5 most famous food of Kerala
Kerala, ‘God’s own country’, is famous for its natural beauty and greenery, but also for wide variety of traditional cuisines that are exclusive to the place. Keralites prepare both vegetarian and non vegetarian food of different tastes. As Kerala is the land of coconut, most of the cuisines contain coconut as a main ingredient in various forms like coconut oil, coconut milk and grated coconut. The spices like pepper and ginger are also used in abundance that enhances the taste and aroma of Kerala food and make them different from other Indian dishes.
Sadhya is the first answer that you get, if you ask any Malayali about the famous food of Kerala. It is the most traditional dish of the state, which can be enjoyed as a buffet. Sadhya, which is served in a plain banana leaf, contains almost 24 items with some desserts. In this pure vegetarian food, several types of dishes namely avail (mix of vegetables), kaalan (mixture of yam and yoghurt), thoran (dried egetable sprinkled with coconut), kichadi (Cucumber roasted incoconut), Pachadi (sweet made from pinapple or grapes), puliinchi (ginger and tamarind flavor), achar (pickle), pappad are served along with rice and sambar (the main curry with ladies finger and drumstick). Rasam and curd are also served with a little rice for better digestion. Payasam is the main dessert served in Sadhya. There are several types of payasm made of different items like rice, wheat, dal and banana etc. Sadhya is used a lunch time dish, especially for special occasions like onam, wedding, birthday etc.
2 Thalassery Biriyani
Eventough Biriyani is familiar dish in most of the Indian states, Kerala Biriyani has a unique taste due to the difference in ingredients used and preparation style. In Kerala, different types of biriyanis are prepared in different areas and among them the most famous is Thalassery Biriyani. What makes this biriyani special is that it uses green chilly and garam masala and completely avoid red chilly powder, coriander powder and other spices. Unique fragrant, small-grained, thin rice variety named kaima is used in this dish. Meat of chicken, mutton or beaf is cooked with the masala on a low heat and layered with rice. Then lid of the container is sealed with dough and hot coal or charcoal is then placed above the lid.
Biriyani is mainly served in the special functions of muslim community like wedding and Eid etc. As Thalassery sea port was the centre for the export of spices, Europeans and Arabs had come here for business. The blend of Arab and Malabar culture influenced the cuisine of Kerala also. You can also experience the influence of Arab food culture in Thalasseri biriyani. Nowadays, it began to be used widely in other communities too.
3 Kappa (Tapioca)
While Kappa (tapioca) was considered as the supplementary food of poor man, who couldn’t afford rice, now it is transformed to an exotic dish. Even star hotels give room for Kappa in its menu card. This starch rich food is very tasty as well as healthy. Kappa is nowadays the favorite option of tourists, especially during their house boat trips. Kappa ulathiyathu (Boiled and mashed tapioca) is a unique food item in Kerala and it is a nice combination with fish curry or chicken curry. At the same time is very easy to prepare also. Many other varieties of kappa dishes are also available in Kerala. This food can be consumed as abreakfast, side dish for lunch or as an any-time snack.
4 Puttu and Kadalakkari
Kerala has wide varieties of breakfast dishes like Iddli, Dosa, Vellayappam, paalappam, idiyappam etc. Among them the most famous and unique item is Puttu, which is nothing but steamed rice cake. This traditional breakfast item is normally served with kadala (black chickpeas) curry or moong dal curry. It is also a nice combination with ripe banana and pappad. No vegetarians can also try fish curry with puttu.
The rice flour and coconut are mixed and steam it in a metal puttu maker that has a cylindrical or dome shape. Even though rice flour is used in widely to make puttu, we can also try wheat flour, ragi, oats or couscous. You have to mix rice and coconut and make it moisturize with proper quantity of water to make the puttu soft. If the rice flour gets the shape of your first, when you take a fistful of rice flour and close your fist, you have added correct quantity of water.
5 Sweet snacks
Kerala is also famous for various types of sweets. Unniappam is the most traditional and unique snack item of the state and it is a compulsory item for festivals and functions. This brown coloured, small ball-shaped, spongy and crispy sweet dish is made with rice flour, banana and jiggery using coconut oil. Even though there may slight difference in ingredients and preparation, the taste is unique and cannot be substituted with anyone.
Pazhampori is another snack, which is also exclusive to Kerala. ‘Pazham’ means banana and ‘pori’ means fry. So, as the name indicates it is used by frying the ripe banan piece after dipping in the wheat flour batter or maida batter. It is the best combination with a cup of hot tea, especially in the evening time.
‘Ada’, the most traditional snack item of Kerala, cannot be seen anywhere else in the world. Thick batter of rice flour is spread across a piece of banana leaf and sweet filling prepared with coconut, banana and jaggeri is put over the batter. The leaf is folded and steamed.
The non vegetarians also have lots of options to try in Kerala. As the state is located near seashore, you can enjoy wide varieties of seafood here. All the communities like Hindus, Muslims and Christians have their own unique cuisines here. Plan a trip to Kerala and enjoy the spicy and creamy delicacies it offers.
Suja is a post graduate in Communication and Journalism.She has several years of writing experience for online media on various topics including Lifestyle, health , Information technology and consumer electronics.