Kerala, in Southern India, is known as “God’s own country” for its glorious beaches and luscious backwaters, but the food is also heavenly. Check out the top dishes to try in Kerala.
There are plenty reasons to visit Kerala, ranging from the pure relaxation possible on the Malabar Coast’s golden beaches to the adventure-fueled madness of a rickshaw challenge adventure rally. However, there may be no better reason than to enjoy the incredible food, of which the top dishes to try in Kerala are just part.
The beauty of Kerala’s cuisine is that — like the region itself — it’s so diverse, with plenty for vegetarians, or lovers of meat and seafood, to enjoy. Expect a lot of coconut, rice, and the flavourful seasoning you would expect from an area known for millennia as the “land of spices”. The region is filled with mouthwatering dishes, far too many to list, and of course there are also many specialties of South India generally that are available there. Here, though, is the first part of our selection of meals that make a trip to Kerala such a culinary treat:
Puttu with Kadala Curry
Let’s start with breakfast. While masala dosa is very popular in Kerala, it originates in Karnataka so doesn’t make the list. Puttu, though, is a local dish beloved all over the state. It’s delicious, healthy, and simple: it’s a combination of just steamed rice, grated coconut, water and some spice, often cumin. It’s often accompanied by Kadala curry, a thick coconut gravy with spiced black chickpeas. The perfect way to start the day.
Idiyappam with Egg Roast
Idiyappam is a classic breakfast, so it works just as well at dinner. Sometimes known as string hoppers, it consists of steam rice noodles. Along the Malabar coast you’ll find it mixed with sweetened coconut milk. Because of its simplicity idiyappam can be eaten with pretty much any curry, but a classic addition is egg roast. Roasting eggs in think masala gravy is a Kerala classic in its own right, and matches perfectly with this and other dishes.
Appam with Stew
Egg Roast is also regularly eaten with appam, a delicious rice pancake that is spongy in the centre and delicately thin around the edges. The beloved dish is an easy selection as one of the top dishes to try in Kerala, delighting locals and tourists alike with its unique texture. It’s most popularly served with stew, commonly chicken soaked in a spicy coconut gravy, though any will do so long as it includes coconut milk!
Sadhya is a way of eating that is at the very heart of food culture in Kerala, when people come together for a feast. A variety of foods are placed on a large banana leaf, while the invited sit cross-legged and eat without cutlery, using only their right hand. There can easily be thirty or more different dishes, mostly vegetarian, with separate courses from starter to dessert. The centerpiece is usually boiled rice, along with a wide variety of curries and side dishes. This is not only one of the top dishes to try in Kerala, attending Sadhya is one of the must-try experiences in Southern India.
The options for a hungry traveler in Kerala are tantalising, and there’s even more to come in Part Two. If these dishes (not to mention the golden sands and gorgeous backwaters) tempt you to visit Kerala, there’s no better way to experience the region that by participating in a Rickshaw Challenge. The Malabar Rampage sets off from Trivandrum, travels up the Malabar coast through Kerala, and finishes in Goa. Your week on a tuk tuk will be full of crazy experiences and stunning beauty, and you’ll have plenty chances to enjoy some of the finest food India has to offer!