|A typical Kerala feast,
referred to as sadya, is spread out temptingly on a clean green banana leaf. And
the food is to be eaten with the fingers. Even the dessert, payasam, that tastes
like rice pudding, is served on the leafy plate.
The culinary efforts of the different communities of Kerala come
out in distinctly different dishes of great variety. While Hindus specialise in delicious
vegetarian food such as sambar, rasam, olan, kaalan, pachadi, kichadi, aviyal, thoran and
The Muslims and Christians excel in non vegetarian cuisine. The pathiri, a sort
of pancake made of rice flour, and biriyani which is a mouthwatering dish of rice
cooked along with meat, onions, chillies and other spices are Muslim culinary delights.
Christians have interesting recipes to make an array of fish dishes such as meen
pollichathu, fish molee and so on. Christian cookery specially caters to people with a
sweet tooth crunchy kozhalappam, achappam, cheeda, churuttu etc.
A typical Kerala
breakfast may be puttu, which is rice powder and grated coconut steam cooked
together, idli and sambar, dosai and chutney, idiappam (string hoppers), or the
most delicious of them all, the appam. Appam is a kind of pan cake made of
rice flour fermented with a small amount of toddy (fermented sap of the coconut palm)
which is circular in shape, rather like a flying saucer, edged with a crisp lacy frill. It
is eaten with chicken or vegetable stew. Kanji (rice gruel) and payaru (green
gram), kappa (casava) and fish curry are traditional favourites of Keralites.
Almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and spices added to it spices
such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric etc. Spices
are used in Kerala to tone up the system the way wines aid the digestion of western
cuisine. The juice of tender coconut worlds safest natural soft
drink is a refreshing nutritious thirst quencher. The staple food of the
masses is rice. Kerala cuisine also has a medley of pickles and chutneys. And the crunchy papadams,
banana chips and jack chips can give french fries a run for their money any day.