Delicious Passes: From Boiled Tapioca to Duck Mappas | food

There are certain dishes that a tourist should definitely try when in Kerala, and it is the tastes that emphasize the culture and ethnicity of the land. To get a taste of the diverse Kerala cuisine, you have to travel from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod.

You can discover diversity even in a cup of tea, a bowl of dal or payasam, or in the way they serve food. If in certain places people insist on folding the plantain leaf after a meal, others insist on leaving it open. And there are a lot of such unique traditions and tastes:

From Thiruvananthapuram

Poli is a popular dish in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: shutterstock


Puli and Payasam are the main attractions of the Hindu Trivandrum wedding feast. Although payasam is common at Hindu weddings in the state, serving boli along with payasam is the specialty of Thiruvanthapuram. The soft and yellowish poly leaves infused with coconut/jaggery/dal are definitely everyone’s favorite. And Albaysam as an accompaniment balances the sweetness.

But that doesn’t mean the state capital is full of vegetarians. Kozhiperattu is one of the favorite non-vegetarian dishes of the Thiruvanthapuram people. Seasoned with spices leisurely, it’s a must-try item if you’re planning to visit here.

When it comes to Kollam, vettu kekku and mutton curry top the food chart. Vettu kekku is a simple fried dessert, crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside. If you are in Kollam, visit Ezhuthanikada for a sample tasting session. You can also try lamb curry with it. Kollam’s Munroe Thuruthu’s king fish dishes, which are fried and grilled in banana leaves or in curry form, are also very popular.

The famous Aranmula valla Sadya is one of the most favorite places for Kerala festival lovers. And you can only get to it in one place – the Aranmula Parthasarathy temple, during the festival. This annual event usually begins with a Snake Regatta. The main participants are the rowers who sing and frolic during the boat race. There will be more than 70 vegetarian dishes at the feast, including sambar, elephants, kotokari and the like.

More than food, the rituals associated with sadism excite the participants. It is nice to watch the rowers order the dishes in a singing manner and the organizers serve them.

Asiad Tapioca and Kuttanadu Duck Mappas

The boats at Alappuzha serve authentic Kerala meals with fish curry. Don’t miss the refreshing and fiery Alappuzha fish curry cooked in Kodambuli. Kuttanadu duck mappas is another specialty in the area. After all, duck and fish farming is the main source of livelihood for this part of the world. Therefore, curry is one of the main dishes on the daily menu. Everyone loves the evenly spiced duck mappas made with creamy coconut milk.

Although the traditional attire of chattayum mundum may be outdated in Kottayam, delicious dishes for Christian grandmothers will always be in vogue. Chicken and chicken curry is a very favourite. My bidi is made from rice flour, crushed lime, shredded coconut and boiled in thin coconut milk. Pairs well with chicken curry cooked in toasted coconut.

Pedi and Carrie

Chicken and chicken curry is a common dish in Kottayam. Photo: shutterstock


Tapioca Biryani is another specialty of Kottayam. They are also called Asiad kappa and ellum kappayum. Tapioca cooked in buffalo meat is a delicacy served at wedding parties. You can substitute buffalo legs for meat or chicken as well. We have said that buffalo legs add a special flavor to this dish.

finer flavors

There are a lot of similarities between Idukki and Kottayam kitchens. But Idukki use a lot of whole spices in their dishes which can be attributed to the cold climate.

They love the crunchy parrot with some spicy roast beef. But their specialty is idiyirachi. Earlier idiyirachi was supposed to be bushmeat (wild buffalo). But now they dry the buffalo meat and crush it into threads to make ideirachi. Some masala-coated idiyirachi are impossible to resist.

Cochin Kitchen

Boruta and beef

Keralites consider porotta and beef to be the most sought-after dishes. Photo: shutterstock


When it comes to Kochi, they have a lot of special dishes. Cocchinese love their fish. And in any restaurant in Kochi, you will have an abundance of seafood dishes. Beef vindaloo is also a special dish of Kochi. Although vindaloo is of Portuguese origin, it is very popular in Goa and Kochi. When you go further to Angamali, they will witness pork. The combination of Chinese potatoes with pork is to die for.

Thrissur tastes

The land of Abams and Payasam for Ambiswami

Thrissur loves different types of appams. They love the packaged acapams, vellayappams, vatteppams, and palappams. There is a street called vellayappangadi where housewives make vellayappams on demand. You can see vellayappams stacked on the side of the road here.

Payasams are equally popular here, especially the Palada pradhaman in Ambiswamy.

Flavors of North Kerala

When it comes to palakkad, the first thing that comes to our mind is ramacheri. Pour the Idli dough into a steamer lined with cotton cloth and cook. They are thin and broad and resemble a white dosa. Although you can have it with sambar or chutney, the best accompaniment has to be ‘Gandhi chutney’.

Thinga churro or coconut rice is a traditional malapuram dish. Long before biryani took over, Thenga choru prevailed in that part of the world. It’s a simple rice preparation made with shredded coconut or coconut milk and minimal spices. It is often called poor man’s biryani and goes well with beef curry.

If you are in Kozhikode, you cannot go without tasting the famous Kozhikode Biryani. Besides, there are many dishes special to Kozhikode. You can watch dishes like chattipathiri, kunjipathiri, unnakkaya and kozhi ada during the fasting season.

People in Kannur love thalasiri biryani. Both taste amazing although there is a slight difference in the recipe. Kannur also boasts some delicious snacks like neypathiri, kallummakkaya nirachathu, chemmeen unda and idi mutta.

When it comes to Wayanad, their tribal cuisine makes all the difference. Their recipes, passed on to the next generation, are now slowly emerging from the woods. Don’t miss the crab curry, crab sauce or grilled crab. Gothra blackcurrant is also available free of charge in Wayanad.

Payasam made from bamboo shoots is very popular in Wayanad. Bamboo shoots also have many medicinal properties. When it comes to Kasaragod, they have a lot of Karnataka influence in their kitchen. Kalthapam, made from rice, coconut and jaggery for example can be seen in Karnataka as well. Kozhi aanam is what they call chicken curry, which is made with coconut milk and goes well with neypathal.

All said and done, nowadays the variety of tastes doesn’t matter because all kinds of cuisines are available everywhere. You can get Kozhikode biryani in Thiruvanthapuram and boli and payasam in Kasaragod also. But still, there is a special pleasure in traveling all the way to a place to sample his dishes, isn’t it?

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