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Top 15 Must-Try Famous Food of Kerala

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Are you planning to go to the serene backwaters of Kerala and want to see the culinary delights you can taste? You have come to the right place! Here’s a list of the famous food of Kerala for you to try out as you go by all the amazing places to visit in Kerala, like Munnar, Alleppey, Kochi and more!

The Famous Food of Kerala: An Overview

Kerala, an Indian state in the southwest, is well known for its unique and delicious food, which captures the region’s rich cultural variety. “Sadya,” a classic feast served on a banana leaf on important occasions, is one of the most well-known delicacies. It has a variety of vegetarian treats, including aviyal, thoran, rasam, and sambar, served with rice and a selection of pickles. Sadya is a very famous food of Kerala.

Kerala’s cuisine is heavily influenced by its coastal region, as seen by dishes like Meen Pollichathu (fish wrapped in banana leaves) and Kerala Fish Curry. One thing that makes Keralan food distinct and delectable is the usage of coconut, whether it’s in the form of shredded coconut, coconut oil, or coconut milk.

Another famous meal is appam with stew, which is fermented rice pancakes eaten with a stew made with coconut milk. Kerala is also known for its assortment of tasty snacks, which include lentil fritters, banana chips, and pazhampori (banana fritters).

Kerala’s food is a delectable and varied experience that has won it a particular place in the hearts of foodies all over the world. It is a harmonic fusion of spices, coconut, and fresh ingredients.

15 Famous Food of Kerala to Satiate Your Hunger on Your Next Trip

1. Puttu and Kadala Curry

Puttu and Kadala Curry
Top 15 Must-Try Famous Food of Kerala 14

Among Kerala’s most cherished and well-liked traditional dishes are puttu and kadala curry. Puttu, a cylindrical steamed rice cake baked with shredded coconut, is paired with ripe bananas in this classic breakfast combo. The fragrant Kadala Curry, a Keralite version of “Kala Chana,” is the real star of this combination. Puttu is a staple food loved by people throughout Kerala because, despite its relatively basic look, it satisfies the taste buds with its rich taste and distinctive texture. A delightful and fulfilling breakfast experience is created by combining steamed rice cake, coconut, and the savoury Kadala Curry. This highlights the many and delectable options of Kerala cuisine.

2. Coconut Toddy

Coconut Toddy
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Keralans love kallu, a unique drink made from tender coconut that comes in two flavours: sweet and sour. A fermented sour kallu, similar to North Indian ‘bhang,’ has around 8% alcohol by volume, but the sweet kind tastes wonderful and refreshing. The people extract this palm toddy expertly and use it to make palm jaggery, vinegar, and yeast. For tourists visiting Kerala, witnessing the villagers gather toddy from coconut trees is an amazing experience. This traditional beverage contributes to the culinary diversity of the area and offers a distinctive cultural perspective on the inventive ways in which coconuts may be used in a variety of ways.

3. Malabar Parota

Malabar Parota
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Originating in the coastal area of Malabar, Malabar Parota is a well-known delicacy whose name perfectly captures its essence. This delicious parota leaves the palate with a pleasant balance of sweet and savoury flavours because of its distinctive combination of crispy, flaky layers and crumbly texture. With indulging in this culinary treasure, a trip to Kerala is complete. It is sure to become a recurring favourite for families and friends alike. Malabar Parota embodies the spirit of Kerala’s rich and varied cuisine culture and is a must-try dish that reflects the culinary brilliance of the area with its distinct taste and texture.

4. Idiyappam

Idiyappam
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Kerala’s culinary expertise is on full display in the famous food of Kerala, especially the popular idiyappam or noolappam. Made with only rice flour, water, and salt, idiyappam is distinguished by its special cooking method that involves tangled vermicelli threads. This adaptable recipe goes well with a variety of curries, both vegetarian and not, thanks to its mild flavour and delicate texture. Idiyappam’s delicate flavour and fluffy texture add to its appeal, whether it’s served with spicy gravies or stews made with coconut. It’s a delicious dish that embodies Kerala’s rich and varied culinary history.

