Kozhikode, the City of Spices is a beautiful city located on the Malabar coast in Kerala. We had visited Kozhikode 3 years ago for work and were enamored by the beauty of the city as well as the incredible Malabari food. The food in Kozhikode reflects a lot of its past when it was predominantly a trading port, with Arabic and Portuguese influences and traditional north Kerala Mappila cuisine.
One place that captures all these influences and flavors under one roof is Paragon. Winding through narrow lanes and hidden below a flyover is this heaven for Malabari food. Established in 1939, the restaurant has retained its old structure but head to the right and take a flight of narrow stairs and you will find yourself in the sprawling new air conditioned wing. AC or non AC, the food is exactly the same and just as delicious.
The Malabari Biryani is light, aromatic and flavorful. Cardamom, pepper, Cinnamon are some of the distinct flavors that play with your palate, as the succulent meat melts in your mouth.
We had the good fortune of visiting Paragon in a large group letting us order a huge variety of food absolutely guilt free.
We had an incredible Malabari Biryani which is distinctly different from the Hyderabadi or the Awadhi biryani. The Malabari Biryani is light, aromatic and flavorful. Cardamom, pepper, Cinnamon are some of the distinct flavors that play with your palate, as the succulent meat melts in your mouth.
The appams were as they are meant to be, thin and lacy on the outside and soft and melt in your mouth in the center with just that tiny bit of sweetness. Appams were a fabulous companion to the vegetable stew which was delectable, full of beautiful little onions and absolutely bursting with flavor.
The Malabar parotas, soft and layered and delicious, were perfect with the fish in mango curry. The curry was tantalising, the sweet-sourness of the mango, the spiciness of the green chilly and the tasty morsels of seer fish dunked in flavour, you just can’t get enough. And the Prawn in coconut gravy everywhere in Kerala is a dish full of surprises and the one at Paragon didn’t disappoint either, with a gentle hit of ginger.
Even dessert was stunning. A simple but perfect bowl of Palada Payasam.
For an authentic Malabari food experience with a touch of history, head to Paragon – easy on the wallet, heaven on the palate.
Paragon, CH Flyover, Kozhikode 673001