When you visit the tropical land of Kerala, you will enjoy unique culinary experiences. This is because of the wide variety of spices grown in the state. Kerala breakfast has been listed among the top 5 favourite breakfasts around the world by Travel+ Leisure. Some of the best delicacies from the Kerala cuisines are:
Sadhya is a traditional vegetarian feast served as lunch. It is one of the most popular delicacies of Kerala. It is usually served on a Banana Leaf. Sadhya consists of rice and many side dishes like Erissery, Avial, Koottukary, Olan, Mampazha Pulissery (Mango Pulissery), Khichdi and Sambar. As a dessert, you can enjoy different varieties of Payasam.
Appam looks like a thin white pancake. It is made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk. It is one of the most common breakfast delicacies of Kerala. Sometimes it is also eaten at dinner. There are varieties of Appam. Their names are Palappam, Vellayappam, Idiyappam and Kallappam. Appam tastes best with vegetable or chicken stew.
Puttu (Steam Cake) and Kadala Curry
Puttu is a highly popular breakfast delicacy in South India. Rice is ground finely and then layered with grated coconut while being steamed. The steamed rice is then shaped like a cylinder. The result is Puttu. The most common side dish for Puttu is Kadala Curry (Black Chickpeas). Puttu also tastes good with banana or palm sugar.
Paal payasam , Palada Pradhaman & Ada Pradhaman (Dessert)
Paal payasam is a sweet dish made from rice, milk, sugar and ghee. Sometimes, instead of rice, vermicelli is used. Pradhaman is another sweet dish made from rice, coconut, sugar and jaggery. In both sweet dishes, cashew and raisins are used for garnishing. Some add cardamom too for added flavour.
Kozhikodan Kozhibiryani (Lunch/Dinner)
Kozhikodan Kozhibiryani can be translated as Calicut Chicken Biryani. It is popular for its spicy aroma and rich flavours. Basmati rice is cooked with spices like mint leaves, clove and cardamom. Chicken is marinated with natural herbs and spices. Then rice and chicken are layered alternately and left to cook for some more time. Boiled eggs, raisins and cashew are used for garnishing.
Mussels are called Kallumakkaya in Kerala. They are served as starters or sometimes, as a side dish with chapatti or rice. The dish is made by cooking mussels with onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies, turmeric powder and garam masala. Tomato and coriander leaves are used for garnishing.
Kappa Biryani (Lunch/Dinner)
Kappa Biryani is a traditional Kerala delicacy eaten at brunch, lunch or dinner. The non-vegetarian biryani is made with mashed tapioca and beef. Lamb or mutton can be used instead of beef. What’s unique about this biryani is that it does not contain rice.
Toddy and Tapioca
Toddy is a mildly alcoholic beverage, widely popular in the state of Kerala. It is made from the fermented sap of coconut tree. The white-coloured drink is usually served in a mud vessel. It tastes well with tapioca.
Pathiri & Malabar Fish Curry
Malabar Fish Curry is a spicy fish curry popular in Kerala. The delicacy is prepared with fish, coconut, turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger, green chillies, mustard seeds, sambar onion and Malabar tamarind. The mild ginger flavour gives Malabar Fish Curry its uniqueness. The curry is generally eaten with rice.
Kuttanadan Karimeen Pollichathu
Karimeen is Green Chromide fish or Pearl Spot fish. First, a thick paste is made from red chillies, turmeric powder, chopped green chillies, ginger, garlic and shallots, salt and lime juice. This paste is then added as a thick layer to the fish, both inside and outside. Then the fish is wrapped in a banana leaf and fried on a pan with oil. It is then served with rice.
Malabar Porotta and Beef Curry
Malabar Parotta is a crisp yet soft paratha with flaky thin layers. Since it has layers, the paratha properly soaks any curry that it’s had with. In Kerala, Malabar Parotta is served with wet and spicy beef curry.
Pazham Pori is one of the most sought-after snacks by Malayalis in Kerala. First, a batter is made from all-purpose flour, rice flour, turmeric powder and salt. Plantains are slit length-wise, dipped in this batter and then deep fried. The hot snack goes great with a cup of tea.
Tender Coconut Halwa
Tender Coconut Halwa is a sweet dish made with tender coconut, coconut water, sugar and ghee. First, tender coconut is put in a blender with coconut water. The paste is then cooked on a pan with ghee. Then a good amount of sugar is added and the pan is stirred continuously. The halwa is garnished with cashew and served.
Milk Sarbath & Soda Sarbath
Milk Sarbath is a refreshing cool drink made with cold milk and sabja. Soda Sarbath is also a cool drink made with lemon juice, soda water and nannari syrup. Both drinks are very popular in Kerala.
Banana Chips are dried horizontal slices of banana fried in oil and spices. Sometimes, these chips are even coated with chocolate, jaggery or sugar syrup. But most people like the traditional type better. It is undoubtedly the most popular snack in Kerala.
Jackfruit chips are also quite famous in Kerala, right after banana chips. Long pieces of half-ripe jackfruit are cut, mixed with turmeric powder and deep fried. The crispy snack is both tasty and healthy. It tastes good with tomato ketchup.
Unniyappam is a sweet snack popular in Kerala. A thick batter of rice flour, wheat flour, banana and jaggery is made. Fried coconut bites, sesame seeds and baking soda are added to the batter. The batter is then dropped with a tablespoon or hand into a pan with oil and deep fried. It is fried until it becomes dark brown in colour.
Achappam is a crunchy and delicious snack popular in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The batter for Achappam has rice flour, eggs, sugar, coconut milk, sesame seeds and cumin seeds. The Acchapam mould is dipped in the batter and then dropped in a pan with hot oil. It is fried until it reaches a golden brown colour.
Kuzhalappam is also known as rice flour cannoli. It is a tube-shaped snack made from roasted rice flour, onion, garlic, sesame seeds and cumin. The dough is flattened and then wrapped around a rod to get the tube shape. It is then deep fried in hot oil.