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Enchanting Kerala

KERALA TOURISM NEWSLETTER

ISSUE: 225

MAY 2012

Malabar Cuisine

Caressed by the Arabian Sea and guarded by the Western Ghats, the Malabar region of Kerala comprises places north of the River Bharatapuzha. Its incredible history, the unfathomable heritage and the alluring spices makes it one of the most fascinating and exclusive region in Kerala. It includes parts of Thrissur district, the districts of Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur, and Kasaragod.

The abundance of spices, coir, coconut and other products lured traders from several parts of the world to Kerala, including those from China, Middle East and Europe since ancient times. But what makes Malabar really tempting is the unique cuisine of this region.

Food has always been a significant indicator that reflects the kind of history experienced by a region. The diversity of the cuisine of Malabar evolved from its past, from its numerous intimations with the cultures that traded and settled in this area. This distinctive cuisine has the flavours of Arab, Brahmin, Zamorin and Chirakkal cuisines. Kozhikode and Thalassery are branded as the centres of Malabar cuisine.

Pancakes and steamed rice cakes made from pounded rice are some of the major highlights of Malabar cuisine. You will get a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes that carry the distinctive taste and aroma of Malabar cuisine. Malabar food is generally flavored mild and gently cooked.

Biriyani (a rice-based main dish made with spices, basmati rice and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables) is another tempting foodstuff of this region. Biriyani made with mutton, chicken, lamb or prawn prepared in dum method (in which heat is applied both to the top and bottom of the dough-sealed vessel) will always be the most sought-after dish in all hotels and eateries in this region.

Not just this, the delicious Kallummakkaya (oysters) curry, the extraordinary Erachi puttu, the well-liked parottas (soft flaky flatbread), pathiris (a type of rice pancake) and ghee rice are some of the other cuisine specialties of Malabar.

If you prefer some snack varieties then you have the muttamala made of eggs, chattipathiri, a dessert made of maida and baked, unnakkaya (deep-fried, boiled ripe banana paste covering a mixture of cashew nuts, raisins and sugar), arikadukka, pazham nirachathu (ripe banana filled with grated coconut, molasses or sugar) and many more. The Malabari cuisine also has a good number of seafood dishes to its credit.

  Topics: Malabar   Food   Culture  

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