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Discovering the Cuisine of Kerala

Introduction

Kerala is one of India’s most vibrant states, famous for its stunning backwaters, breathtaking landscape, and ancient temples. It is also home to some of the country’s most delicious and diverse regional cuisines. Kerala cuisine is known for its use of coconut and spices, and its unique vegetarian and seafood dishes. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the mouth-watering dishes that make Kerala’s food scene so special. From traditional recipes to modern twists, let’s dive into the world of Kerala’s cuisine!

The Staples

The staples of Kerala’s cuisine are typically rice and tapioca, both cooked in coconut milk. Rice is the main ingredient in many traditional dishes and is often served with fish curry, a Kerala specialty. Tapioca, or kappa, is also a common side dish and is often served with spicy chutneys.

Vegetarian Dishes

Kerala is known for its vegetarian dishes, such as sambar, a spicy lentil dish, and avial, a vegetable stew. Other popular vegetarian dishes include thoran, a dry vegetable dish made with grated coconut and spices, and kaalan, a creamy, yogurt-based dish made with mashed vegetables and tamarind.

Seafood Dishes

The abundance of seafood in Kerala makes it a paradise for seafood lovers. Popular dishes include meen curry, a spicy fish curry; karimeen pollichathu, a dish of marinated fish wrapped in banana leaves and cooked in a spicy gravy; and karimeen mappas, a dish of steamed fish in a creamy curry.

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Meat Dishes

Kerala is also home to a variety of meat dishes, from chicken and lamb to beef and pork. Popular dishes include Kerala-style beef fry, a spicy stir-fry; stew, a hearty stew made with potatoes and vegetables; and nadan pork curry, a spicy pork curry cooked with coconut milk and spices.

Sweets and Desserts

Kerala is famous for its sweet and savory desserts, such as payasam, a creamy pudding made with rice, milk and jaggery; halwa, a semolina pudding flavored with cardamom and nuts; and kalakand, a sweet made with milk and sugar.

Snacks and Appetizers

Kerala has a variety of snacks and appetizers, such as banana chips, thinly sliced and deep-fried ripe bananas; pazham pori, a snack made with ripe bananas and coconut milk; and kozhukkatta, steamed rice dumplings stuffed with coconut and jaggery.

Pickles and Chutneys

Pickles and chutneys are an essential part of Kerala’s cuisine. Popular pickles include manga achar, a mango pickle, and narthanga achar, a lemon pickle. Popular chutneys include coconut chutney, made with grated coconut and spices, and tomato chutney, made with tomatoes and spices.

Beverages

Kerala is home to a variety of traditional beverages, such as neer mor, a buttermilk drink; kallu, a drink made with fermented palm toddy; and pana, a drink made with jaggery and spices.

Street Food

Kerala is also home to a variety of street food, such as patty, a deep-fried snack made with spiced mashed potatoes; vada, a deep-fried snack made with lentils; and pazham pori, a snack made with ripe bananas and coconut milk.

Regional Variations

Kerala’s cuisine varies from region to region. In the North, dishes tend to be spicier and more heavily seasoned, while in the South, dishes are usually milder and less heavily seasoned.

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Modern Twists

Modern chefs in Kerala are taking traditional dishes and giving them a modern twist. Dishes such as Kerala-style pizza, a pizza made with a rice flour crust and topped with Kerala-style toppings, and coconut prawns, a dish of deep-fried prawns coated in coconut and spices, are becoming increasingly popular.

Conclusion

Kerala’s cuisine is an incredible mix of traditional dishes and modern twists. From traditional staples to seafood dishes, vegetarian dishes, meat dishes, sweets and desserts, snacks and appetizers, pickles and chutneys, beverages, and street food, Kerala offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something new, Kerala’s cuisine is sure to tantalize your taste buds.

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