Kerala Cuisine: 10 Famous Kerala Dishes to Try When Touring Gods Own Country (2024)
Kerala, also known as ‘God’s Own Country,’ serves one of the most enriching foods in India. Kerala dishes are a blend of various ingredients, ranging from gigantic vegetarian platters or non-vegetarian dishes made from seafood or meat to sweet dishes and desserts like Payasam. There is so much to discover in the cuisine of Kerala filled with exotic spices and a mixture of cultures along with the touch of coconut. Keralites can add rice, fish, and coconut to anything, and that is their specialty. To enhance their flavor, they have an abode of spices like asafoetida, curry leaves, cardamom, turmeric tamarind, and many more hence known as the ‘Land of Spices.’
The ‘Land of Spices’ boasts for its exquisite dishes. Kerala also has a rich trading history, which has influenced its cuisine in so many ways blending the local cuisine to appeal to the taste of foreigners. No Keralite dish is prepared without coconut; you’ll have its flavoring somehow; it could be chopped, grated, shaved, or even used as paste or oil to give flavor to the dish. Breakfast is the most important meal for the Malayalees; hence there is a variety of foods that you’ll find for breakfasts, whether in restaurants or at local homes. These Kerala dishes will compel you to try them. So here is a list of Kerala’s best recipes, whether you want to try them at restaurants or your home.
Kerala Cuisine: 10 Famous Kerala Dishes to Try When Touring Gods Own Country
1. Idiyappam With Curry
- Idiyappam curry is the most sought-after dish in Kerala by locals and even tourists. It looks like various strands of vermicelli are woven together and taste heavenly.
- Sevai is tangled to make this delicious appam, also known as noolappam, in certain parts of Kerala.
- Its bland taste and texture make it possible to eat with different curries and still taste amazing.
- People usually prefer egg curry though you can try it with other curries.
- Rice dough from seva is just steamed, and it is ready to gobble with your favorite curry.
This dish is served in many ways, hence making it a popular choice and the best recipe in Kerala.
2. Appam with Stew
- It is an orthodox Kerala dish, probably the most famous and traditional recipe known and loved by everybody. Appam can be eaten with both veg and non-veg stew depending on your preference, and it tastes fantastic in both scenarios. Stew is also known as ishtu in Kerala.
- It is an Indian version of pancake with soft insides made from brewed rice flour and coconut milk.
- Though traditionally a vegetarian ishtu is preferred, it is also enjoyed with seafood ishtu or chicken ishtu.
- Coconut milk is added to the ishtu and appam to give it the traditional flavor and allows more creaminess.
- It is an anytime meal for Keralites; the locals usually garnish the ishtu with ginger and green chilies.
- Because of its comfortable preparation, people prefer it in their breakfast, and being light and fluffy makes it easy to digest and energizes you for the day’s work.
We promise you it is impossible not to fall for this dish and hence is the best recipe from Kerala.
3. Ela Sadhya
- If you want to try a traditional wholesome Kerala dish, Sadhya is a must-have. You might have seen Keralite eating Sadhya on a banana leaf during Onam celebrations. It is served with 10-12 dishes. We urge you to try this fantastic authentic Kerala meal.
- It is a perfect meal with everything from spicy, sour, and sweet dishes included. The last thing to be served in a Sadhya meal is a recipe called payasam, which will leave you startled, and you’ll cherish the experience.
- It is the king of all Keralite dishes because everybody has their favorite part of it.
- Avial, the most nutrition-rich vegetarian recipe, is also included in Sadhya.
It is served along with other various dishes, including a variety of curries.
4. Puttu and Kadala Curry
- Puttu and Kadala Curry is savored by both the tourists and local alike and is enjoyable wherever you may eat. It is a dish you could find in reputed hotels and restaurants as well as local joints.
- Puttu traditionally is steamed rice cake cooked in a mold with grated coconut.
- As unexciting it may look, it is the most flavoursome dish. Served with the special Kadala curry or simple banana with a Sulaimani chai in the morning.
