Kerala food is spicy yet delicious. The distinctive cuisine of Kerala is prepared using the ingredients available locally. Seafood is also famous here. The local food includes a lot of coconut as it is available in plenty and is tasty. The oil used for cooking is mainly coconut or vegetable oil. Sea food such as fish, crabs, shelfish, lobsters are included in everyday cooking especially in the coastal regions. Smaller fish are dried salted and pickled. An average Malayali is very liberal in the use of spices and commonly use green chillies, cumin, coriander, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, dried red chilles and coriander leaves adds an irresistible flavour. Kerala tourist come to Kerala to have the mouth watering food stuffs. Tapioca and plantain cultivation is profuse in kerala and finds a great use of vegetables in both main dishes and snacks. The Kozhikodan Biriyani, Fish curry, Prawn masala are familiar favourites among non-veg food in Kerala.
The order in which the food is served is of physiological, cultural and religious significance. On the bottom left are placed the Pappadam and Chips. Above these the pickles and Pulli Inji are placed. Now from left to right are served Thoran, Olan, Avial, Kalan, Erisseri and Pachadi. In the middle of the leaf rice is served. On it Parippu, Sambar, Rasam and Curd may be served as per the course. The Payasam/ Pradaman is served between the Rasam and Curd courses. The courses get lighter as the meal proceeds and the addition of digestive tidbits such as Pulli Inji or Lime Pickle ensure complete digestion. Pradhaman or Payasam may be of many kinds but the favorite is Pal Payasam. The order in which the Kerala food is served is said to signify the spiritual progress of the soul from materialism (spicy) towards spiritualism (refined and subtle).
Kerala Food Recipes
Breakfast in a Malayali household may consist of one or more of the following dishes: Appam, Puttu, Idiyapam, Idli, Dosa. Idiyapam etc
A traditional festival meal, Sadya or Saddya as it is called, is served on a plantain leaf end with the narrow end to the left.
Kerala Sadya necessarily includes the following dishes:
- Parripu (Dal) Sambar (Dal cooked with a slight tempering of vegetables like brinjal, drumstick, tomatoes etc)
- Rasam ( A clear soup)
- Avial (Assorted vegetables cooked in a paste of grated coconut and curd, spiced with cumin and green chillies)
- Kaalan (Curry in a curd base)
- Theyal Olan (Red beans and White Pumpkin cooked in coconut gravy)
- Thoran Erisseri (Dal and Yam spiced with Cumin) Pulli Inji (Ginger pieces in a spicy tamarind pulp)
- Pachadi (Raita)
- Kichadi Chips (Banana/ Tapioca/Jackfruit)