Top 20 Must Try Foods In Kerala



Sadhya is a Malayalam word that means banquet and is a variety of vegetarian dishes served on a banana leaf. This is a famous dish during weddings or any ceremonies in Kerala. On the banana leaf, you will find a wide range of vegetable dishes, curries and rice including papads, pickles and a sweet dish. This is one of the traditional dishes of Kerala and is very well known. The main item is plain boiled rice, usually red rice. The rice is served with other dishes like sambar, rasam, avial, banana chips, pickle, curd and more which are collectively called Kootan. The dishes are also placed specifically on the banana leaf. This dish is a must-try in Kerala.


 Kappa (Tapioca)

Another traditional recipe of Kerala is Kappa. Kappa is served in many ways in Kerala as breakfast or as an evening snack. Mashed kappa is served with fish curry especially sardines and also steamed kappa served with chilies, a famous snack known as kappa masala. Kappa, also thinly sliced to make tapioca wafers.


Kerala Biryani

Biryani is not only famous in Kerala but also, in major parts of India. The biryani in each region has its own taste and flavor to this dish. The biryani can be madeas a vegetarian dish or with meat. Kerala being the state of sea food, fish is their most favorite meat. Biryani is prepared along with herbs, spices and special biryani masala of Kerala. Kerala biryani is worth trying, at least once.

Kerala Biryani

Puttu And Kadala Curry

This dish is preferred on festivals and is a famous combination for breakfast. Puttu is prepared with puttu flour made of rice, coconut and water steamed in a special puttu maker that is cylindrical in shape. The curry served with the puttu is made with kala chana (black chickpeas) which is mixed with spices like fennel seeds, strands of mace, cinnamon, cloves and more along with coconut paste. This curry is spicy and can be served with chapatti or pooris also apart from the puttu. It is a traditional and a flavorful recipe of Kerala.

Puttu And Kadala Curry 1


This is a famous sweet snack or you can say, a well-known bakery product in Kerala. One might think it is very difficult to prepare unniyappam at home but, it is a snack that we can manage to prepare if the recipe is followed.  Unniyappams are prepared with a combination of jaggery, rice flour, bananas, fried coconut bits, sesame seeds and baking soda. There are recipes available on the internet and is a must try sweet snack of Kerala.

unniyappam 1

Fish Molee

People in Kerala try different and innovative varieties of curries, mostly seafood. Fish Molee is a fish curry made with coconut milk as the main ingredient apart from the fish, unlike other tempting and spicy fish curries made in Kerala. It is best to use fresh fish for this curry and fish like – Seer fish or pomfret can be used. Fish Molee can be served with Appam, roti or bread.

Fish Molee


Idiyappam is a famous breakfast dish in Kerala and also, served as starters before a meal. It is made of rice flour, water and salt which is kneaded into a dough and ut through a special idiyappam mould. The dough is squeezed out of the moulds into cakes of noodles strands which are steamed with grated coconut. Idiyappam’s are served with egg or meat curry. Idiyappams are also famous in states like Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It is called Noolputtu or noolappam in these regions.



Avial is an essentials dish of sadhya. It is a thick curry made with fresh vegetables, curd and coconut seasoned with coconut oil. Avial can be considered as a healthy dish as it is prepared with fresh vegetables that are boiled and then seasoned. The vegetables added in the curry differ according to the taste desired. A few vegetables that are commonly used are – potatoes, carrot, brinjal, drumstick, banana, beans and snake gourd. Avial is generally eaten with hot plain rice.


Kerala Fish Curry

The most famous dish of Kerala and also the traditional one, The Kerala fish curry. The curry is filled with flavors that are tempting and is a traditional way of cooking without using coconut or coconut milk. The main ingredients are fish, Kashmiri red chilli powder, tamarind, spices, Kerala masala, herbs and garnished with curry leaves. The curry is at its best when cooked in a clay pot. The curry is served with hot plain rice or roti. A must try dish of Kerala.

Kerala Fish Curry

10  Palada Payasam

A meal without dessert is never complete and people of Kerala never go without dessert. Palada Payasam is another well know and famous sweet delicacy in Kerala. It is made of Palada (rice ada), milk, sugar, ghee and chopped dry fruits. This payasam is easy to prepare and a must try.

