then covered with wet clay which is then sun-dried for three hours and grilled in charcoal,” says Geethu.
The aroma of masala slathered on the meat wafts in as soon as the banana leaf wrap is removed and a further surprise awaits as the whole chicken is cut open to reveal flavoursome keema rice. We dig into what is easily one of the uniquely flavoured chicken preparations in the city.
Open from 5 pm to midnight.