Known as God's own country, the state of Kerala is located in south-western India. Its lands have been blessed with abundant nature, diverse flora and fauna, rich culture and colourful festivals with breathtaking temples, mosques and churches and so much more. It goes without saying that its cuisine lives up to our expectations that are at par with the rest of what the state offers.
With its fertile soil, Kerala is indeed the land of exotic spices. One of the best ways to get to know a new place is to savour its food. So be ready to enjoy the flavourful and spicy curries and dishes of this state. Rice, fish and coconut are the most common ingredients of almost all Kerala food, courtesy of its long coastline.
Dosa with hot sambar and/or chutney, putu, appam, idiyappam with its accompanying curries are some of the most common Kerala dishes that we in Malaysia are familiar with. However, we should be adventurous to try and taste other equally delicious Kerala dishes that have been under the radar. A few are featured below so that you can try to cook them at home or order them at the restaurants.
Ela Ada is an Indian sweet and traditional Kerala delicacy. Its delicious filling of coconut and cardamom-flavoured jaggery (local brown sugar) is encased in a dough made of rice flour and steamed in banana leaf, imparting a delicious aroma. It is served for breakfast and is also good as a snack.
Pazham Pori is a simple yet delicious snack made with bananas, where ripe banana slices are dipped in a flour batter and deep fried to get a crispy coating with gooey and softly cooked banana inside. The key to this snack is to use over-riped bananas; the riper and blacker the skin, the better.
Kadala Curry or Kerala Style Chickpea Curry is a dish that is commonly served with puttu, appam, dosa or rice. Deeply comforting, it is a protein-packed dish that is suitable for vegetarians and also loved by non-vegetarians.
Sukhiya are just simple deep-fried mung beans sweet balls that are anything but simple with every mouthful bursting with flavours. Made from green mung beans (gram), coconut and jaggery (local brown sugar), it is the perfect accompaniment to a cup of chai (tea) as a tea time snack, or anytime of the day.
Thoran is another humble dish that is packed with flavour. It is a stir-fried dish of thinly sliced seasonal vegetables (usually cabbage) and its main ingredient is grated coconut because coconut trees grow abundantly in Kerala. It is easy and inexpensive dish, as well as delicious and healthy.
Source: ScoopWhoop, Cooking and Me, Serious Eats
Photo Credit: Homegrown India, Mom and Chefs Hat, Cooking and Me, Whisk Affair, Palaharam, Serious Eats, Hungry Piran