Appam, also known as Palappam or Vellayappam, is a popular South Indian pancake-like dish made from fermented rice and coconut batter. It is typically consumed as breakfast or dinner in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and other South Indian states.
Appam is made by fermenting a batter made from raw rice, cooked rice, grated coconut, and a small amount of yeast or toddy (a traditional alcoholic beverage). The batter is left to ferment overnight, which gives appam its characteristic spongy texture and a slight tangy flavor.
To make appam, a special pan called an “appachatti” or “appam pan” is used. The pan is typically round with a concave center and shallow edges. A small amount of batter is poured into the center of the pan, and then the pan is swirled around to spread the batter towards the edges, creating a thin, lacy pancake with a thicker, spongy center. Appam is usually served with coconut milk, stew, or curry, and is often accompanied by side dishes such as vegetable stew, chicken curry, or egg curry. It has a unique flavor and texture that is loved by many South Indians and is often considered a comfort food. Appam is also a popular dish during festive occasions and is enjoyed by people of all ages.
Puttu Kadala Curry
Puttu Kadala Curry is a popular breakfast dish from the South Indian state of Kerala. It consists of two main components – “puttu” and “kadala curry.”
Puttu is a cylindrical-shaped steamed rice cake made from a mixture of rice flour and grated coconut. It is typically layered with rice flour and coconut in a special cylindrical vessel called a “puttu kutti” or “puttu maker,” and then steamed until cooked through. The resulting rice cake has a soft and crumbly texture. Kadala curry, on the other hand, is a spicy curry made from black chickpeas (kadala) cooked in a coconut-based gravy with a blend of spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red chili powder. It may also include ingredients like onion, tomato, and ginger for added flavor. To serve Puttu Kadala Curry, the puttu is typically layered with kadala curry in a serving plate or banana leaf. The combination of the soft and crumbly puttu with the spicy and flavorful kadala curry makes for a delicious and satisfying breakfast or brunch. Puttu Kadala Curry is a popular dish in Kerala and is often enjoyed with other accompaniments such as banana slices, papad, and grated coconut. It is also a traditional dish served during festivals and special occasions in Kerala.
Idiyappam, also known as Noolappam or Sevai, is a popular South Indian dish made from rice flour. It is a type of steamed noodle or string hopper that is typically served for breakfast or dinner in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and other South Indian states.
Idiyappam is made by mixing rice flour with hot water to form a soft dough, which is then shaped into thin strands using a special press or mold. The dough strands are then arranged in a circular or nest-like pattern on a steaming plate and steamed until cooked through. The resulting idiyappam strands are soft, tender, and slightly chewy in texture. Idiyappam is usually served with coconut milk, along with side dishes such as vegetable stew, chicken curry, or egg curry. It can also be served with sweetened coconut milk and grated coconut for a sweet version of the dish. Idiyappam is known for its delicate flavor and unique texture, and it is enjoyed by people of all ages in South India. It is often served during festive occasions, family gatherings, and special events. Idiyappam is a versatile dish that can be customized with various toppings, curries, and sauces to suit different tastes and preferences.
Chatti Pathiri is a traditional layered pancake or pastry dish from the Malabar region of Kerala, a state in South India.
Vegetable Chatti Pathiri is a vegetarian variation of the traditional layered pancake or pastry dish from Kerala, India called Chatti Pathiri. Instead of meat, this version uses a filling made from vegetables, making it a delicious and wholesome vegetarian option. The basic preparation of Vegetable Chatti Pathiri is similar to the traditional version. Thin pancakes are made from a batter of all-purpose flour, eggs, water, and sometimes a pinch of turmeric. These pancakes are then layered with a flavorful filling made from a combination of finely chopped vegetables, such as carrots, beans, peas, potatoes, and bell peppers, cooked with spices, onions, and sometimes nuts and raisins. A layer of beaten eggs or a vegetarian substitute, such as tofu or paneer, may also be added to bind the layers together and give the dish a custard-like texture. Once the layers are assembled, the Vegetable Chatti Pathiri is baked in a round-shaped pan or a traditional clay pot until the top is golden and crispy. It is then sliced into wedges or pieces and served hot. Vegetable Chatti Pathiri is a delicious and nutritious dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or as a snack. It is a great option for vegetarians or those looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet. The combination of flavors from the spices, vegetables, and pancakes creates a delightful dish that is perfect for special occasions, festivals, or gatherings. Like the traditional version, Vegetable Chatti Pathiri can also be customized with different vegetables, spices, and fillings to suit personal preferences.
