Nestled in the lush greenery of South India, Kerala not only boasts of breathtaking landscapes but also offers a rich culinary heritage that is a treat for food enthusiasts. From spicy curries to aromatic rice dishes, Kerala's traditional cuisine is a delightful blend of flavors, influenced by its geography, history, and cultural diversity. Here's a culinary journey through some of Kerala's must-try traditional dishes:
Appam with Stew: A popular breakfast dish, appam is a fluffy, fermented rice pancake served with a creamy coconut milk-based stew, usually containing vegetables and sometimes meat. It's a delightful combination of flavors and textures.
Puttu and Kadala Curry: Puttu is a steamed rice cake made with grated coconut, served with a spicy and aromatic black chickpea curry known as kadala curry. This dish is a staple breakfast option in Kerala and is loved for its hearty flavors.
Karimeen Pollichathu: Karimeen, or pearl spot fish, is marinated in a blend of spices, wrapped in banana leaves, and then grilled or pan-fried to perfection. This traditional Kerala seafood delicacy is bursting with flavor and is a must-try for seafood enthusiasts.
Fish Moilee: Fish moilee is a mild and creamy fish curry made with coconut milk, flavored with spices like turmeric, ginger, and green chilies. It's a classic Kerala dish that beautifully combines the richness of coconut with the freshness of fish.
Kerala Parotta with Chicken Curry: Kerala parotta is a flaky, layered flatbread made from maida (all-purpose flour) and served with a spicy chicken curry. The parotta is skillfully prepared by kneading and folding the dough to create its distinctive texture, while the chicken curry is packed with robust flavors.
Thalassery Biryani: Thalassery biryani is a unique and aromatic biryani variety originating from the Malabar region of Kerala. It features fragrant basmati rice cooked with tender meat (usually chicken or mutton), caramelized onions, and a blend of spices, creating a symphony of flavors.
Kerala Sadya: Sadya is a grand feast consisting of a variety of vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf. It includes staples like rice, sambar, avial (mixed vegetable curry), thoran (stir-fried vegetables with coconut), olan (ash gourd stew), pachadi (yogurt-based side dish), and payasam (sweet dessert), among others. Sadya is traditionally served during special occasions and festivals in Kerala and is a culinary experience not to be missed.