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A Foodie’s Guide to Sampling the Delicacies of Kerala

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Kerala, a lush and vibrant state in southern India, is known for its rich culture, beautiful scenery, and delicious food. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for something new to try, Kerala has something to offer everyone. Here are some of the state’s most iconic dishes that you should definitely try on your next Kerala tour.

Kerala Famous Food – Popular Kerala Food Items To Try

1. Idiyappam

As you explore Kerala’s famous food scene, make sure to try the wonderful combination of Idiyappam with Curry. This is a popular Kerala food dish you cannot miss on your trip. These noodles are soft and almost melt in your mouth. But the real magic happens when you dip them in curry. Made with a combination of flour, water and salt, it’s a dish enjoyed by both locals and tourists alike. When you take a bite of Idiyappam soaked in curry, you taste a mix of wonderful flavours that you’ll surely relish. Each bite brings you the true taste of Kerala’s cooking, blending old traditions with new ideas. To enjoy this delicious dish, try it with authentic Kerala egg curry.

Best places to eat: Saravana Bhavan, Jasmine Bay.

Average price: INR 80.

2. Puttu



Puttu is another traditional Kerala famous food that you must try while in Kerala. A popular breakfast staple, Puttu is a cylindrical rice cake prepared with rice flour mixed with water and grated coconut, creating a crumbly mixture. This mixture is then layered with grated coconut in a special container called a “puttu kutti.” As it cooks, the steam gently rises through the layers, making the rice cake soft and airy. When you take a bite, you’ll notice the pleasant texture – crumbly and soft, a delightful contrast! People often pair puttu with Kadala Curry, a flavourful black chickpea dish that complements the rice cake perfectly.

Best places to eat: Saravana Bhavan, Mezban

Average price: INR 70 to INR 80.

3. Erissery (Pumpkin And Lentil Stew)

Erissery is a pumpkin and lentil stew dish favourite in every Keralite home. It’s a traditional food of Kerala, made with a combination of sweet pumpkins, chillies, grated coconut, lentils, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and garlic. It’s one of the top Kerala food items that’s comforting and nourishing. As you take a spoonful of this dish, you’ll relish the perfect blend of the pumpkin’s natural sweetness and the earthiness of the lentils. The tender pumpkin and soft lentils create a delightful contrast that’s both satisfying and wholesome.

Best places to eat: Kashi, Mezban.

Average price: INR 400

4. Appam

Appam is a speciality you just cannot miss! This lacy, bowl-shaped pancake with a crispy edge and a soft, fluffy centre is super delicious. The batter, made from fermented rice and coconut, lends a slight tanginess that complements the mild sweetness of the pancake. It’s a Kerala special food dish that you can enjoy anytime. These crepe-like pancakes are best enjoyed with stew. As you tear off a piece and dip it into a rich coconut milk-based stew known as Ishtu, you’ll experience a symphony of tastes. The creamy stew, often containing vegetables or meat, intertwines with the appam’s texture, creating a blend that’s both delicate and satisfying. Appam with Ishtu is a classic breakfast or brunch choice that epitomises Kerala’s culinary creativity, offering a taste of its distinctive flavours and culinary artistry.

Best places to eat: Ariya Nivaas, Villa Maya, Varsha.

Average price: INR 180

5. Parippu Curry (Dal Curry)

Prepare your taste buds for a delightful journey with Parippu Curry, the cherished Dal Curry of Kerala. You’ll relish the comforting flavours of cooked lentils, softened to perfection in just one bite! The curry’s inviting aroma results from the blend of spices and coconut milk that come together to create a harmony of tastes. The lentils, with their creamy consistency, seamlessly meld with the coconut-infused curry, resulting in a dish that’s both soothing and flavourful. Each spoonful offers a taste of Kerala’s culinary mastery, showcasing the art of creating simple yet remarkable dishes that leave a lasting impression on your palate. Parippu Curry is a popular Kerala food item for a comforting and nutritious meal.

Best places to eat: Saravana Bhavan, Padmavilasom Palace.

Average price: INR 100.

6. Ela Sadya

For a unique food experience in Kerala, get ready to immerse yourself in the grandeur of Ela Sadya. It is an elaborate feast that Kerala takes immense pride in. As you sit down to enjoy this culinary extravaganza, various colours, textures, and aromas spread across a banana leaf greet your senses. Each dish, meticulously arranged on the leaf, tells a story of Kerala’s rich culinary heritage. The aromatic rice, the medley of vegetable curries, the tangy pickles, the crispy papadums, and the luscious desserts – every element contributes to the masterpiece that is Ela Sadya. Ela Sadya isn’t just a meal; it’s a celebration, a sensory experience that will linger in your memory, reminding you of the intricate bond between food and culture. If you’re looking for a traditional Kerala food experience, Ela Sadya is a must-try!

Best places to eat: Hotel Bharath, Chakara.

Average price: INR 500.

7. Idli Sambar

This Kerala food item is no surprise. It is relished in Kerala as well as all across the country. As you dig into this classic dish, you’ll discover the sheer delight of soft and fluffy idlis – steamed rice and lentil cakes that practically melt in your mouth. Your taste buds will dance harmoniously to the pairing with the aromatic and tangy sambar. The idlis, with their mild taste, serve as the perfect canvas to soak up the rich flavours of the sambar, creating a balanced blend that’s both satisfying and invigorating. This iconic South Indian combination is a simple yet comforting dish you must enjoy in Kerala for that truly authentic taste.

Best places to eat: Ginger House, Aditi Restaurant.

Average price: INR 65.