Parippu Curry, also known as Dal Curry or Lentil Curry, is a popular vegetarian curry from Kerala, a state in South India. It is made with lentils (usually split yellow lentils, also known as toor dal or tuvar dal) cooked with spices and coconut, resulting in a flavorful and aromatic dish that is often served with rice or bread.
The main ingredient of Parippu Curry is lentils, which are cooked until soft and creamy. The lentils are typically boiled with water, turmeric, and salt until fully cooked, and then mashed to a smooth consistency. In a separate pan, a tempering or seasoning mixture is prepared by heating oil or ghee (clarified butter) and adding mustard seeds, cumin seeds, dried red chilies, curry leaves, and sometimes fenugreek seeds. Once the spices are fragrant, chopped onions, garlic, and ginger are added and sautéed until golden brown. Grated coconut is also added to the tempering mixture and roasted until it turns slightly golden. The cooked lentils are then added to the tempering mixture, and the mixture is simmered for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. The consistency of Parippu Curry can be adjusted by adding water or coconut milk, depending on personal preference. Some variations of Parippu Curry may also include tamarind, tomatoes, or other vegetables for added flavor and nutrition. Parippu Curry is typically served hot with rice, roti (Indian bread), or dosa (a type of Indian pancake). It is a comfort food in Kerala and is enjoyed as a staple dish in many households. Parippu Curry is rich in protein, fiber, and essential nutrients from lentils, making it a nutritious and delicious vegetarian curry option. It is also often made during festive occasions, family gatherings, and special events in Kerala.
Palada Payasam, also known as Palada Pradhaman, is a popular dessert from the Indian state of Kerala. It is a creamy and delicious rice pudding made with rice flakes, milk, sugar, ghee, and a hint of cardamom, and is typically flavored with nuts and raisins. Palada Payasam is often served as a sweet treat during festivals, special occasions, and celebrations.
The main ingredient in Palada Payasam is rice flakes, also known as ada or ada rice. These rice flakes are made from flattened rice or rice noodles that are soaked in water to soften them before cooking. The softened rice flakes are then cooked in a mixture of milk and water until they are soft and tender. In a separate pan, ghee is heated, and nuts such as cashews, almonds, and raisins are added and roasted until golden brown. Once the nuts are roasted, they are set aside. In the same pan, the cooked rice flakes are added to the remaining ghee and roasted for a few minutes to enhance the flavor. Next, milk is added to the pan with the roasted rice flakes, and the mixture is simmered on low heat until it thickens and attains a creamy consistency. Sugar is then added to the pan, along with crushed cardamom pods for flavor. The Palada Payasam is simmered for a few more minutes until the sugar dissolves and the flavors meld together. Finally, the roasted nuts and raisins are added back to the pan, and the Palada Payasam is ready to be served. It can be served hot or chilled, depending on personal preference. Palada Payasam is a rich and indulgent dessert that is loved by people of all ages. Its creamy texture, fragrant cardamom flavor, and the crunch of roasted nuts and raisins make it a delectable treat for special occasions or celebrations. It is often served in small bowls or cups and enjoyed as a sweet ending to a meal in Kerala cuisine. Palada Payasam can also be customized with variations such as adding saffron, coconut milk, or jaggery for different flavors and textures. It is a quintessential dessert in Kerala cuisine and is cherished for its rich and luscious taste.
Banana Halwa, also known as Banana Sheera or Banana Pudding, is a popular Indian dessert made with ripe bananas, ghee (clarified butter), sugar, and nuts. It is a sweet and rich dish that is often made during festivals, special occasions, or as a sweet treat to celebrate joyous moments.
