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    Kerala Cuisine: An Overview

    The staple food of Kerala is greatly influenced by the history and culture of the state. It’s a blend of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, in which the latter is prepared a variety of items like fish, poultry and red meat. Rice, fish, and coconut are the most common ingredients of almost all Kerala famous food. The flavours are enhanced with chillies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric tamarind, black pepper, cardamom, clove, ginger, cinnamon, and asafoetida.

    savour delish kerala food

    Though the traditional food of Kerala, including Kerala Sadya prepared during festivals and celebratory ceremonies, is vegetarian, the contemporary food of the state includes non-vegetarian dishes. One might also be able to identify the taste of coconut in most dishes in Kerala, owing to the fact that blending grated coconut and its milk in food for thickening and flavouring is a common culinary practice in India.

    So, for all those who think Kerala food is all about idlis and dosas, you’re in for a surprise! Our Kerala food items list and Kerala food photos will definitely grab your attention. Come over to this charming coastal town and indulge in the best gastronomic experiences that probably won’t let you leave!

    Kerala Cuisine: 21 Popular Dishes

    Here are some of the most popular dishes that Kerala boasts of! This list contains both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that will make your things to do on Kerala trip exciting. Note them down and savour them on your next Kerala holiday. 

    1. Idiyappam With Curry

    eat delicious Idiyappam

    One of the famous dishes of Kerala is Idiyappam which is relished by most of the people. Also known as Noolappam in Kerala cuisine, Idiyappam, food of Kerala, is made of rice flour, salt and water with a number of thin strands or sevai entwined together to make the lovely texture that this dish bears. It is this texture that makes it versatile. You can have it with all kinds of curries, but it tastes best with Egg Curry.

    Pronounced as: E-di-ap-pam
    Best places to eat: Saravana Bhavan, Jasmine Bay
    Average price: INR 80

    2. Erissery (Pumpkin And Lentil Stew)

    savour pumpkin erissery in KeralaErissery is one of the famous dishes of Kerala which is savoured by travellers as well as local people in Kerala. A hit in every kitchen of Kerala, this curry is made from either raw plantains or sliced yams. It is typically prepared by boiling slightly sweet pumpkins with salt, chillies or pepper, dried lentils, grated coconut, turmeric powder, cumin seeds and garlic, and is served on a bed of rice once cooked. A favourite Kerala food item on the menu of religious festivals like Onam, Erissery provides the perfect culinary for foodies who are always on the lookout for new flavours!

    Pronounced as: Er-u-siri
    Best places to eat: Kashi, Mezban
    Average price: INR 400

    3. Puttu And Kadala Curry

    have Puttu with Kadala Curry in kerala

    Puttu and Kandala curry is enjoyed by people of Kerala which is considered to be one of the popular traditional Kerala dishes. A famous breakfast recipe out of the many Kerala dishes, Puttu is a cylindrical steamed rice cake that is cooked in a mould with grated coconut. It can be served with ripe bananas, grated coconut, and kadala curry (the Keralite version of ‘Kala Chana’! Don’t be fooled by the simple appearance of this dish; Puttu can be very flavoursome!

    Pronounced as: Put-tu and Ka-da-lai
    Best places to eat: Saravana Bhavan, Mezban
    Average price: INR 70

    4. Appam With Ishtu (Stew)

    have Appam with Ishtu in kerala

    Appam with stew, one of the traditional Kerala dishes is flavoursome and yummy. A famous food of Kerala, made from fermented rice flour, coconut milk, coconut water, and a teensy bit of sugar, Appam is essentially a thin pancake with crispy edges. These crepe-like bowls are best enjoyed with Ishtu, a kind of stew that has been originally derived from the European stew and is made from coconut milk, cinnamon, cloves and shallots, and sometimes also mango pieces and vegetables. The aroma of spices with the sweet fragrance of coconut milk is enough to lure foodies to the kitchen!

    Pronounced as: Ap-pam with I-sh-tew
    Best places to eat: Villa Maya, Varsha, Ariya Nivaas
    Average price: INR 175
    Tip: Though it is originally a vegetarian dish, one can also have it with chicken or lamb.