Palada Payasam

11  Banana Fritters

Everyone likes crispy and crunchy dishes that are also tasty. Banana wafers of Kerala are very famous and so are Banana Fritters. These banana fritters are deep fried and served with red or green sauce. Fritters are eaten as a starter and, as a tea-time snack. A batter made of flour, salt and water is used to make the fritters. Sugar can be added if you prefer a sweeter version of the fritters. Pieces of bananas are dipped in the batter and deep fried until slightly golden.

Banana Fritters

12  Appam with Stew

Appam is a well-known and popular dish in South India. Appam can be eaten with anything you feel tastes good with it like curry or stew or sweet coconut milk. Appams are made of rice, yeast and coconut milk. Usually, appams are served with stew, a type of curry  made with vegetables boiled in coconut milk with green chilies, ginger, curry leaves, crushed spices and salt. This is a very flavorful dish.


13  Dosa Ghee Roast with Kerala Style Sambhar

Dosa is a south Indian dish but very popular in nearly all parts of India. Dosas are made in different varieties and comes in different shapes/sizes. Dosa Ghee roast is another variety of dosa shaped like a triangle and served like an inverted cone. This dosa is served with a big blob of ghee on the tip f the cone. The Kerala style sambar preparation in slightly different from the usual sambar. The Kerala style sambar is prepared with mixed vegetables and roasted coconut with spices. The combination of the dosa and sambar is really good and must try.

Dosa Ghee Roast with Kerala Style Sambhar

14  Karimeen Pollichathu (Fish)

This is a simple dish but quite famous in Kerala. The fish is marinated in rich spicy masala, wrapped in banana leaf and steamed till the fish is baked. The fish is then garnished with big slices of tomatoes and onions. This dish can be eaten as a whole or even as a starter or with hot rice.

Karimeen Pollichathu

15  Kerala Prawn Curry

Prawn is another seafood which is popular in Kerala. Another spicy and tempting curry prepared with Kashmiri red chilli powder, Kerala masala, spices and other needed herbs. Later, Garnished with curry leaves and chillies.

Kerala Prawn Curry 1

16  Malabar Parotta With Kerala Beef Curry

This famous and traditional beef curry from kerela is tasty and best served with ghee and raita. It is again a spicy curry  made from all the spices and Kerala masala with beef cooked till tender. Parotta is a type of Indian flat bread but with more layers. It is made by kneading all-purpose flour egg, ghee and water together. Rolled out into round spirals and flattened to create more layers when cooked. These are then roasted till soft and tender. Parottas are at its best when eaten warm and the combination with the beef curry is tasty.

Malabar porota and beef curry

17  Thalasseri Biryani

Biryani is one of the famous rice dishes in India. The Thalasseri biryani is cooked in three stages. First, the meat masala made. Second, cooking the rice for the biryani. And, finally layer the masala and rice in one dish to dum cook it. Dum cooking is a common style in India. Biryani is served with raitha, papad or pickle.

Thalasseri Biryani

18  Mussel Stir Fry

Mussels is the name for a type of clam and is a favorite delicacy in Kerala. Cleaning the mussels is quite a task but the result is worth it. They are stir fried with onions, ginger, garlic, spices and vinegar. This is a spicy dish served as an appetizer or as a side dish with your meal.

Mussel Stir Fry 2

19. Erissery

Erissery or also known as elisseri is an essential dish of onam sadya. Erissery is made with pumpkin and red cowpeas are cooked together. Coconut paste is to the mixture, simmered for a few minutes and then tempered in coconut oil with mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut. The coconut oil adds to the  taste and gives you the smell of pure south Indian dishes. It tastes best with hot plain rice.

Erissery 1

20 Erachi Varutharacha Curry (Fried-Ground Mutton Curry)

Mutton curry is another well known and most preferred dish in Kerala. A spicy dish prepared with lots of roasted coconut, spices and mutton. Freshly ground pepper is used to make the spice tastier and coconut oil to enhance the flavor. The curry depends on how well the coconut is roasted with the spices. This thick and delicious curry is best served hot with plain rice. Ghee rice, roti or appams.

Erachi Varutharacha Curry