Kerala Cuisine: Nine Famous Dishes That You Need to Try

Kerala, also known as the ‘God’s own country,’ is a small state in South India. It is a fertile land surrounded by the sea and is home to many lip-smacking dishes prepared seafood, including crabs, mussels, oysters, king prawns, tiger prawns, tuna, sardines, red lobsters, and mackerel.

When walking the streets of Kerala, one just cannot help themselves from salivating. Kerala is also popularly known as the ‘land of spices’ as a wide assortment of spices is grown and exported from the state. Kerala’s cuisine is famous for its generous use of coconut and spices.

The staple dishes of Kerala are majorly influenced by the culture and history of the state. It is a unique combination of both non-vegetarian and vegetarian options, in which the former is prepared from a variety of poultry, fish, and red meat.

When looking for a Kerala meals restaurant near me, you must try out Curry Leaf, an Indian restaurant offering a plethora of delicious South Indian delicacies. The flavors of Kerala cuisine are enhanced using curry leaves, chilies, ginger, clove, cardamom, tamarind, asafetida, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, and mustard seeds.

Here we are going to enlighten you with some of the most popular delicacies of Kerala’s cuisine. The list includes both non-vegetarian and vegetarian options so that you can enjoy the variety that this cuisine has to offer.

  1. Idiyappam With Curry

Idiyappam is undoubtedly one of the most popular meals of Kerala and is absolutely relished by their people. Idiyappam is essentially made from rice flour, salt, and water. Multiple strands of vermicelli or sevai are intertwined together to create the specific texture that is seen in this dish. It is this texture that makes Idiyappam incredibly versatile. Although it can be paired with any type of curry, it tastes the most delicious with egg curry.

  1. Appam with Stew

Appam and stew is another favorite of people in Kerala. Appam can be described as a rice pancake that has a thick and soft centre and a paper-thin, crispy outer part. It can be enjoyed with almost any side dish and is bound to lift the taste value of the dish. It is commonly paired with Southern-style stew with small pieces of meat that are smothered in a rich, silky coconut curry.

  1. Idli Sambar

Idli sambar is one of the most famous breakfast staples of Kerala. Idli is made cooked using fermented rice and black gram batter. It is then steamed in a mold which gives it that distinctive shape. Sambar is a lentil-based vegetable curry.

Idli sambar is probably one of the most popular dishes eaten in Kerala households. The exciting combination of the tangy, aromatic curry and fermented rice cakes is what makes this dish the absolute favorite of everyone. Other than being famous for its delicious taste and aromatic flavors, idli sambar is also globally known for its numerous health benefits.

  1. Erissery – Pumpkin and Lentil Stew

Erissery is a traditional Kerala dish that is made for festivals and weddings. The curry is prepared using either sliced yams or raw plantains. It is usually made by boiling slightly sweet pumpkins with salet, pepper, or chilies, grated coconut, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and dried lentils and is served over a rice bed once cooked. Erissery is truly the ideal option for foodies who are always on the hunt for new and exciting flavors.

  1. Kerala-Style Fish Molee

For a land that is essentially surrounded by the sea, fish has to be an important part of the cuisine. This uniquely flavored Kerala cuisine consists of slightly fried fish in a stew all placed inside an earthen pot. It is made from kokum, coconut milk, and spices like cinnamon, pepper, turmeric, and cloves, as well as green chilies for an added tangy flavor. Sneer fish or kingfish are usually used. Nonetheless, the dish is bound to leave you asking for more.

  1. Thalassery Biryani

Thalassery biryani comes from the Malabar region of Kerala. It is incredibly famous for its distinctive taste and unique aroma that comes from the unconventional variety of rice – Jeerakasala – used in its making. While other regular varieties of biryanis are prepared using basmati rice, thalassery biryani is made using premium quality short-grain rice. The cooked rice and biryani masala are layered in a pot and cooked on slow heat.

  1. Puttu And Kandala Curry

Puttu and Kandala curry is another favorite traditional meal of the people in Kerala. It is a popular breakfast recipe. Puttu is around steamed rice cake that is cooked with grated coconut in a mold. It can be served with kandala curry, ripe bananas, and grated coconut. Kandala curry is made from black chickpeas and is flavored by adding many different aromatic spices. This flavorsome dish perfectly complements the puttu.

  1. Ela Sadya

Ela Sadya is a specialty of Kerala cuisine. In this unique cuisine, numerous vegetarian delicacies are served on a soft banana leaf. With a beautifully assorted collection of dishes and flavors, Sadya is made and served during ceremonial and religious occasions, like weddings and festivals. It is a royal combination of food items like kichadi, olan, pachadi, sambar, payasam, and pulissery. These dishes are served with hot steaming rice, making it the perfect thali for foodies.

  1. Karimeen Pollichathu (Fish)

Karimeen Pollichathu is one of Kerala’s most famous and traditional recipes. The dish is made from Pearl Spot Fish – a speckled fish usually present in the backwaters of Kumarakom and Alleppey. Karimeen Pollichathu is made by marinating fish in a marinade of red chilies and lemon juice, among other ingredients, and is wrapped and baked in plantain leaves. The exotic preparation makes the dish unique and rich in flavors.

Hopefully, this article gave you some insight into the culturally rich and flavorful Kerala cuisine. Share this exciting information with your friends and give yourself the best culinary experience with this exclusive variety of Kerala dishes!

Author Bio

Anoop is a lifestyle writer and a cross-cultural training expert. He enjoys communicating across borders and cultures in his weekday avatar as an editorial and content consultant. She is passionate about exploring the unique and exquisite Kerala meals restaurants near me. When not writing, she is traveling the cities and discovering new terrains in different parts of the world.


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