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India has a host of diverse foods, The geography plays a vital role in determining the produce of the land and its cuisine over culture, The cooking traditions of Kerala has a strong influence of the travelers from the west, and also the far east.
Long before the time of christ, Spice merchants and travelers thronged the coasts of Kerala, It was one of those trading vessels, plying between Alexandra and the Malabar Coast, that Saint Thomas is believed to have arrived in Cranganore in AD 52, He began to preach the gospel and eventually established churches in southern India, However Legend has it, that is not the only connection to the name Thomas.
Thomas of Cana- Who was believed to have arrived from Thomas is said to have been a Syrian merchant, distinct from Saint Thomas who preceded him in evangelizing in India. According to the traditions, Thomas of Cana led a group of 72 families, as well as clergymen, to the Malabar coast. There they met and supplemented the Saint Thomas Christians. Copper plates referring to this story exist, but are of a substantially later date.
Although, Majority of India has its own views about the holy cow, this minority of the Syrian christians introduced their love for beef, And this marriage of cultures from the west could be the reason for beef to find its way into Kerala cuisine.
Beef is a favored meat of the Syrian christians over not so close second-Goat, The curries of coconut, frying and even drying were made popular, Yet- the age old roasting remains the pinnacle.
With ever improving, cooking methods and produce of the best meats from around the world, I decided to revolutionize “Mooriyerachi” (beef steak), the choice was to use Miyazaki Wagyu as a prime beef produce which is known for its marbling and its robust flavor, I wanted to use the spice blend of the Suriani Kitchen, And pair it with the traditional accompaniments.
Why Doubting Thomas !!!
The reason for calling it so, has diabolic influence on the two Thomas, However the facts show there have been the two and that to me brings in a doubt, although the name has its own controversies, which can be debated upon, My mind fails to come to a conclusion; But the striking question which I tend to ask myself over the years, India is a place where the cow was worshiped as God, So was the intrusion of this western religion the sole reason for people to embrace beef into their kitchens?
Inspiration from Traditional recipes : Idiyarraichi ( Pounded Beef)
Thin slices of beef marinated with salt and turmeric powder, are first dried well under the sun and then hung over the ‘aduppu‘(traditional stove in old Indian Kitchens, which is lit using firewood),where it is again dried in the heat and smoke.The whole process is time consuming and takes almost 3-4 weeks, but the end product was always worth the effort, it is then pounded on a pastel and a mortar with spices like, Black peppercorns and curry leaves and dried red chillies,
Techniques Used: Sous Vide/ Gel/Dehydrating
Pre Prepration: Sous vide for 72 hrs which includes “Mise en Place”
Fire time : 20 minutes
Ingredients: Miyazaki Wagyu beef, Tapioca, Shallots, Tamarind, Palm Jaggery, Black pepper, Cinnamon, Cardamon, Curry Leaves,
Wagyu and my love for secondary cuts has what made me to embrace a pair of Cheeks, Marinate them with Tamarind Pulp with Jaggery and freshly ground Black pepper, vacuum seal them and drop it in sous vide bath at a temperature of 52F for 72 hours,
Doubting Thomas sure has an history and I do have a story to tell when this Miyazaki relinquishes ones palate.