Surrounded by the sea, Kerala is home to numerous lip-smacking dishes prepared out of seafood, some of which include mussels, crab, tiger prawns, king prawns, tiny prawns, oysters, sardines, mackerel, tuna and gorgeous red lobsters. Visiting God’s Own Country, Kerala, you must indulge in their gastronomical delights. Kerala’s cuisine is a beautiful amalgamation of Arabian, Malabari & French influences along with a unique touch of the state’s very own culture. Here are 10 popular and tasty Kerala dishes that you have to try at least once during your trip in Kerala.
The traditional authentic Kerala meal, Sadhya is served with rice and 12-20 dishes in a fresh plantain leaf. The most popular festival in Kerala Onam is incomplete without this traditional meal. The side dishes are collectively called as ?Kootan? and the traditional rice as ?choru?. Achar(pickle), puli inji (ginger-tamarind paste), pappadam, pazham (banana), kayyavarathathu (banana chips), moru (buttermilk) and parippu (dal and ghee paste) are other dishes served with ?kootan?. Kootan differs in preparation and flavour. If you have never tried having an authentic Kerala sadhya, don't forget to give it a try next time when you visit the state. The preparations for sadhya is simple and so it is the mostly served meal for weddings and other functions in Kerala.
2. Karimeen pollichathu (Fish)
This is one of Kerala’s traditional delicacies. Karimeen or pearl spot fish is a speckled fish commonly found in the backwaters of this state. This is traditionally a Syrian Christian delicacy but has become part of Kerala’s rich cuisine. Pearl spot fish is marinated in a mixture of lemon juice, red chillies, and other ingredients, wrapped and baked in plantain leaves, giving it a unique flavour.
3. Appam with ishtu
If you know anybody from Kerala, ask them about their favorite dish from their home state, and they will surely name Appam & stew. Appam is a rice pancake which has a thick and soft centre and a thin and crispy exterior. You can enjoy appam with a variety of dishes, and it will only enhance the flavour of the combination. It is usually relished with south Indian stews where veggies or meat is immersed in a coconut-based spicy gravy!
4. Puttu and kadala curry
This is a breakfast staple eaten all over the state. Puttu is a cylindrical steamed rice cake cooked in a mould with grated coconut. It’s usually served with kadala curry, a dish of black chickpeas made with shallots, spices and coconut milk, that can also be served with ripe bananas and grated coconut.
5. Dosa ghee roast with Kerala-style sambar
Delicious ghee-soaked dosas dipped in Kerala-style sambar would be an explosion of flavours in your mouth! The food combination is a very famous dish in Kerala. Well, have a bite at it, and you would know too why it is such a sought-after breakfast dish in Kerala. The dish can be found in every Kerala restaurant as it is a staple South Indian dish. You can find dosa anywhere in South India or other parts of the country too!
Idiyappam is basically made of rice flour, water and salt. Numerous strands of vermicelli are entwined together to make this version of an appam. Also known as noolappam, this Kerala dish can be paired with any curry and still taste great!
7. Kerala Prawn Curry
Kerala is surrounded by sea, and so, it has a great variety of seafood cooked in an authentic spice mix of the state. This traditional prawns curry is made with salt, pepper, chilli. The gravy is made with jaggery and of course coconut milk. The finished creamy curry is suitably garnished with curry leaves and served with steamed rice or hot chapatis.
8. Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu (Spicy Fried Chicken)
How can we talk about popular dishes from Kerala and not mention non-vegetarian delicacies? Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu is made with garlic, onion, vinegar, coriander and chilli to ensure spiciness. It is traditionally served on a banana leaf, abiding with the culture of the state. Most chicken lovers already swear by fried chicken. This fiery Kerala dish only takes things to the next level!
9. Banana Fritters
Pazham Pori or Ethakka Appam is juicy banana fritters that are a favourite tea time snack in Kerala. They are the perfect example of simple goodness. Ripe bananas coated in plain flour and deep fried in oil. Can anything go wrong? We don't think so!
10. Thalassery Biryani
The prominent cuisine from Thalassery the northernmost town in Kerala is a special biryani with relishing aroma and taste. Made of kaima or biryani rice, authentic masala made of specific spices and dry nuts and stuffed meat, this dish is made especially during the celebration of Eid in Malabar region of Kerala. The dish is especially savoured with curd, lime pickle (naranga achar) and salad.