Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Kattan Kapi

Kattan Kapi is one of the few items that doesn't get the recognition it deserves. There are a lot of ways to make this, it is black coffee with sugar. There are lot of variations to it, few add jaggary, few add karipetti (I'm sorry folks don't know what it is called in English), few add ghee, but the basic is just the same. Coffee powder, water and sweetener.

At my dad's house, the first thing that they made in the morning was a huge pot of kattan with no sugar. It was then poured into a thermos. Who ever woke up would come to kitchen, take a cup, put some sugar and then pour the hot kattan from the thermos into the cup. Then he/she would sit on the ari petti (it is a box found in old homes where things like rice were stored) and drink this hot kattan. If ari petti was already taken, then the person would sit on the katala (door frame). Be it grandkids, daughter in laws of the house, sons of the house, daughters of the house, son in laws of the house - every single person followed the exact same thing. When the thermos would get empty, more kattan would be made. Last thing that ammachi did before going to bed was empty the thermos, clean it and get it all ready for the next day.

Years have gone by the house is Kerala is locked. But even today when dad visits his house the ritual of kattan comes alive.

I drink a lot of kattan. Sometimes the kattan I make tastes exactly like the one I used to drink as a kid in Kerala. And till I finish that cup I become this little girl sitting on the ari petti listening to all the elders speaking and sipping my chood chood kattan (really hot black coffee).

This whole post was inspired by one such kattan that I had few minutes ago.

14 comments:

Neihal said...

Ah the memories... :)

Geets said...

I used to sit on the ari petti too! Good old days!!!

Alexis said...

Dear Thanu,

I wish you and your family a very happy, fun-filled and enjoyable Easter.

Best regards,

Alexis

taks said...

wow. gr8 post. it brought back memories of my vacation trips to Kerala. let me also go & get some chood chood kaapi

Sarah said...

you opened a flood gates of memories with this post... ..
As a child,I remember all the farm workers enjoying plain kattan kappi..and I was denied because.. kattan kappi will make you black like a kappiri..
Then when I was about 11, I was given kattan with ghee.. and it was like mannah from heaven..
I can never get the taste right..probably because I still don;t know how to brew coffee

Wishing you and Shekar a very happy easter

Rajeev said...

hey great blog!
Nice post btw ;)

Peace & Love
JeeVY

mathew said...

brings me back lot of memories..kattan kaapi is a inseperable part of a malayali home..Love it!!

silverine said...

I love kattan kapi and it is still served in both my homes in Kerala...and I stilll prefer it to tea when I am in Kerala :)

Archana Bahuguna said...

You just described the art of having coffee in such an interesting ethnic way that I am tempted to have it right now. We should have this description in Barristas/Starbucks and you bet it will attract people's attention plus make the ambience more interesting. :-)

Gini said...

Kattan kaapi is something else. My grandfather used to have it with some ghee and this is my favorite way. Sitting on the door frame- nostalgia!!
That was a great post.

ursjina said...

it reminds me of the neyyitta kaapi which's aroma used to wake me up in my skool days..:(..i miss home...

Anonymous said...

This post reminds me my father.
Wenver i go home i prepare kattan kaapi for my father, if my mom is not there. :)

---Anju

rasmi said...

hey, i love kattan kappi tooo...i like it very black, thick and a lil bitter and sugary!!sweet post.

Annam said...

Aripetti and katla- brings back so many nice memories..