Kerala is well known for its
traditional feast meal known as Sadya specially served during festival or any
special occasion. Its a vegetarian meal served with boiled rice and a host of
side-dishes. The Sadya is complemented by the payasam (also popularly known as Ada Pradhaman),
a sweet milk dessert native to Kerala
The Sadya is, as per custom, served on a banana leaf.
Traditional food items include : ,
Sambar, Parippu, Boiled Rice Aviyal,
Kaalan Theeyal, Thoran, Pulissery, Olan, Puliinji, Pappadam, Mooru, Kaya
upperi, Sharkara upperi, Appam, Paayasam, Banana Kappa (Tapioca), Puttu
(Steam cake) and Puzhukku.
Coconut is an essential ingredient
in most of the food items and is liberally used The culinary skills of the
different communities of Kerala make the dishes distinct in taste and in
variety. Almost every dish that is prepared in the Kerala style has coconut and
spices added to it The main spices used are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, green
and red peppers, cloves, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, etc. Spices
are used in Kerala to tone up the system the way wines aid the digestion of Western
The Kerala Porotta is a flatbread
that is served with both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. A typical Kerala
breakfast may be Puttu, which is rice powder and grated coconut steam cooked
together, Idli and Sambar, Dosa and chutney, Idiyappam (string hoppers -
also known as Noolputtu), or Appam, a kind of pancake made of rice flour
fermented with a small amount of toddy (fermented sap of the coconut palm)
which is circular in shape, edged with a crisp lacy frill. It is eaten with
chicken or vegetable stew.
Kerala cuisine also has a variety
of pickles and chutneys, and crunchy Pappadums, Banana chips, Jackfruit chips, Kozhalappam,
Achappam, Cheeda, and Churuttu.
Kanji (rice congee) and Payaru (moong
bean), Kappa (tapioca) and Fish
curry (also known as Meen Molee) are traditional favourites of Keralites.
Arab influence: Some of the
delicacies of the Mappilas of Kerala are influenced by the Arab influence that
began in the 7th century. Pathiri is a sort of pancake made of rice flour. The
word Pathiri has its origin traced to the Arabic word fateerah meaning
"pastry". Alsa is a Mappila dish derived from Harees, a traditional
Arabic dish consisting of wheat, meat (or chicken) and salt. It is prepared by
hitting the wheat with a strong equipment that makes it soft and palatable. Also
Biryani were popularised in Kerala by the Key family of Thalassery.