5. Ela Sadya

Ela Sadya
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During holidays, particularly on Onam, Ela Sadya, a well-known and famous food of Kerala, takes centre stage. This is a multi-course vegetarian feast that is served on a banana leaf. It has about 26 delicious items. Ela Sadya is well known for its strong scent and taste combination, which tantalises the senses. A variety of famous delicacies, including Upperi, Pulissery, Kaalan, Ellisheri, Olan, Naranga Curry, Inji Curry, Mezhukkupuratti, Parrippu, Kootu Curry, Thoran, Chor, and many more, are served during what is regarded as the ultimate holiday feast in Kerala. Each of these delicious treats adds to Ela Sadya’s grandeur, making it an essential component of Kerala’s festival customs and culinary legacy.

6. Banana Fritters

Banana Fritters
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Ethakka Appam, or Pazham Pori, is a unique Keralan dish that entices the senses with its succulent preparation made with ripe bananas. These fritters are known locally as Pazham Pori and are a popular tea-time delicacy in Kerala. This meal, which tastes great when served with a side of satisfying vanilla ice cream, is a delicious blend of sweet, ripe banana flavour with crispy fried bliss. Ripe bananas are fried to a golden-brown perfection after being dipped in a sweet flour batter. A wonderful and crispy appetiser experience that embodies the spirit of the region’s gastronomic pleasures, Pazham Pori is a must-try for anybody visiting Kerala.

7. Thalassery Biryani

Thalassery Biryani
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The most northern town in Kerala, Thalassery, is home to the renowned Thalassery Biryani, a dish that is the main attraction during Eid festivities in the Malabar area. This biryani, which is made with fragrant kaima or biryani rice, a special spice mixture, and packed meat, enchants with its rich flavour and scent. This meal, a local speciality, is typically served with curd, naranga achar (lime pickle), and a crisp salad. For those looking to experience the famous food of Kerala in its purest form, the Thalassery Biryani, which is renowned for its unique flavours and historical importance, is a must-try.

8. Thattu Dosa with Chutney

Thattu Dosa with Chutney
Top 15 Must-Try Famous Food of Kerala 21

Thattu Dosa is a popular street food dish in Kerala that entices the senses with its crispy and savoury texture. In order to improve the texture and flavour, urad dal and rice are combined to make a batter that is then allowed to ferment overnight. The next day, the batter is spread thinly, almost like a pancake, onto a flat nonstick pan. A symphony of flavours is created when the dosa is served with sambar and a selection of two to three chutneys. This well-liked street food option perfectly encapsulates Kerala’s vibrant culinary scene, providing a lovely combination of the crispy goodness of the dosa and the aromatic accompaniments. Both residents and tourists should definitely try it.

9. Erissery

The famous food of Kerala, Erissery, is enjoyed by both residents and visitors. A culinary marvel made from raw plantains or sliced yams, this dish may be found in each Keralan household. Somewhat sweet pumpkins are boiled with a mixture of salt, cumin seeds, dry lentils, shredded coconut, turmeric powder, and garlic. Erissery is poured over rice when it is cooked to perfection, which results in a flavorful and fragrant combination. Erissery is a beloved dish served on religious holidays like Onam. Its distinct flavours draw foodies, making it a must-try for anybody looking to experience the genuine and famous food of Kerala.

10. Dosa Ghee Roast with Sambar

Dosa Ghee Roast with Sambar
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Food brings people together. If you want to enjoy Keralan cuisine like never before, try the Dosa Ghee Roast served with Sambhar, which is traditionally prepared. Listed as one of the ‘World’s 50 Most Delicious Foods,’ this classic combo delivers an explosion of flavours in your mouth. The ghee roast dosa, which is made from fermented rice and lentils, is carefully prepared by roasting it first in pure ghee and then till it is perfectly crisp. These delicious two are a must-try since they perfectly capture the essence of Keralan food. A culinary jewel that takes dining to new heights in Kerala’s dynamic food scene, the Dosa Ghee Roast with Kerala-style Sambhar is renowned for its mouthwatering flavour and texture.

