Rich in spices and herbs, the cuisine of Kerala is as unique as the destination itself. There is no accounting for taste and different people have different views on what constitutes a mouth-watering food. But there are cuisines which are appreciated across the globe and Kerala cuisine is one of them. Rice and fish form the most important part of the cuisine. Other important ingredients used are chillies, curry leaf, mustard seed, tamarind and asafoetida. In Kerala not only the food but the manner in which it is served is equally important. Keralites are predominantly non-vegetarian but there is no dearth of vegetarian dishes here.
The liberal use of coconut is one of the striking features of Kerala cuisine. In fact it is used in different forms to add flavour to the dishes and curries. Here you can try out various fish-based culinary delights. The cuisine also offers delicious pickles, chutneys, pappadums, banana chips, jack fruit chips, kozhalappam, achappam, cheeda and churuttu which add more flavour to meals. Spices are an integral part of Kerala cuisine. Some of the main spices used are ginger, green and red peppers, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, coriander and cumin seeds.
Some of the main breakfast dishes of Kerala are Puttu(a cylindrical dish prepared from rice powder and grated coconut), kadala(a curry made of chana), idli( rice pancakes), sambar-dosa and coconut chutney. Toddy is a traditional drink of Kerala. Non-vegetarian dishes like mutton, chicken, beef and fish are also consumed.
Lunch and Dinner:
Rice is the staple food of Kerala and is used in making several dishes. Keralites usually prefer parboiled rice with fish curry. Rasam, chips and buttermilk are also consumed with rice. Kanji, a kind of rice porridge is also liked a lot. The list of popular vegetarian dishes consists of sambar, aviyal, kaalan, theeyal, thoran, puli-sherry, olan, erisherry, puli-inji etc. The non vegetarian delicacies include stew(using chicken, fish or lamb), chicken curry, fish moli and fried fish. Also try Biriyani consisting of ingredients like rice, meat, onions, chillies and other spices.
To gratify your sweet tooth Kerala has great desserts to offer. Gorge on its popular payasam(made of milk, coconut extract, sugar, cashews, dry grapes etc). Paap payasam is a dish with rice as a base constituent. Ada payasam is prepared with a flat form of rice and is usually prepared durin g Onam festival. Other famous desserts are Unniappam(a sweet fried ball of flour), pazham-pori(banana slices covered with a fried crust made of sweet flour) and kozhukkatta.