It is advised by the seasoned travellers all around the world that if you genuinely want to know about the place you are travelling to, you should meet local people, eat local dishes and shop from local establishments. For trying out local dishes, the best places in Kerala are the local homestays. It is because they use the fresh ingredients they grow in their own farms and cook them following the authentic recipes left behind by their ancestors.
So, let’s explore the dishes which you can get to taste only from a Kerala Homestay and not any restaurant.
Typical Breakfast Items in a homestay which you cannot miss:
Puttu and Kadala Curry:
Puttu is a cylindrical rice cake made by steaming layers of rice flour and coconut. There are many colourful varieties of Puttu too. Kadala Curry is a preparation of chickpeas cooked in a traditional method. The dish is wholesome and nutritious. Local spices are subtly used while making Kadala Curry. As you eat with Puttu, you would find the sweetness of Puttu gradually soaking in the spicy flavours of Kadala rendering a perfect food combination.
Paalappam and Egg Roast:
Palappam is a pancake-like preparation. Its recipe includes grated coconut, cooked rice and rice flour. The centre is very soft while the rounded edges of Paalappam are delicately lacy and crisp. On the contrary, the Egg roast is spicy with hotness a bit on the higher side. The duo makes another awesome breakfast combination after Puttu and Kadala Curry. Paalappam too soaks well the juices of the Egg roast which makes it a delightful eating experience.
It’s common to order a plate of toasted bread and jam or omelettes for breakfast, but we would suggest you not to do this when you are in Kerala. This is because the above dishes are the healthiest and filling breakfast items available in our land. They are tummy-friendly as well as weight friendly. Also, why go for the routine bread and jam when you can get much tastier alternatives?
Hot Kanji with Spicy Fish Curry and Pappadam:
The Kanji is the Kerala version of ‘Congee’ or rice porridge. The dish is extremely healthy and comes under the “comfort food” category because it aids in easy digestion. It also boosts the energy level. The Kanji is made with short-grained Matta Rice usually, a bit of salt is added as a condiment. In the homestays, they serve Kanji along with Papad and spicy red fish curry. The tang of the fish tamarind (Kudam Puli) in the spicy Kerala Fish Curry balances well with the light Kanji.
Typical lunch and Dinner Platter available only in Kerala Homestays:
A Simple Plate of Fish Fry, Rice and Curry:
A typical Keralite lunch plate consists of rice, roasted papad, a yoghurt-based curry or Pullissery and crisp fish fries. The Pullisery contained fruits like ripe banana or mangoes and vegetables like ash gourd. The curry has a subtle hint of spices. The yoghurt base adds in healthiness. Mackerel and Mullet fish fries are usually the crispy compliments to the meal.
Biriyani from Northern Kerala:
If you are putting up in Northern Kerala, Biriyani is a must-have there. The Thalassery Biriyani and the Kozhikode Biriyani, mainly available there, are extremely delicious. The Biriyani here has a direct Arabic influence and the local ingredients only enhance the taste. The aroma of the local spices coming out from the Biriyani pot while slow cooking is enough to whet your appetite. Have it during a lazy lunchtime or finish off your day by relishing the marvellous Biriyani as dinner, the choice is entirely up to you.
The food items listed here come in their authentic avatars only from a Kerala homestay kitchen. The traditional utensils they use, the method they use and the love they pour in while making these traditional Kerala dishes are only visible in a homestay. No commercial restaurant can offer the same authenticity.