11. Payasam

Payasam
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The famous food of Kerala, Palada Payasam, has won praise from all across the country and captivated the taste buds of foodies. A standout among Kerala’s many delectable dishes is this sweet rice kheer made with palada. Locals and tourists alike have a particular place in their hearts for Palada Payasam, which is traditionally prepared and given on auspicious events and holidays like Onam. Of all the several types of payasam, Palada Payasam is the best; it has basic but necessary components like rice ada, milk, sugar, and ghee. This delicious delicacy captures the essence of Kerala’s rich culinary history, providing a warm and sweet treat that perfectly captures the character of the area.

12. Idli Sambar

Idli Sambar
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Savour the delectable appeal of Idli Sambar, a popular dish from Kerala. Savour the delight of tender, delicately cooked idlis with a texture akin to a cloud and a subtle flavour from careful fermentation. The perfumed dance of Kerala-style Sambar combined with the experience is truly a sensory symphony. The platter of ivory-white idlis eagerly absorbs the flavours of the smooth sambar made with tamarind, resulting in a well-balanced combination of spices. Idli Sambar is a warm and cherished symbol of the region’s well-known cuisine, taking you on a culinary adventure that captures the simplicity and richness of Kerala’s culinary heritage with each mouthful.

13. Nadan Beef

Nadan Beef
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The irresistible appeal of Nadan Beef, a traditional Kerala meal that captures the spirit of the state, is difficult to ignore. This delicious dish captures the essence of Kerala’s cuisine while also stimulating the senses and inspiring appetites. It is practically difficult not to fall in love with Kerala and its culinary riches thanks to the mouthwatering flavours of Nadan Beef, which form an appealing symphony of sensations that leaves an unforgettable impression on the palette. Abundantly layered with mustard leaves, curry leaves, and ginger-garlic paste, this meal is a culinary marvel that beckons diners to indulge in the many complex flavours that characterise Kerala’s cuisine.

14. Karimeen Polichathu

Karimeen Polichathu
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Discover Kerala’s dynamic food scene and savour the best of its cuisine, including the region’s well-known fish molee. Karimeen Pollichathu is the most precious traditional treasure in the state. This dish, which was formerly a delicacy enjoyed by Syrian Christians, is now a proud part of Kerala’s diverse culinary heritage. It is made with Pearl Spot Fish, which is abundant in the backwaters of Alleppey and Kumarakom. Fish is marinated in lemon juice, red chillies, and many fragrant spices and is wrapped in plantain leaves and baked. A tribute to the culinary brilliance that characterises the famous food of Kerala, this distinctive recipe offers a distinct and rich flavour that captivates guests and makes them want more.

15. Kallumakkaya Ularthiyathu

Every dish in Kerala’s seafood treasure trove has a unique touch that makes it stand out, demonstrating the variety of Keralan cuisine. The standout dish among these culinary treasures is Kallumakkaya Ularthiyathu. Thoroughly cleaned mussels are aromatically transformed in a mixture of shallots, garlic, chillies, turmeric, garam masala, and plenty of shredded coconuts. Even while it takes some time and work to prepare, the end product is a culinary beauty that is well worth the wait. A real celebration of Kerala’s varied and nuanced seafood dishes, Kallumakkaya Ularthiyathu, is more than simply a dish—it’s a symphony of flavours that will have you savouring every bite and shamelessly licking the delicious curry off your fingers.

Conclusion

The gastronomic culture of Kerala relies heavily on seafood, pertaining to its proximity to the sea. But if you’re a vegetarian, you will surely find many vegetarian dishes to suit your taste preferences here. We hope this list of the famous foods of Kerala helps you choose which mouth-watering dish you want to taste on your next trip to Kerala! Bookmark this blog for future reference. Happy eating! 

Shreya Gupta
Shreya Gupta
Riddhi Sompura- Content Writer at The India Explorer Riddhi, our experienced content writer at The India Explorer, is a passionate traveler and a skilled storyteller. Join Riddhi on a journey of discovery as she unveils India's rich cultural heritage, stunning landscapes and hidden gems, inspiring wanderlust and encouraging meaningful exploration along the way.

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