Kerala is “The God’s Own Country”, which is blessed with heavenly nature, beautiful beaches, coconut & palm trees. Kerala is one of the top 50 places in India one should not miss out to visit in lifetime.
It has a unique cuisine apart from other regions in India. It offers a number of vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Coconut milk and oil plays a main role in Kerala cuisine. As Kerala is “The Land of Spices”, the dishes have aromas that stimulate your taste buds.
Here you can find details about some traditional dishes of Kerala that are worth to try.
Traditional Kerala Dishes For Breakfast
Puttu and Kadala Curry
This is a well known combo of traditional Kerala cuisine. Puttu is prepared by steaming the rice flour in a cylindrical bamboo or metal vassal. Coconut or palm sugar or banana is used as a layer.
Puttu can be made with different ingredients like wheat, tapioca, rava and corn flour. Steamed banana and palm sugar are great sides to have with puttu.
But kadala curry makes a very good combination. Kadala Curry is cooked using chickpeas, coconut milk, chilly and spices. This breakfast is rich in protein and carbohydrate and it gives the best start for a healthy day.
Appam and Stew
Appam is another healthy and tasty breakfast dish of Kerala. It is made using fermented rice flour, coconut milk and a little sugar.
Stew is the perfect combination for Appam. stew gets is aroma and flavor form coconut milk. The non vegetarian stew is cooked using chicken or mutton.
Beef curry, prawn masala and crab masala are also best sides for Appam. Appam should be served hot to experience the complete taste. This dish has good nutritional values.
Idiyappam and Egg Curry
Idiyappam (string hoppers) is a familiar dish in Kerala, which is also known as “Nool Puttu” . It is made using rice flour, water and salt by pressing it in the shape of noodles.
Instead of rice flour, wheat or ragi flour is also used to prepare idiyappam. Idiyappam goes well with many sides like coconut chutney, sweetened coconut milk, chicken curry and vegetable stew.
But the egg curry is the traditional combination for idiyappam. Here the curry is prepared as thick gravy with roasted eggs. As idiyappam is steamed without oil, it is a healthy food.
Kappa (tapioca) with Fish Curry
Tapioca is a potato like root vegetable that was introduced all over Kerala by Portuguese. It is locally known as kappa.
Tapioca is cooked in different forms, tapioca chips is a famous snack in kerala. For breakfast, boiled kappa is cooked with chilly and spices. Traditional fish curry is the best combination for kappa.
Dosa with Kerala Style Sambar
Dosa is a regular breakfast dish in South India. Kerala style sambar is an unique combo for Dosa. The sambar is cooked with lentil, spices and different vegetables. This is a must try combination for vegetarian lovers.
Traditional Kerala Dishes For Lunch
This is the most common traditional meal of Kerala, which is served with rice and 12 to 20 types of vegetarian curries.
The main dishes included in sadhya are dal, erissery, avail, kichadi, pachadi, pickle, banana chips, Papadum, banana, and buster milk. So sadhya is the combination of all types of tastes.
Sadhya is a must in all houses during the onam festival and also used to serve in other family functions like wedding. During Onam, Kerala restaurants all over India serve Sadhya.
The most traditional sadhya can have up to 64 items. Don’t miss out to taste the traditional sadhya when you visit Kerala.
Biriyani is a traditional dish from mughal. The malabar biriyani also have a touch of Arabian cuisine, but its preparation method is unique. This is also known as thalassery biryani, which is very famous in Kerala for its tempting flavour and unique aroma.
Unlike other regions, Khaima/Jeerakasala rice is used to prepare this biriyani. The rice is blended with chicken, tomato and spices. Fried onions and cashews are used to enhancing the taste of Malabar Biriyani.
When you choose to have Malabar biriyani, remember to choose the perfect restaurant for tasting the traditional flavour.
Seafood is very popular in Kerala, and prawn curry is a must try dish when you visit Kerala. A special ingredient used in this curry is known as brindle berry (Kudampuli or Malabar tamarind). This is suitable to have with hot rice for lunch.
Other than this you should also try fish moilee, arikkadukka, Alleppey Fish Curry, Fish Mappas and Karimeen Pollichathu (pearl spot fish)
Nadan Kozhi Curry
This is also known as Kerala Chicken Curry and it is best to have with rice. Nadan Kozhi Curry is not only a popular dish in Kerala, it is served in all Kerala restaurants all over India.
This dish has a spicy flavour blended with coconut milk. This curry can also be made using egg, beef, lamb or duck.
The other non vegetarian curries you should try when you visit Kerala are Chicken thoran, Duck Mappas, Kerala mutton soup, Thalasserry mutton curry, etc.
Erissery (Lentil Pumpkin Curry)
This is the familiar vegetarian curry in Kerala cuisine, which is a healthy dish too. The lentil gives unique flavour to erissery.
This spicy curry is a perfect combination to eat with hot rice. This is one of the main dishes included in Kerala traditional meal (Sadhya).
There are several other vegetarian options you should try in Kerala cuisine. They are Avial, Kalan, Pulissery, Moru curry, and Tapioca stew
Traditional Kerala Dishes For Dinner
Malabar paratha is different from parathas in other regions of India. It is an ethnic dish of North Malabar. Usually, traditional parathas are made up of wheat flour where as Malabar paratha is prepared using maida, egg and milk.
The layered fluffy and crispy parathas are crispy outside and soft inside. In Kerala, spicy beef curry is preferred for Malabar paratha. Other spicy meat rich curries make an excellent pair with Malabar paratha.
Karikku Dosa (Tender Coconut Dosa)
This is prepared using the tender coconut in the form of pancake. Karikku dosa is a healthy dish suitable for both dinner and breakfast.
As it has a slight sweet flavor of coconut milk, it is served with spicy Kerala style chutney.
Pathiri is a popular dish from north Kerala (Malabar), which is prepared using rice flour. There are different types pathiri, they are ghee pathiri, fried pathiri, stuffed pathiri and chatti pathiri (sweet).
Pathiri is one of the popular dishes consumed for both dinner and breakfast in Kerala. Spicy curries like chicken and beef curries goes well with pathiri. Pathiri is a healthy dish that is blended with the day to day life of Kerala People.
Just like tapioca, Taro (locally known as Chembu) is an integral part of traditional Kerala cuisine. Thick gravy is prepared by using boiled or smashed Taro, which is good have with appam, dosa and Indian breads.
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