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Last Updated: 28th February 2013

Incredible India is diverse in many ways; be it religion, culture, art, architecture or even cuisine. Every region of India has its own unique culinary features. Almost every state has its own ‘signature’ dish.

Travelling in India is fun because of the opportunity to familiarize with and taste various cuisines. Let us see about the distinct cuisine of one of most beautiful states, Kerala.

This tiny coastal land is impressive in the variety it offers. Whether it is vegetarian or non-vegetarian, this state has a number of preparations in both categories.

traditional kerala dishes recipe
This photo, “Onam vannae” @Flickr from
George Augustine made available under an Attribution license

Vegetarian dishes

Popular vegetarian dishes are Avial, Eriseri, Kaalan, Olan, Puliingi (tamarind and ginger paste) etc. Almost every dish uses vegetables like yam, pumpkin, drum stick which are abundantly cultivated here. Buttermilk is also used extensively. Very light and with nutritious vegetables, Kerala’s vegetarian dishes are a delight to the palate.

Non-Vegetarian dishes

Common non-vegetarian dishes include chicken or mutton stew, Poricha Kozhi (chicken fry), Meen Curry (spicy fish), traditional chicken curry and Meen Pollichathu (steamed Fish). Delicately spiced, richly textured and with amazing taste, these are hot favourites to many.

Desserts and Snacks

Kerala tops the list in its heavenly desserts with paal payasam (milk payasam), Chakka pradhamam (jackfruit payasam), ada pradhamam (rice flaks payasam) and Paripu payasam (dal payasam).

Snacks like kozhukattai (rice dumplings with fillings), Pazham Pori (banana fritters) and Ilai Ada (rice, jaggery and coconut mixture covered in banana leaf) taste heavenly.

Ground fresh spices of black pepper, clove, cinnamon and chili are mostly found in spicy dishes. Being a coastal land, seafood like fish, prawns and crabs are very popular here. Backwaters of Kerala also provide different types of seafood. Since coconuts and Jack fruits are cultivated abundantly, you can find coconut milk, dry coconut, and jack fruit as a main ingredient.

Also visit fascinating Munnar and Thekkady, have a traditional Sadhya (a complete Kerala meal on a banana leaf) without fail. It is guaranteed to be a rich savory experience.

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