8. Dosa Ghee Roast

Dosa Ghee Roast is a masterpiece that awaits you in Kerala. As you take your first bite of the dosa, the golden, crispy exterior and the rich aroma of ghee that fills the air will captivate you. Often enjoyed with sambar and chutney, this dish is something you must try for a fulfilling meal. The dosa, expertly roasted to perfection, carries a distinct crunch that harmonises with the velvety texture of the sambar. The dosa’s slight tanginess complements the warmth of the sambar, creating a combination that’s both comforting and indulgent. Dosa Ghee Roast is not only prepared in homes or restaurants but can be enjoyed at any Kerala Street food stall all over the state.

Best places to eat: Aditi Restaurant, Jasmine Bay or food stalls.

Average price: INR 100.

9. Kerala Style Prawn Curry


This is one of the best Kerala food dishes that’s a must for seafood lovers! Kerala Style Prawn Curry is a dish that encapsulates the coastal beauty and flavours of the region. As you enjoy this dish, the enticing aroma of coconut and spices that wafts from the curry will greet you. The prawns, tender and succulent, are immersed in a creamy coconut milk-based gravy that’s been lovingly infused with a medley of aromatic spices. The curry’s complexity, achieved through the marriage of coconut, spices, and perfectly cooked prawns, will leave a lasting impression. It’s a dish that transports you to the shores of Kerala, allowing you to savour the essence of its coastal charm in every mouthful.

Best places to eat: Fort House Restaurant, Adam’s Teashop.

Average price: INR 725.

10. Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu (Spicy Chicken Fry)

Nadan-Kozhi-Varuthathu-Kerala-FoodGet ready to ignite your taste buds with Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu, a fiery Spicy Chicken Fry that’s a true delight for your palate. A Kerala special food item, this dish has an intense aroma of spices that will captivate your senses. Marinate the chicken with a robust blend of spices and fry it to crispy perfection. You will get a satisfying crunch with every mouthful. The heat from the spices, the succulence of the chicken, and the crispiness of the fry – create a symphony that’s both invigorating and deeply satisfying. Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu is a dish encapsulating Kerala’s penchant for bold and vibrant tastes.

Best places to eat: Fusion, Spice Village.

Average price: INR 775.

11. Karimeen Pollichathu (Fish)

Karimeen-Pollichathu-Fish-Kerala-FoodKarimeen Pollichathu is a culinary gem that you must experience. To prepare this dish, Karimeen, or pearl spot fish, is marinated with a blend of aromatic spices and herbs and then wrapped in banana leaves and cooked till done. The leaves infuse the fish with a delicate smokiness that enhances its natural taste, creating a dish that’s both tender and fragrant. With every bite, you’ll experience a perfect harmony of textures – the succulent fish, the burst of flavours from the spices, and the gentle aroma of the leaves. If you’re someone who loves seafood, then this dish is for you!

Best places to eat: Adam’s Teashop, Oceanos.

Average price: INR 645.

12. Nadan Beef (Kerala Style Beef)

Nadan Beef, also known as Kerala Style Beef, is a dish you must try if you love beef. To prepare this dish, tender beef is slow-cooked with a blend of spices. The dish offers a perfect balance that’s simply delicious. The deep richness of the beef and the aromatic complexity of the spices creates a culinary experience that’s satisfying and deeply rooted in Kerala’s gastronomy. Nadan Beef is served with chapatti, parotta or rice. It’s a taste of Kerala’s passion for creating dishes that resonate with the heart and soul of the region, leaving you with a warm and flavourful memory that lingers on your palate.

Best places to eat: Kerala House Restaurant.

Average price: INR 775.

13. Kallumakkaya Ularthiyathu (Mussel Stir Fry)

kallumakka-kerala-foodAnother popular traditional food of Kerala is Kallumakkaya Ularthiyathu, or Mussel Stir Fry. This dish comes together with a combination of mussels, shallots, spices, and grated coconut. The mussels, tender and succulent, are stir-fried, absorbing the aromatic spices that infuse them. This unique dish is a must if you’re up for some tasty seafood on your trip!

Best places to eat: Curry Leaf, Fishmongers.

Average price: INR 700.

14. Erachi Varutharacha Curry (Fried-Ground Mutton Curry)

This is another delicious dish for non-vegetarian lovers. Erachi Varutharacha Curry is a tantalising Fried-Ground Mutton Curry that’s rich and tasty. It’s a traditional food of Kerala that’s prepared with a blend of roasted coconut and spices. This comforting and exciting dish will surely delight your taste buds. Every bite will transport you to the heart of Kerala’s cooking, where every ingredient tells a story of its own.

Best places to eat: Ali Baba & 41 Dishes, A Beach Café.

Average price: INR 450.

15. Palada Payasam

Finally, you can end your culinary adventure on a sweet note with Palada Payasam, a cherished sweet rice kheer delicacy that promises to delight your taste buds. This dish is a creamy and luscious rice pudding prepared with slow-cooked rice in milk and ghee. As you take your first spoonful, you’ll enjoy the comforting richness of the payasam, the sweetness of the jaggery, and the aroma of cardamom. The texture of the rice flakes is soft and velvety, offering a delightful contrast you’ll not want to miss!

Best places to eat: Curry Leaf, Saravana Bhavan.

Average price:  INR 100

Kerala’s culinary landscape is a vibrant land of flavours and tastes that reflects the rich cultural heritage and geographical diversity of the place. If you’re eager to explore this gastronomic paradise firsthand, consider embarking on one of Thomas Cook’s Kerala tour packages for an unforgettable journey. With a wide range of tour packages, you can not only indulge in these delectable delicacies but also immerse yourself in Kerala’s stunning landscapes and vibrant culture.

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