We all have many pleasant good memories from different stages of our life. But what lingers for a lifetime is the taste of good food. Regardless of our age, there is nothing else but one thing that satisfies each of us the most is the content of savoring the perfect dish. Every country and every place on this planet has its traditional cuisine that has several excellent dishes which one should try out. As the culture of a place, it is indeed exciting to explore their flavors in food too. Amongst the different food flavors that are there in the world, there is one that stands out. Yes, it is the rich and overwhelming tastes from Kerala – the god’s own country. Here are a few selected picks from the cuisines of Kerala that one should not miss out.
Did you know that Kerala is also known as the “land of spices”? Each of the traditional Kerala dishes has in them the various spices that are carefully mixed to give the food a rich aroma and an irresistible taste. Most of the Kerala tour packages offer to stay at premium hotels along with a detailed itinerary that pretty much covers all the major attractions. These hotels that the tour operators in kerala provide have their restaurant where several of these traditional Kerala dishes are well-prepared and served straight from the chef’s kitchen. Now, let’s take a look the best dishes – just a selectively prepared Kerala food items list.
- Puttu and kadala
- The Sadhya
- Spicy chicken fry (or as said in Malayalam, naadan kozhi varuthathu)
- The prawn curry
- The Kerala style beef fry or otherwise known as the naadan beef fry
- Kerala style fish molee
- Ada pradhaman / Paalada pradhaman
- Paalada Pradhaman
- Chatti pathiri
- Thalassery biriyani
His is a rice pancake that has a thick, but a soft center with crispy edges; and it also tastes a bit sweet. If you ask any Keralite, they would say that the perfect combination would be appam and stew. It’s sure a great combination to try. But it need not necessarily go just with it. Appam goes well with several other dishes. To give you a few suggestions: egg or chicken curry, beef fry, etc.
There will never be a Malayalee who has not had Puttu and Kadala. This is almost the staple food in Kerala. So that’s why you cannot leave this one behind from entering your must try-out list. Puttu is essentially a steamed rice cake with sweet coconut shavings in between. There is no hard and fast rule that you cannot try Puttu with other curries or dishes. It is just that, Puttu and Kadalaare just one of those unbreakable bonds!
This one is similar to that of the puttu; that is, idiyappam is a steamed rice noodle. One of the major difference is that Puttu is cylindrical, while idiyappam is a cluster of threads made out of rice powder. This peasant dish is the perfect choice for breakfast that goes well with several curries.
This traditional meal is a festival of flavors. Served on a banana leaf, a traditional Sadhya has from 12 to 20 dishes along with rice. This is one unavoidable meal for every Keralite during the Onam festival. This grand meal is a special one that requires a lot of hard work, and so, apart from Onam, this meal is usually served for marriages and other special occasions. If you haven’t tried this one, then it should be on top of your must-try list in Kerala.
if you are a great fan of spicy food and love chicken, then this is one dish that can give your taste buds an everlasting memory. You might want to take a look at famous restaurants, but otherwise, this is one dish that is present in every restaurant that has cuisines of Kerala in their menu. So when you visit Kerala, make sure you try out this one from the restaurant’s Kerala food items list!
Kerala or you could also call it the land of coconuts, is famous for using coconut in most of its dishes. Combining with the other spices and after careful preparation using coconut, the dish gets an enhanced taste. This usage is very much evident in many recipes. But if you have a special liking for seafood, and particularly prawn, then the prawn curry is one you should not miss. If you do, then your trip is incomplete. Spicy, rich in flavor and aroma, this one indeed will be a pleasant delight for your taste buds. Check out some of the top places to visit in Alleppey to get the best seafood ever.
If you are a Keralite, then you would have seen in several movies on how they beautifully describe the combination of beef fry with porotta. The scene would probably have left your mouth watering. You will be left with watering mouth and heart craving, out of it as you get the rich aroma of this dish. For all non-vegetarian lovers, the Kerala style beef fry or the naadan beef fry should not be missed.
Like meat, one of the all-time favorites for a non-vegetarian is fish. Kerala is one of the states in India that has many families dependent on fishing. With fish readily available, you can guess the wide variety of dishes the Keralites might be trying out. Well, the Kerala style fish movie is one in particular that you should not miss.
The four dishes we just saw, the spicy chicken fry, prawn curry, Kerala style beef fry, and the Kerala style fish molee are four of the top picks from the best non-vegetarian dishes from the cuisines of Kerala. There are several others like the naadan kozhy curry (traditional chicken curry), roasted and ground mutton curry (well-known in Malayalam as irachi varutharacha curry), etc. Most of these traditional Kerala dishes are readily available in most of the restaurant with Kerala food menu.
This “payasam” or as you know it, kheer is famous as the king of kheers. Prepared using coconut milk, jaggery, and baked rice ada(like chiplets), and adorned with nuts and spices, this kheer is something you should not miss. Unlike the other payasam, this one requires special attention and care while it’s prepared. Maybe that’s the reason why its taste is unmatched!
Similar to that of Ada Pradhaman, the Paalada pradhaman is made using milk, sugar, ghee, and baked rice Ada. We could say that this kheer or payasam is the queen of payasams! Give it whatever designation you prefer, but this creamy dessert is the perfect treat for your taste buds. So don’t forget to try this one out. You can also get some more varieties of payasam while visiting the famous temples in Kerala like Paalpayasam, Aravana Payasam, Ari Payasam etc.
This sweet dish shares similarities with the Italian dish, lasagna. Made up in layers, this pastry is prepared in the north Malabar region. Its key ingredients include flour, oil, and egg. Seasoned with cardamom and various other spices, nuts, and dry fruits, this indeed is a yummy dessert. One thing to be kept in mind is that this sweet dish is commonly prepared for the fasting period – during Ramadan.
Within every restaurant’s menu is a special section allocated for biriyanis. Among the different varieties of biriyanis found down the Kerala food items list, there is one that you must specifically ask for – it is Thethalassery biriyani. With a tantalizing aroma, this biriyani is made using the biriyani rice (which, otherwise is known as kaima), nuts, meat and a variety of other spices. The Thalassery biriyani is often served with salad, curd, and lime pickle. To sum up everything, the Thalassery biriyani is a complete meal and undoubtedly finger-licking good! So never leave from Kerala without striking off this one from your things-to-do list.
The dishes that we have mentioned here are just a few ones that will help you to quickly grab and enjoy a few from the list of the best food from cuisines of Kerala. Do not think that these are all the dishes that you have to taste. The number of dishes that will leave you craving for more is countless. Also, talking about the restaurants; almost all the restaurants in Kerala serve most of the dishes mentioned above. But some special places specialize in some of these dishes. When you book your , make sure to ask the tour operators to give you an experienced guide who is well acquainted with the place. He can then direct you to or even give you suggestions on where you might enjoy the best versions of these dishes. So, visit, explore, dine and enjoy the best of God's own country during your holidays!
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