Influenced with the rich geography, history, demographics and culture, the Kerela Cuisine presents a multitude of vegetarian and non- vegetarian dishes. Kerela presents some of the most unique dishes in India.
They are different because of the ingredients that are rarely used in any other part of India. They are different because of the great influence from several other cultures. They are different because of the native cultural variations. Whatever be the reason, food in Kerela Cuisine is certainly a one any foodie wouldn’t have tasted before even if he has had his trip around the world to find the best tastes created by man.
Historical & Cultural Variations
Before talking about the lip smacking dishes in Kerela Cuisine, I would certainly like to throw some light on the reason behind such a uniqueness and variety in this cuisine. The state of Kerela, has been visited by many traders from countries like Rome, Greece, Europe, Arab Countries and The Eastern Mediterranean. All such visitors brought their own ‘taste’ in the state and thus, Kerela Cuisine became a fine blend of the native tastes and the foreign tastes adapted according to the people of Kerela.
The pre independent Kerela was split in three regions – Travancore, Kochi and Malabar. Each region had its own cooking style which is still reflected in this cuisine. While Kochi and Travancore food consists of mostly vegetarian dishes involving use of not so common vegetables in India like bitter gourd, yam etc; the northern Malabar region has wide variety of both vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes.
Due to the cultural influences, Kerela Cuisine is gifted with some unique Muslim and Christian dishes. The Brahmin community refrain themselves from non vegetarian food while Muslims and Christians feast on a huge variety of non vegetarian food.
Meal Time in Kerela Cuisine
Now, my favorite part – what’s the best in Kerela Cuisine? What is a must try in Kerela Cuisine? What do the native eat in their daily meals? Let’s start discussing it from the breakfast.
Breakfast in Kerela Cuisine
The Prathaal (breakfast) in Kerela consists of some luscious dishes which are quite uncommon in other parts of India. Some of these yummy breakfast dishes are – puttu (made from grated coconut & rice powder), idli (rice pancakes), kadala (a curry made from chana), Idiyappam (rice flour pancake), sambar, dosa and chutney.
Main Course in Kerela Cuisine
Just like Wazwan in Kashmiri Cuisine which is quite unavoidable and popular part of the cuisine, Kerela Cuisine has its own very special main course meal known as Sadya. Sadya is the traditional banquet of Kerela served with boiled rice and side dishes which are specially prepared during festivals in Kerela.
The Sadya is served on a banand leaf and consists of a number of vegetarian dishes along with the very popular dessert of the state – Payasam. The main dishes in Sadya include Boiled Rice, Parippu, Olan, Sambar, Aviyal etc.
The desserts and Side dishes also present a great variety. The popular desserts include Payassam (the most popular native dessert of Kerela), Pazham- Pori and Unniappam etc.
If you talk of variety in Kerela Cuisine, the list of different preparations would go on and on. The best part of the cuisine is the way the food is served on a banana leaf. Even when you have tasted almost all the dishes in a normal Kerela Restaurant, you would still long for having a Sadya in the traditional style.
I seriously long for it, what about you?