In Kerala, god’s own country, there’s a little piece of heaven for everyone. For the adventurer, the zen seeker, the nature lover, the cultural enthusiast, and everyone else for that matter, the food of Kerala gives everyone a common reason to love it. Popularly known for its seafood and curries, Kerala boasts a variety of equally good vegetarian food as well. Let’s look at some of Kerala’s famous food scene and get to salivating at the thought of biting into some of its most delicious options.
The loved Kaapi
Beginning your day with a filter ‘kaapi’ is one of the things you can look forward to. Yes, you read that right, ‘kaapi,’ the local word for coffee, is what these people have mastered. Almost all of Kerala’s restaurants, cafés, hotels, and properties serve the famous filter coffee to kick-start your day.
Rice cake? Yes, please!
For breakfast, a popular choice is puttu with kadala curry. It is a cylindrical steamed rice cake cooked in a mold with coconut shavings. People usually serve it with kadala curry, which is made using black chickpeas, shallots, spices and coconut milk. And for those of you with a sweet tooth, fresh ripe bananas and grated coconut can accompany the just puttu for an irresistible treat.
The one and only “appam”
Another popular dish is appam, which no one should miss out on. It is a rice pancake with a soft and thick center, and crisp, paper-thin edges. You can eat it with anything because it tastes delicious no matter what its accompaniment. Typically, it is served with a coconut curry with pieces of chicken or other meat, and a vegetable stew for the vegetarians.
The right kind of spread
Kerala’s famous food, the ghee-roasted dosa with sambhar, is next in the breakfast spread. Cooked in pure ghee, it is prepared using fermented rice and lentil batter and cooked until it is crispy brown.
Idiyappam, also known as noolappam, is numerous strands made out of rice flour, salt, and water, entwined together. It is generally served with any kind of curry, but for breakfast, people prefer egg or vegetable curry.
That completes our selection of breakfast options, just breakfast! Now let’s explore the diverse variety of lunch, dinner, and “light” snacks, which account for a large portion of the flavoursome Kerala cuisine.
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The stars of lunch and dinner
After a stomach full of all these delectable dishes, you can either explore Kerala and burn those calories walking, or choose to stay in and get a massage, snoring away the calories in glory, until lunch. In between meals, there’s always fresh, sweet, cool coconut water on offer while you wait for your next meal.
Even if you choose to walk off the calories, you’ll find yourself eating all the way too, snacking on the fluffy soft idlis you will find in Kerala’s restaurants and the street-vendors’ carts.
And then there was lunch and dinner! The rich Kerala cuisine will give you more options than you can try.
a non-veg affair
The Spicy Chicken Fry or Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu is a fiery feed which is quite unlike your usual fried chicken. The south does it a bit differently by frying chicken with onions, garlic, chillies, vinegar, and topping it with coriander. Plus, they serve it on a banana leaf, which makes it such a unique experience.
Next is the Kerala prawn curry, wherein the traditional prawn curry is sprinkled with chilli, salt, pepper and then dipped in coconut milk, jaggery and finally finished off with curry leaves.
Mussel Stir Fry or Kallumakkaya Ularthiyathu is another appetizing dish where the cleaned mussels are cooked in shallots, garlic, chillies, turmeric, the Kerala garam masala and tons of grated coconut.
stewing it up
Kerala’s most popular vegetarian curry is probably the pumpkin and lentil stew or Erissery. Cooked with sweet pumpkin and red cowpeas, it goes perfectly with rice or Neer dosa.
For all the beef lovers, the Nadan beef curry will tickle your tastebuds. The depth of flavour in this dish reflects the time it takes to cook and its colour will compel you to keep eating until there’s none left on the plate.
With a generous amount of curry leaves, ginger-garlic paste and mustard seeds, the beef is braised until it’s almost falling apart and juicy. Eat it with a buttery Malabar parotta for an explosion of flavours.
Not just another fish curry, the Kerala fish molee will keep you coming back for more. An intense coconut flavour paired with kokum is what makes this curry different from all the rest.
Now imagine yourself in Kerala, relishing all this food, and basking in the sun while enjoying a soothing massage, and you can’t help but choose Kerala as your next holiday destination.
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