    5. Ela Sadya

    have veg delights like Ela Sadya in kerala

    Ela Sadya is one of the finest meals which is incorporated in traditional Kerala dishes whose aroma will water your mouth. Ela Sadya is the king of all Kerala food items! With more options than you’d ever have seen on your platter, Sadya is prepared and served during religious and ceremonial occasions like festivals, weddings, and more. This royal lunch combination of dishes like pachadi, kichadi, pulissery, olan, sambar, varavu, thoran, aviyal, payasam, served with hot steaming rice on a banana leaf can give the enormous thali of Chokhi Dhani a run for its money any day!

    Pronounced as: E-la S-a-dh-ya
    Best places to eat: Hotel Bharath, Chakara
    Average price: INR 500

    6. Parippu Curry (Dal Curry)

    have Parippu Curry - dal in KeralaIf you are searching to have some good food to eat in Kerala then you must try out this delicacy of Kerala known as Parippu curry. Though unexpected, it is actually one of the most delicious of Kerala food items. The Dal Curry served in Kerala is made from small gram and ghee with a considerable amount of spices and chillies. Don’t skip on this one by mistaking it for your typical ‘ghar ki dal’! You will certainly be disappointed if you do so, trust us!

    Pronounced as: Pah-roo-poo
    Best places to eat: Padmavilasom Palace, Saravana Bhavan
    Average price: INR 95

    7. Dosa Ghee Roast With Kerala Style Sambar

    gorge on delicious Dosa Ghee Roast with sambar

    Food connects us all and if you are looking to have the best food in Kerala then do try dosa Ghee roast with Kerala style Sambhar which will blast your mouth with awesome flavours. Listed among the ‘World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods’, dosa and sambar in Kerala cuisine make up for a deadly combination! Made from fermented rice and lentils, the ghee roast dosa is first cooked to perfection in pure ghee, and then roasted till it gets as crisp as it can. It is, no doubt, the best food in Kerala district.

    Best places to eat: Jasmine Bay, Aditi Restaurant
    Average price: INR 100

    8. Idli Sambar

    savour the taste of the popular kerala cuisine Idli Sambar

    How about relishing some south Indian food when in Kerala? Idli Sambhar is one of the best foods in Kerala which is good to go for breakfast and the best healthy food in Kerala as well. Perhaps the most famous food of Kerala, idli sambar are fondly eaten in not just all households in Kerala, but everywhere else in India! The perfect combination of fermented rice cakes and a deliciously tangy curry of aromatic spices and vegetables like lentils. Apart from being a favourite of foodies for its taste, idli sambar is also universally accepted for the health benefits it bears.

    Pronounced as: Id-lee S-aa-m-b-aa-r
    Best places to eat: Aditi Restaurant, Ginger House
    Average price: INR 65
    Tip: Have it with coconut chutney for a flavourful experience!

    9. Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu (Spicy Chicken Fry)

    have fried chicken - Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu in KeralaWant to add spice on your palate? Then, you must try one of the national foods of Kerala that is spicy chicken fry or Kerala style prawn curry as there is no single national food of Kerala. Served with onion, spices, garlic, and vinegar on a banana leaf, Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu is fried chicken made with a generous amount of spices. One can have it with chapattis, Kerala Porotta (a layered flatbread made from maida flour), appam or rice. It also serves as a popular street food in the list of Kerala dishes served with dosa. Have Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu on your next trip to Kerala and you’ll forget KFC for sure!

    Pronounced as: N-a-d-an C-oz-h-y V-a-ru-th-a-thu
    Best places to eat: Spice Village, Fusion
    Average price: INR 775

    10. Kerala Style Prawn Curry

    savour the taste of Kerala Style Prawn Curry

    If you are in Kerala and a non-vegetarian then it’s a treat for you to relish Kerala food culture by ordering Karimean Pollichathu for your meal. This traditional food of Kerala is a must-try for all prawn lovers! The traditional prawn curry of Kerala is sprinkled religiously with chilli and pepper, other than salt and turmeric, and is then cooked in whole coconut milk and jaggery before it is finally garnished with curry leaves. In fact, trying this exotic seafood dish is one of the best things to do in Kerala. One can have it hot with steaming rice or chapattis for a trip to heaven!

    Best places to eat: Adam’s Teashop, Fort House Restaurant
    Average price: INR 725