¤¤ Kerala Cuisine
The Kerala is known as the "land of Spices". Even the Kerala cuisine is known for its spicy and hot foods. Traditionally, in Kerala food is served on a banana leaf. Kerala Foods One has to take food with right hand. Almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and spices to flavour the local cuisine giving it a sharp pungency that is heightened with the use of tamarind, while coconut gives it its richness, absorbing some of the tongue-teasing, pepper-hot flavours. Tender coconut water is a refreshing nutritious thirst quencher. The crunchy papadam, banana and jackfruit chips can give french-fries a run for their money any day.
Kerala cuisine is a combination of Vegetables, meats and seafood flavoured with a variety of spices. Seafood's are main diet of Coastal Kerala. Whereas Vegetable is the main diet in plains of Kerala and Meat is the main course among tribal and northern Kerala.
`¤¤ Sadya' - Kerala feast
The typical Kerala feast served on a banana leaf, is a sumptuous spread of rice and more than 14 vegetable dishes, topped with `payasam', the delicious sweet dessert cooked in milk. Some of the delicious are: -
While Plain Steamed rice is usually taken with dishes in Sadya (Vegetarian), it is the basic ingredient. Biryanis (in Non vegetarian meals of the Arabic tradition).
Combination of vegetables like pumpkin, drumstick, potato, chilly etc and coconut sauce, it is a very popular side dish. Even mango, jackfruit and cashew nuts are included in Avil.
Vegetables like Cabbage, Coconut, and Green chilly and mustard seed are either fried or steamed with spices like turmeric. Sometimes green papaya is used.
It is made out of drumstick, tomato, potato, onion etc mixed with turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander seeds and many more spices.
Beans and gourds mixed with several spices like chilly powder.
Made using Banana and curd mixed with coconut paste and green chilly.
Rasam is a best for digestion. It is similar to a clear broth; Rasam may be flavoured tamarind, lemon, tomato, lentils and/or pepper.
Main ingredients are Pumpkin, Coconut milk and curd with green chilly. A pleasing finish to the meal.
Sugared rice or noodles, served as a sweet.
¤¤ Rice and Fish Curry
Rice would also be eaten with fish curry (pieces of fish cooked in gravy prepared from grated coconut and spices).
¤¤ Karimeen fry
An appetizing dish prepared from Karimeen (carp), a fresh water fish. Karimeen marinated in a paste of chilly powder, salt and turmeric is a deep fried delicacy.
¤¤ Prawn fry
Dishes prepared from prawns are relatively costlier. Cleaned prawns are first cooked, then lightly fried and then cooked along with chopped onion and masala resulting in a spicy mouth watering dish. Tiger prawns are the most popular of the many varieties of prawns available.
¤¤ Kanji and Payaru (green gram)
Kanji (kanhi) is a simple porridge or rice gruel. The grated coconut mixed in a bowl of hot 'kanji' adds to the taste. Different types of kanji are prepared from the many varieties of rice available in Kerala. Nelloothari or Podiyari variety is made from rice that is ground to very small bits, and it is a specialty.
Payaru is the chief dish served along with kanji. Green gram is cooked along with shredded or grated coconut to form a dry but tasty dish.
¤¤ Kappa (Tapioca) and fish curry
Chunks of tapioca are steam cooked and later mixed with red chilly and mustard and the dish nearly melts away in one's mouth.
The special fish curry served as side dish with kappa is a tangy dish in which tamarind is a main ingredient.
A mouthwatering dish made using a special variety of rice, Biriyani is probably the most popular choice on the lunch and dinner menu. Fried rice is cooked for long hours along with meat, onions, chilies and several spices. This scrumptious dish is a meal all by itself. Apart from meat (chicken, beef, mutton), mussels and fish are also used in biriyani.
¤ Banana Chips
These are wafer thin slices of banana fried in oil. It is a speciality of Kerala and so popular that within the state 'chips' has become synonymous with banana chips.
Achappam is a sweet, crunchy snack. Flower shaped metallic moulds are dipped in a loose, sweet mixture in which rice powder is the main ingredient, and later placed in boiling coconut oil to get crispy, golden brown achappams.
A paste made from rice powder is squeezed out in different shapes and fried in oil. Crunchy murukku in the shape of small coils are the most common
A very popular snack, Vada is characteristic of South India. There are mainly two types of Vada.
Uzhunnu vada resembles a doughnut or a ring and is made by frying a fermented mixture of rice and black gram. It is served with sambar and chutney for side dish.
Parippu vada is circular in shape and prepared by deep frying ground pulses/dal/ parippu in coconut oil.
Jaggery soaked desiccated coconut pressed in between rice dough, wrapped in banana leaves and steam cooked.
Cheeda is a salty, crunchy snack. Rice flour is made into a paste and then rolled into small tablets that are fried in coconut oil till they turn golden brown.
Crunchy kuzhalappam is a slightly salty snack popular in South Kerala. Rice flour is rolled into thin layers, which are then rolled and fried in oil.
In most cases items on the dinner menu are the same as those on the lunch menu. In traditional cases the main dish is rice or gruel with a simpler (relative to the lunch menu) side dish.
Items on the breakfast menu are also served for dinner at many places.
¤ Ilaneer/ tender coconut
The juice of tender coconut - 'world's safest natural soft drink' - is a refreshing nutritious thirst quencher.
¤ Sambharam/ Mor
A refreshing drink prepared from curd. When salted it is called morr and when made sweet it is called sambharam.
A very sweet drink made from a particular herbal extract, this drink is famous among the Muslims.
:: Sweets and desserts
An enticing dessert made usually from rice, rice products or pulses, and cooked in condensed milk, coconut milk or jaggery syrup.
¤ Payasam and Boli
Boli is a pancake with a sweet mixture stuffed in between the layers.
This delicacy is actually string hoppers made from egg yolk and pickled in sugar syrup. It is famous at Muslim feasts.