From the backwaters to exotic wildlife, from serene beaches to lush green mountains, Kerala, "the land of spices", offers a sensational experience to its tourists. Since time immemorial, Kerala cuisine has been known for its distinct flavor of spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black pepper, ginger, and asafoetida. The state's staple food comprises coconut, rice, tapioca, and sizzling spices. Seafood adds a tantalizing taste to the platter.
THE INCREDIBLE DELIGHTS OF KERALA
Sadya is a Malayali banquet of vegetarian food indigenous to Kerala, served on a Banana leaf as a lunch. It is a festive culinary mainly served during Onam. A typical Sadya may comprise about 24-28 dishes and even more depending on the festivity. Boiled rice is served with curries, pulisseri, buttermilk, curd, mango, and lemon pickle. Desserts called Payasam and Prathaman add sweetness to the sumptuous meal.
Idiyappam or String hoppers are rice noodles woven into a flat disc-shaped mesh. It is a breakfast delight served with various curries like pea and potato curry, vegetable kurma, chicken stew, or egg curry. Its savory taste is enjoyed with a dollop of ghee, grated coconut, and sugar. Favorite among the children, Idiyappam, doesn't fail to mesmerize the adults when served with spicy coconut chutney.
Puttu and Kadala curry
The Portuguese invented the Puttu, a steamed rice cake, which is now the most sort out breakfast in Kerala, relished with Kadala curry. Puttu is often made from red rice flour or ragi flour and grated coconut in layers. Kadala curry is an assortment of boiled Black channa in a gravy engraved with hot spices. Besides being a wholesome breakfast meal, this delicious delight satiates your palate and is loaded with the goodness of protein and carbs.
Malabar Parotta with Beef Curry
Kerala or Malabar parotta is a flaky, layered bread made of wheat flour or maida. This mouth-watering treat is a popular street and restaurant snack in Kerala served with beef fry, egg, or chicken curry. The slow-roasted beef in an assortment of spices, onions, and curry leaves, is fried in coconut oil to give the dish its savory taste. The shallow fried parottas with spicy beef curry give the diner a heavenly experience to last for a lifetime.
Kerala Prawn Curry (Chemmeen curry)
Kerala prawn or shrimp curry is a delight prepared with Shrimp or prawns, slow-cooked in a thick sauce of a yellow hue. The ingredients like grated coconut, turmeric, cumin seeds, coriander, chili, onion, and garlic along with a dash of vinegar, sugar, and tamarind give it a delectable savory taste. The treat is generally served with steamed or boiled white rice, but it can also be relished with flaky layered parottas.
Thalassery, a town in northern Kerala, serves a cuisine that is a blend of Europen, Arabian, Persian and Indian styles. Thalassery biryani is reminiscent of the Mughal-Arab cultural impact on the region. The unique, small-grained, aromatic Kaima rice is amalgamated with various spices and soft supple chicken pieces. The chicken and rice, with lots of ghee and fragrant spices, are slow-cooked in a sealed container, in layers. The finger-licking biryani is fully cooked by using the "Dum process", thus giving it a delectable taste.
Fish Moilee or Fish Molee is a rich, creamy, and mildly spicy Fish stew. In this traditional Kerala Easter dish, the fried fish pieces are slow-cooked in coconut milk curry flavored with black pepper, tomatoes, and fresh green curry leaves. The aroma of the dish itself makes the stomach growl. Fish Moilee had even fascinated the Portuguese in the past, who named it after the chef Molly. It tastes best with Appam or bread as well as with rice.
Banana fritters originated in Eastern Africa but became a favorite tea-time snack in coastal regions of Southern India. Pazham Pori or banana fritters are made from ripened banana slices which are coated with maida, turmeric, sugar, and salt. They are deep-fried golden brown delights that can be gulped at any time of the day, especially during breakfast or tea breaks.
Onam is a 10-day Hindu festival that culminates with a feast that is incomplete without the sweetness of Palada Payasam or Onam Sadya. Payasam is prepared by slow-cooking Palada rice with milk, sugar, and ghee. Garnished with roasted cashew nuts, raisins, and cardamom powder gives the dessert a scintillating sweet taste.
None of the Indian cuisines is complete without a sweet delight. As the name suggests Elaneer pudding is sure to enamor people with a sweet tooth. It is prepared by cooking coconut pulp with milk, sugar, and condensed milk. China grass or gelatin is added to the delight to form a sweet pudding. This yummy & tender coconut pudding tastes best when served chilled.
Traveling around the "God's own country", Kerala cuisine satiates the palate with the everlasting taste of these scrumptious and decadent culinary delights. Kerala, the Indian state with the highest literacy rate, is a travelers paradise that amazes its audience with its rich culture, and scenic beauty. It serves its guests a cuisine that's an amalgamation of so many cultures and traditions.