Many of Kerala's Hindus are vegetarian by religion, and because Kerala has large minorities of Muslims and Christians that are predominantly not vegetarians, Kerala cuisine has a multitude of both vegetarian and dishes prepared using meat, poultry & fishes. In recent times, influences from other parts of India and the USA are more visible, but the dishes this article talks about are mostly those that have a unique Kerala character through adaptation.
Like the unique cultural and natural heritage of the state, the cuisines of Kerala are also unique and special. The cuisines of Kerala reflect the culinary expertise of the people. Generally, the Kerala cuisines are hot and spicy, fresh, aromatic and flavored. As Kerala is a rice producing state, Keralites thrive mostly on fish-and rice. Some of the most common ingredients of Kerala traditional food are Coconut, Chilly; Curry leaf, Mustard seed, Tamarind and Asafoetida. Thus, the traditional Keralite dishes are a result of the mix of the local Kerala produce and the traditional expertise. Some of the popular Kerala dishes are as follows.
3 Mealtimes:- 1.Breakfast, 2.Lunch, 3. Dinner
Kerala cuisine offers many delicious vegetarian breakfast dishes that are often relatively unknown outside the state. These include Puttu (made of rice powder and grated coconut, steamed in a metal or bamboo holder) and kadala (a curry made of black garbanzo beans chana),Puttu is prepared from rice flour and steamed in long hollow bamboo or metal cylinders. Puttu can be eaten with steamed bananas and sugar or with a spicy curry prepared from gram or peas. idli (fluffy rice pancakes) and sambar, dosa and chutney, pidiyan, Idiyappam (string hoppers - also known as Noolputtu), Paal-Appam, a circular, fluffy, crisp-edged pancake made of rice flour fermented with a small amount of toddy or wine, etc. Idiyapam and Paalappam are accompanied by mutton, chicken or vegetable stew or a curry of beef or fish moli Appam, another popular Kerala food, is a soft pancake made from toddy fermented rice batter, with a soft spongy center and is laced with crispy edges. Appam is generally eaten with either vegetable or chicken or mutton stew, thoroughly mellowed with thick coconut milk and garnished with curry leaves.
Lunch and dinner
The staple food of Kerala, like most South-Indian states, is rice. Unlike other states, however, many people in Kerala prefer parboiled rice (rice made nutritious by boiling it with rice husk). Kanji (rice congee), a kind of rice porridge, is also popular. Tapioca, called kappa in Kerala, is popular in central Kerala and in the highlands, and is frequently eaten with fish curry.
Rasam is a mixture, prepared by boiling chilly and peppercorn powder in diluted tamarind juice. Another important Kerala food is 'Moru' or plain sour buttermilk, which comes salted with chopped green chillies and ginger.
Tapioca and Fish Curry
It is a sumptuous and mouthwatering delicacy. It is a combination of 'Kappa' and 'Meen curry'. The delicious fish curry is made with garlic paste, onions and red chilies and seasoned with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Desserts form an essential part of the traditional Kerala meals. Desserts are served midway through the meals. Payasam is a popular dessert dish of Kerala. It is a viscous dish of brown molasses, coconut milk and spices and well garnished with cashew nuts and raisins. There are different types of payasams, such as the lentil payasam and the jackfruit payasam, Bengal gram payasam and so on. Adapradhaman, a rich payasam with thin rice wafers is considered a top delicacy. Another type of Payasam, which is also very delicious, is Palppayasam. It is made with sugar, ghee and spices, brewed in creamy white milk. It is served with 'boli', a golden yellow sweet pancake.
A Sadya is a big feast associated with a special occasion, such as a marriage, birthday, childbirth,Onam Sadya Kerala Festival etc. A Sadya is traditionally a vegetarian meal served on a plantain or banana leaf; people eat sitting cross-legged on the floor. Sadhya can have up to 24 dishes served in it.