To make Banana Halwa, ripe bananas are mashed or pureed until smooth. In a pan, ghee is melted, and the mashed bananas are added and cooked on low heat until they release their natural sweetness and aroma. Sugar is then added to the pan, and the mixture is cooked until the sugar dissolves and the halwa thickens. Meanwhile, nuts such as cashews, almonds, and raisins are roasted in ghee until golden brown and set aside. Once the halwa has thickened to the desired consistency, the roasted nuts are added to the pan and mixed well. Banana Halwa is typically flavored with cardamom powder or saffron for a delightful aroma and taste. The halwa is then garnished with additional roasted nuts on top for added crunch and presentation. Banana Halwa can be served hot, warm, or chilled, depending on personal preference. It is often enjoyed as a dessert after a meal or as a sweet treat on special occasions. The natural sweetness of ripe bananas combined with the richness of ghee and the crunch of roasted nuts make Banana Halwa a delicious and satisfying dessert. It is a popular dessert in many regions of India and is known by different names in different regions, such as Kesari Bhath in Karnataka and Sheera in Maharashtra. Banana Halwa is loved for its unique flavor and texture, and it is often made with love and care in Indian households to celebrate special moments with family and friends.
Ada Pradhaman, also known as Ada Payasam, is a traditional dessert from the Indian state of Kerala. It is a creamy and delicious dessert made with rice flakes (ada), coconut milk, jaggery, ghee (clarified butter), nuts, and raisins. Ada Pradhaman is typically served during festivals, special occasions, and celebrations, and is known for its rich and luscious taste.
The main ingredient in Ada Pradhaman is rice flakes or ada, which are made from flattened rice or rice noodles. These rice flakes are soaked in water to soften them before cooking. In a pan, ghee is heated, and nuts such as cashews, almonds, and raisins are added and roasted until golden brown. Once the nuts are roasted, they are set aside.
In the same pan, the soaked rice flakes (ada) are added to the remaining ghee and roasted for a few minutes to enhance the flavor. Then, water is added to the pan, and the ada is cooked until soft and tender. Once the ada is cooked, it is strained and set aside.
In a separate pan, jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) is melted with water to make a sweet syrup. The cooked ada is then added to the jaggery syrup, and the mixture is simmered on low heat until it thickens and attains a creamy consistency.
Next, coconut milk is added to the pan, and the Ada Pradhaman is simmered for a few more minutes until the flavors meld together. Cardamom powder is added for flavor, and the roasted nuts and raisins are added back to the pan.
Ada Pradhaman is typically served hot or warm, depending on personal preference. It is often enjoyed as a dessert after a meal or as a sweet treat on special occasions. The combination of soft and tender rice flakes (ada), rich coconut milk, aromatic cardamom, and the crunch of roasted nuts and raisins make Ada Pradhaman a heavenly dessert in Kerala cuisine. It is cherished for its creamy and indulgent taste and is a must-try for anyone looking to experience the flavors of Kerala cuisine.
Ethakka Appam, also known as Pazham Pori or Banana Fritters, is a popular snack or dessert from the Indian state of Kerala. It is made with ripe bananas, flour, sugar, and spices, and is typically deep-fried until crispy and golden brown. Ethakka Appam is a delicious and indulgent treat that is loved by people of all ages, especially during monsoons or as a tea-time snack.
To make Ethakka Appam, ripe bananas are peeled and sliced lengthwise or into rounds. In a mixing bowl, all-purpose flour (maida) or rice flour is combined with sugar, cardamom powder, and a pinch of salt. Water is then added gradually to the dry ingredients, and a thick batter is formed. The batter should be thick enough to coat the banana slices, but not too runny.
The banana slices are then dipped into the batter, ensuring that they are evenly coated on all sides. In a deep frying pan or kadai, oil or ghee is heated over medium heat. The coated banana slices are carefully dropped into the hot oil and fried until crispy and golden brown on both sides. The fritters are then removed from the oil and drained on paper towels to remove excess oil. Ethakka Appam is typically served hot or warm, and it is often enjoyed with a cup of hot tea or coffee. The crispy and slightly sweet banana fritters have a wonderful aroma of cardamom and are loved for their crunchy texture on the outside and soft, sweet banana on the inside. They are perfect as a snack, dessert, or even as a breakfast option in Kerala cuisine, and are a popular street food during monsoons.
Malabar Parotta, also known as Kerala Parotta or Kerala Porotta, is a popular flatbread or layered bread from the Malabar region in the Indian state of Kerala. It is a flaky and crispy bread that is typically made with all-purpose flour (maida), oil or ghee, water, and salt. Malabar Parotta is often served with curries, especially non-vegetarian curries, and is a staple in Malabar cuisine.
To make Malabar Parotta, all-purpose flour (maida) is mixed with salt and water to form a soft dough. The dough is then divided into small balls and rolled out into thin discs using a rolling pin. Each disc is then brushed with oil or ghee and pleated or folded into a thin strip, similar to a pleated fan or a paper fan. The pleated strip is then coiled into a round shape and flattened slightly with the palm of the hand to form a small disc.
