Foodie’s Guide to Kerala: Exploring the local cuisine and culinary traditions
Food is an integral part of Kerala’s rich culture and heritage. From spicy curries to sweet desserts, the state’s cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors and aromas that can satisfy any food lover’s palate. Kerala’s unique culinary traditions are influenced by its geography, history, and diverse communities. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the must-try dishes and food experiences in Kerala.
Sadhya is a traditional vegetarian feast served on a banana leaf, usually eaten during festivals and special occasions. It comprises several courses of dishes such as sambar, avial, olan, thoran, and pachadi, along with rice and payasam for dessert. The combination of these dishes creates a balance of flavors and textures that is unique to Kerala.
- Appam and stew
Appam is a popular breakfast dish made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk, which gives it a light and fluffy texture. It is typically served with a vegetable or chicken stew that is flavored with spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. The combination of the soft appam and aromatic stew is a perfect start to the day.
- Puttu and kadala curry
Puttu is a steamed rice cake that is cylindrical in shape, usually made with ground rice and coconut. It is often served with kadala curry, a spicy and flavorful curry made with black chickpeas, coconut milk, and spices. This dish is a popular breakfast item in Kerala and can be found in most local eateries.
- Karimeen pollichathu
Karimeen pollichathu is a delicious fish dish that is unique to Kerala. It is made with pearl spot fish, marinated in a mixture of spices, and then wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled. The fish is cooked in its own juices, along with the flavors of the spices, giving it a smoky and tangy taste. This dish is a must-try for any seafood lover.
- Beef fry
Beef fry is a popular side dish in Kerala, made with tender beef pieces that are marinated in a mixture of spices and then fried until crispy. The dish is typically served with parotta, a layered flatbread made with maida, and is a favorite among locals.
- Banana chips
Banana chips are a popular snack in Kerala, made by deep-frying thin slices of raw plantains. They are crispy and crunchy, with a salty and slightly sweet taste. These chips are a perfect snack to munch on while exploring the state’s many sights.
- Chakka varatti
Chakka varatti is a sweet dish made from jackfruit pulp that is slow-cooked with jaggery and spices. It has a sticky and fudgy texture, with a rich and sweet taste. This dish is often served during festivals and is a must-try for those with a sweet tooth.
- Tea and spices
Kerala is known for its tea and spices, which are grown in the state’s lush green hills. The tea gardens in Munnar and Wayanad offer a scenic and informative experience, where visitors can learn about the tea-making process and sample different varieties of tea. The state is also famous for its spices like cardamom, black pepper, and cloves, which can be found in the local markets.
In conclusion, Kerala’s cuisine is a reflection of its diverse cultural heritage and geography. From spicy curries to sweet desserts, the state’s food offers a range of flavors and aromas that are sure to satisfy any food lover’s palate. Whether it’s a traditional sadhya or a plate of beef fry, Kerala’s cuisine is a must-try for anyone visiting the state.
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