The cuisine of Kerala has been diverse and original when compared to the other parts of Southern India. The tantalizing burst of flavors are introduced to the cuisine with the help of exotic herbs and spices that thrive in the lands of this coastal region margined with mountains. This spice palate has made Kerala, a viable target for the merchants and invaders in the past.
Thanks to the generous serving of coconut and combination of spices, the cuisine of Kerala is a mouth-tingling array of dishes. Know here about What to Eat and Famous Foods in Kerala to try during your trip:
Famous Foods of Kerala
1. Mappila Cuisine
This food style has its influence with the Islamic community. This style of dishes is famous for biryanis. In raw terms, it is a confluence of Arab cuisine and Kerala cuisine. This style of cuisine gives more importance to stronger spices like cloves, cardamom and pepper. Top dishes to try in this cuisine are layered parotta, biriyani, muttamaala (egg dish), kadukkanira chathu (mussel dish) and kozhinira chathu (chicken stuffed with spices).
It is not more of a cuisine but an integral part of the cuisine. Since it is a coastal area, a variety of seafood finds its way to the cuisine. The eastern districts of Kerala are more reliable spots for tasting seafood dishes. Top seafood to try are snappers, squid, lobster, prawn, spotted pearl, rock fish, crab and others.
3. Vegetarian Sadya
This is a large array of dish served on one large banana leaf. 24-28 dishes are served in small quantities for you to taste as much elements of the cuisine as possible. If you are looking for the best sadya of all time, visit during Onam festival.
Top Dishes To Try In Kerala
- Avial – A coconut sauce based vegetable dish, with mild taste
- Kozhikodan Halwa – A dessert made with sugar, flour and coconut.
- Appam And Stew – Visit any Christian community region to try this staple food.
- Malabar Biriyani – Lamb biriyani is famous of all types. It is a seasoned rice dish cooked with assortment of spices and coconut milk.
- Kappa – Boiled and cubed tapioca topped with generous amount of coconut scraping. Served along with seafood curry.
- Puttu – Steamed rice cake made in a bamboo holder. It is served with chickpea curry or fish curry.
- Paal Payasam – It is a dessert similar to milk kheer, made with coconut extract, sugar, rice and dry
Beverages To Try In Kerala
- Panakam – Made with dried ginger, lemon and spiked with crush of black pepper and cardamom powder
- Kulukki Sherbet – A flavored lemonade served with chopped pineapple and garnished with mint leaves and crushed ice.
- Spiced Sambharam – Buttermilk seasoned with shallots, ginger, chili, asafoetida powder, raw mango pieces, mint leaves and others.
- Tender Coconut – Sometimes served with ice, banana and crushed coconut tender pulp
- Nannari Sherbet – Lemonade flavored with extract from exotic root of Nannari plant. It is also called as Indian Sarsaparilla
- Pacha Manga Juice – A raw mango juice flavored with cumin seeds, mint leaves, pepper and fennel seeds.
Top Tropical And Exotic Fruits To Taste In Kerala
- Musa banana, red banana, nendra pazham and other local species of banana
- Pulasan – a variety of rambutan but, sweeter
- Longan – a fruit similar to lychee
- Purple Mangosteen
- Pomelo – Found in Munnar, close variety to Grapefruit
- Rose Apple