It can be very heavy as Kadala curry is spicy and rich in protein because of the black chickpeas energizing you till your next meal.
5. Thalassery Biryani
- It is the most exotic Kerala dish and leaves you mouth-watering. Hailing from the north of Kerala, this recipe has a fantastic aroma, even to its name. It is very different from the Mughlai biryani people are aware of since it uses the quality of short-grain rice for the unique aroma.
- It is cooked especially during the Eid festival.
- People are particular about using the local Kerala spices in the biryani and even include dry nuts.
- All you need is a little curd, lime pickle, and salad to savor this delightful dish.
A bowl full of biryani will make you happy and make your trip to Kerala memorable.
6. Dosa Ghee Roast Served with Sambhar
- Probably the most famous dish from Kerala and relished all over the country. This dish will only leave you wanting more. Dosa ghee roast can be made however you like, and when served with Kerala style sambhar, it makes every bite worthwhile.
- First fermented rice is cooked in ghee and then roasted on a Tawa with lentil seeds.
- Dosa with sambhar and a side of coconut chutney can be a deadly combination to entice anybody.
There is no doubt that it is the most nourishing recipe in Indian cuisine.
7. Karimeen Pollichathu
- Karimeen Pollichathu is Kerala’s most traditional seafood delicacy and never mistake it for just another marinated fish because it is simply sensational. Karimeen is also known as the Pearl Spot Fish and is found in the backwaters of Alappuzha.
- The fish is prepared by marinating it in lemon and red chilies with a variety of species.
- It is then wrapped in a banana leaf and baked or fried, giving it a rich, unique flavor.
- If your authentic Kerala meal doesn’t include Karimeen Pollichathu, you’ll miss one of the best delicacies of Kerala.
The remarkable taste of the spices used will leave you savoring for more.
8. Nadan Beef
- This incredible dish is cooked in a lot of ways. It is prepared with either thick gravy or roasted and fried with various spices, but whatever they add to it, it’s just delicious. The flavor of the beef will melt in your mouth, and it will become extremely tough to hate this dish.
- As spicy as it may be, it is cooked in coconut oil and overlaid with curry leaves to give it the rich taste.
- The taste of this dish elates you to another level, and the aroma from the curry will make you fall in love with the recipe.
- Served with a parotta, nothing can beat this combination for a Malayalee, and even the tourists love this dish.
It is must try if you happen to be in Kerala and want to enjoy the local cuisine.
9. Prawn Curry
- The list of the best Kerala recipes wouldn’t have been complete without the Kerala styled prawn curry. It is an absolute treat to relish on the coconut milk mixed with prawn curry and becomes a must-try for al prawn lovers.
- It has the simplest ingredients yet has become a fan favorited among the people.
- Little salt and turmeric with chili and pepper cooked in coconut milk and jaggery give an exotic and rich taste.
Just sprinkle some curry leaves, and the recipe is complete for the food lovers to devour it.
10. Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu
- This spicy chicken fry is just indescribable and phenomenally good—the best recipe from the cuisine of Kerala.
- Garnished with garlic, onion, fennel seeds, and some spices and served on a banana leaf. Only the sight of the presentation will leave you breathless.
- It goes with anything you want rice parotta or even appam and savors the flavors of this non-veg special.
This dish has made people ditch KFC when it comes to fried chicken and should be on your list of must-haves.
There is something for everybody in Kerala cuisine, whether you are vegetarian or non-vegetarian, whether you like bland food or spicy food. There are so many different recipes to try and savor their mouth-watering flavor. And to find your favorite dish in Kerala cuisine, we request you to try as many dishes as possible before concluding. The kitchen of Kerala boasts of bursting flavors and healthy, nutrient-rich food for everyone. These traditional recipes from Kerala have been developed over the years and made the delicacies that we all love from the southern state of India. Every dish in Kerala speaks volumes about the history and culture of the state, so pay very close attention to the story accompanied by the recipe.