Royal Malabar Catering | Other Suburbs North | Middle Eastern | Restaurant

Royal Malabar Catering

Over the years William George has fed high-ranking politicians and celebrated screen actors. But his bread and butter is supplying the working Keralite expats of Chicagoland with the everyday foods of their homeland, which include a remarkable variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes flavored with a brilliant palette of spices—cinnamon, cardamom, cumin, chiles, garlic, ginger, coriander, and turmeric. In rough translation Kerala means "land of the coconut," and the meat of the nut finds its way into a great number of edibles, from the thin, almost translucent fermented rice flour pancakes called palappam to the chunky, fiery, beef fry to the family of dry-fried minced vegetable dishes known as thoran. For the most part George's cooking represents Kerala's Syrian Christian community, which is noted for brewing spicy stews from beef, chicken, fish, and mutton, typically eaten at breakfast with palappam. An alternative morning meal might include thinner, lentil-based vegetarian sambars, accompanied by coconut chutney, steamed fermented rice and lentil cakes called idli, and parippuvada, toothy deep-fried yellow split pea fritters seasoned with ginger, onion, curry leaf, red pepper, green chili, and fennel seed. Sour tamarind-flavored fish stews known as meen mouly are also common, as are coconut-based curries made with duck, mutton, chicken, or beef and a vegetarian dish called avial, a multitude of vegetables simmered in a creamy coconut and yogurt sauce. George is particularly well-known for his beef cutlets, gingery breaded deep-fried patties of minced meat, potato, onion, and garlic eaten with red onion salad. Carryout only. —Mike Sula

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