The name was too good to resist. “Syrian Christian stew” was one of the main courses we chose at the Rice Boat. It was described as “chicken in a medium spicy thick coconut sauce.” No Christians then? Maybe the lions had got them first. It tasted very good, and was well with the toleration limits of spiciness. The same could not be said of the other choice, a duck masala. This was too hot for my tastes; I couldn’t actually taste the duck at all, but some people like it that way. Of the first courses the squid pepper fry was the better, nicely done and without the batter one usually encounters. The chilli fried whitebait didn’t work, though. The fish were too hard and crunchy, and didn’t really taste of fish at all. The chapattis were very good, however. The ’05 Marktree shiraz at 14 percent was good, too, as it invariably is. Wikipedia tells us that Syrian Christian stew is a favoured dish among Kerala’s large Christian minority. I can see why; it helped make this a pretty enjoyable meal.