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Cuisine of Kerala

The state of Kerala offers a number of gastronomic opportunities. What makes the Kerala cuisines different from the rest of India is actually the unique combination of a variety of spices. Though the food items in Kerala are cooked in numerous spices, they are mildly flavoured and easy on one's stomach. Whether you are having a breakfast, a lunch or a dinner, you will really enjoy your gourmet tour and will remember the experience for a long time to come. Broadly classified into vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, the cuisines of Kerala have been greatly influenced by seafarers. Voyagers and sailors from far off places like Greece, Italy, China, France and Africa came to the Malabar Coast for trading. You will notice the influences as you begin savouring these cuisines one by one.

Pulaos, Pilaffs and Biryanis
If you are a non-vegetarian, you can never afford to miss the variety of biryanis and pulaos in Kerala. These toothsome dishes are prepared by steam-cooking meat, onions and spices in boiled rice. With a history dating back to the Arab seafarers, Malabari Biryani is a must try for everyone. You can relish these biryanis with crispy papads.

Idlis
These are basic vegetarian cuisines in Kerala. Idlis are white steamed cakes while dosas are pancakes, light brown in colour. Prepared from yeasty rice and lentil batter, these actually belong to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu.

Thoran
The dish is prepared with chopped boiled vegetables, meet and seafood. Thoran is without gravy. Mustard seeds and grated coconut play a special role in making this dish uniquely delectable.

Avial
It is dish with gravy and contains mixed vegetables. Coconut and yoghurt are used to make the gravy thicker. Jackfruit seeds, drumsticks, peas, pumpkins, gourds, beans and mango slices are used as chopped vegetables. Curry leaves are included for flavour and seasoning of the dish. For vegetarians, Avial is an ideal dish to try.

Stew
It is a delectable preparation of meat, coconut milk and Malabar Coast spices. Whether you choose to try the Mutton Stew, Chicken Stew or Lamb Stew, you can really look forward to having a finger-licking experience. Vegetable Stew is also available. Appams (rice flour pancakes) are usually served with the bowl of stew.

Moplah
The dish will remind you of the Arabian flavour. If you are visiting the Malabar region of Kerala, you can never return without tasting the Moplah cuisine. Coconut milk, chilli powder and spices are used in the Moplah or Malabari cuisines. Popular Moplah dishes are Alisa, Porotta, Fish Biryani and Mutta Mala. Fish is an essential part of the Malabari cuisine.

Festive Season Cuisines
If you plan to visit Kerala during festive season, you can enjoy many more variety of deliciously cooked dishes. During Christmas and New Year time, a number of special cuisines are prepared. The Syrian Christian community in Kerala prepares dishes like Thoran (a preparation of meat with shredded coconut), Piralen (stir fried chicken) and Meen Molee (spicy stewed fish).