The coiled and flattened dough disc is then rolled out gently into a thin and round parotta using a rolling pin. The parotta is cooked on a hot griddle or tawa, using a little oil or ghee to ensure that it turns crispy and golden brown on both sides. The parotta is often pressed gently with a spatula while cooking to help it puff up and become flaky.
Malabar Parotta is typically served hot, and it is often torn into small pieces and served with curries, such as chicken curry, mutton curry, or beef curry. It is also sometimes served with vegetarian curries or as a standalone snack. The flaky and crispy layers of Malabar Parotta make it a delightful accompaniment to spicy and flavorful curries, and it is cherished for its unique texture and taste in Malabar cuisine.
Erissery, also known as Mathanga Erissery, is a traditional dish from the Indian state of Kerala, typically made with pumpkin (mathanga), lentils, and coconut. It is a popular vegetarian dish that is often served during festive occasions and special events in Kerala cuisine.
To make Erissery, pumpkin is peeled, deseeded, and cut into cubes. Lentils, typically split pigeon peas (toor dal), are cooked separately until soft. The cooked pumpkin and lentils are then combined and cooked together with a blend of spices, coconut, and sometimes tamarind, to create a flavorful dish. The dish typically starts by boiling the pumpkin cubes in water until they are tender. The cooked pumpkin is then drained and mashed lightly with a spoon or fork. In a separate pan, lentils are cooked until they are soft and cooked through. The cooked lentils are then added to the mashed pumpkin. A spice paste is made with grated coconut, dried red chillies, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder. This spice paste is added to the pumpkin and lentil mixture, along with a pinch of salt. The mixture is then simmered on low heat, allowing the flavors to meld together. In some variations, tamarind pulp or raw mango is also added to give a tangy flavor to the dish. The dish is typically finished with a tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and dried red chillies fried in coconut oil, which is poured over the top of the Erissery to add an extra layer of flavor. Erissery is typically served hot with rice or bread, such as parotta or roti. It is a comforting and flavorful dish that combines the natural sweetness of pumpkin with the earthiness of lentils and the rich creaminess of coconut, creating a harmonious and delicious dish that is loved by people of all ages.
Sadya is a traditional vegetarian feast or banquet from the Indian state of Kerala, usually served on special occasions and festivals. It is a multi-course meal served on a banana leaf, featuring a wide array of delicious dishes that are typically enjoyed during important events, celebrations, and weddings.
The highlight of a Sadya is the elaborate and grand spread of dishes, with a specific arrangement and sequence of serving. The meal is typically served on a banana leaf, with dishes placed in a specific order, and each dish is meant to be savored in a particular way to fully appreciate its flavors and textures. Some of the common dishes that are typically served in a traditional Sadya include:
- Rice: Steamed white rice is the main component of a Sadya, and it is typically served in the center of the banana leaf.
- Sambar: A lentil-based soup or curry made with a variety of vegetables, tamarind, and spices.
- Rasam: A tangy and spicy soup made with tamarind, tomatoes, and spices.
- Avial: A mixed vegetable curry made with coconut, yogurt, and a blend of spices.
- Thoran: A dry vegetable stir-fry made with grated coconut, vegetables, and spices.
- Olan: A mild coconut-based curry made with ash gourd, pumpkin, and black-eyed peas.
- Kalan: A tangy and creamy curry made with yogurt, raw plantains, and spices.
- Pachadi: A yogurt-based side dish made with vegetables or fruits, tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
- Pickles: A variety of pickles, such as mango pickle or lime pickle, are usually served as condiments.
- Papadum: Thin and crispy lentil crackers that are typically served as a crunchy accompaniment.
- Payasam: A sweet dessert made with rice, lentils, or vermicelli, cooked in milk and sweetened with jaggery or sugar.
- Prathamans: Rich and creamy desserts made with rice, coconut, and jaggery, typically flavored with cardamom and other spices.
The Sadya is typically enjoyed by sitting on the floor, with the meal being served on a banana leaf, and eaten with the fingers. It is a unique culinary experience that showcases the rich and diverse flavors of Kerala cuisine, and it is cherished for its cultural significance and gastronomic appeal. Sadya is not just a meal, but a celebration of Kerala’s culinary heritage and tradition.