Kerala is located in South India on the Malabar Coast. Kerala is known for its natural beauty which lies in its range of mountains and the beautiful beaches. It also has the highest literacy rate in the country and is matrilineal, which is also unique about this state. The cuisine of Kerala is also unique in itself. Using coconut and curry leaves in the dishes is very common. It gives the items a unique taste and flavor. This article brings to you some of the traditional food items of Kerala.
It is a very famous breakfast item in Kerala. It can be made of flour (rice or wheat) or rava. It is usually eaten with bananas but is also sometimes served with a curry or any other side dish.
2. Cheru Payaru:
This is a famous side-dish that is usually served during breakfast but can also be served during lunch or dinner. It is made of different types of green grams. It is sometimes made in the form of Sambhar also. It is very healthy since grams are rich in proteins. It is highly nutritious and serves a healthy but tasty and filling dish.
3. Ulli Sarlas:
It is an appetizer that is usually served during lunch. It is a salad made of red onions and green chilies. One of the most widespread salads found in Kerala is Ulli Sarlas. Whenever you go to any place to have food, they serve you with this salad.
These are traditional rice crepes which are served with different types of gravies in Kerala. Rice is soaked in water and then ground to make a paste of it. Coconut (grated or paste) is also added to this paste to enhance its taste. It is then left for fermentation. After this, thin crepes are made out of it. It is a very healthy dish which is also very nutritious.
5. Fish Molee:
It is a unique recipe of fish curry that is exclusively found in Kerala. The main ingredient used to make this curry is coconut milk. It is neither very spicy nor sour. It is very simple, just the perfect gravy you would want after you return from a tiring journey or day.
6. Kappa Puzhukku:
Tapioca is called ‘Kappa’ in Kerala. Kappa Puzhukku is a simple dish of seasoned tapioca. It does not contain much of coconut. It’s a very simple item which is prepared a daily in the houses of Kerala. It contains ingredients which can easily be found at home. It is a very light recipe and has numerous health benefits.
7. Kerala Fish Fry:
Fish fry is available in almost all parts of India. But the ones you get in Kerala are different regarding the ingredients they use to make it. They first marinate the fish with different things such as ginger paste, red chilly powder, and others. A special kind of powder made at home is used for marinating the fish. They call it the fish fry powder. This powder brings the difference in taste.
8. Netholi Fish Curry:
This fish curry is made using Anchovy fish which is also called ‘Netholi’ in Malayalam. Tomatoes and tamarind are used in making this dish instead of Fish Tamarind (which is usually used to prepare fish curry here). It is a must try dish for all fish lovers!
9. Nadan Kozhi Thengapal Curry:
‘Kozhi’ is chicken and ‘Thengapal’ is the potato in Malayalam. Chicken curry made with potatoes, curry leaves, coconut milk and tamarind is very common here. This curry is very spicy. It tastes different because of the coconut milk. It is worth the try once during the stay.
10. Chemmeenum Manga Curry:
‘Chemmeenum’ is prawn and ‘Manga’ is mango in Malayalam. This dish is made of prawns and dried mango. Sometimes dried shrimp is also used instead of prawns. It is made into gravy and served with rice. It is a very famous dish in Kerala, especially in Kottayam. It also has coconut and is usually cooked on a daily basis. It is worth the try.
11. Erachi Ulathiyathu:
This is nothing but beef fry which is commonly found in all parts of Kerala. The beef is deep fried with onions and other ingredients and spices. It is very spicy. They also use curry leaves and coconut in its preparation which makes it not so unhealthy. If you are a beef lover, you should try this dish when you visit Kerala.
It is a vegetarian dish which can be made of different vegetables, the common ones being cabbage, carrot, and capsicum. It is a stir fry of the vegetable and coconut with shallots, ginger and garlic. It is usually very spicy, but if you are a vegetarian, you cannot miss this dish. It tastes heavenly.
13. Kappa Chenda Puzhangiyathu:
This is a common evening snack which is made of Yuca (Kappa). It is usually served with a dip which is also homemade. The dip is made with onions and chilies which make it very spicy. It is usually served with tea and is quite filling.
14. Mambazha Pradhaman:
Mambazha Pradhaman or Sweet Mango Pudding is a dish which is usually prepared during Onam. As the name suggests, it is made of mango pulp, jaggery, and ripe mangoes. The specialty of this dish is that they use ginger powder, cardamom powder, and elaichi powder to flavor it which imparts a natural but mesmerizing smell and taste to the pudding. Once you have it, it leaves you with a lip-smacking experience.
The most common food of any South Indian region is Dosa. But the preparation differs from place to place. The simplest type of dosa, made with just rice flour and urad dal, is found in Kerala. You can’t miss trying this dish when you visit Kerala. It forms a part of their staple diet and is healthy but tasty.
16. Thenga Chammanthi:
Thenga Chammanthi or Coconut chutney is again a very common dish found in Kerala. Be it Dosa or Idli, they serve this chutney with everything. It is made of coconut, tamarind, and green chilies. Coconut oil is also used for making this chutney. It goes well with anything practically.
17. Kozhi Varattiyathu:
Chicken breasts are marinated with the help of lemon juice and then stir-fried with ingredients such as onions, ginger, garlic, and chilies. It is usually very spicy and forms a starter which is served before meals. It is sometimes also served as an evening snack or an appetizer. Most commonly, chicken drumsticks are used for this preparation, but other pieces can also be used.
It is fermented flat bread which is made of rice and coconut. The main ingredients used are rice flour, coconut milk, sugar, and rava. These are mixed into a thick paste and then made into thin flat bread. It is usually served for breakfast with sambhar and coconut chutney but can be served with other side dishes too.
These are Kerala style rice dumplings made of Avalos Podi, roasted rice flour, sliced shallots, curry leaves and grated coconut. Coconut milk is also used for its preparation which gives it a unique taste. It is usually served with chicken curry during the lunch.
This is another common food of Kerala which is made forms a part of the staple diet. It is made with rice flour. It is usually served with sambhar and coconut curry or a powder which they call gunpowder. If you happen to visit any place in Kerala, you can be sure to be served with Idli and Sambhar.