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Kerala Cuisine

Kerala is the land of the ‘Kera’ tree (coconut palm). In a traditional Kerala menu you will find the overwhelming presence of coconut and coconut oil. Plantain leaves substitute plates.


A typical Kerala feast, referred to as sadya, is spread out temptingly on a clean green banana leaf. And the food is to be eaten using hand. Even the dessert, Payasam that tastes like rice pudding is served on the leafy plate. The culinary efforts of the different communities of Kerala come out in distinctly different dishes of great variety. While Hindus specialize in delicious vegetarian food such as sambar, rasam, olan, kaalan, pachadi, kichadi, aviyal, thoran and so on, the Muslims and Christians excel in non-vegetarian Cuisine.

The pathiri, a sort of pancake made of rice flour, and biriyani, which is a mouthwatering dish of rice cooked along with meat, onions, chilies and other spices are Muslim culinary delights. Christians have interesting recipes to make an array of fish dishes such as meen pollichathu, fish molee and so on. Christian cookery specially caters to people with a sweet tooth - crunchy kuzhalappam, achappam, cheeda, churuttu etc.

A typical Kerala breakfast may be puttu, which is ground rice and grated coconut steam cooked together, idili and sambar, dosai and chutney, idiappam (string hoppers), or the most delicious of them all, the appam. Appam is a kind of pancake made of rice flour fermented with a small amount of toddy (fermented sap of the coconut palm), which is circular in shape, rather like a flying saucer, edged with a crisp lacy frill. It is eaten with chicken or vegetable stew. Kanji (rice gruel) and payaru (green gram), kappa (tapioca) and fish curry are traditional favorites of Keralites.

Almost every dish prepared in Kerala has coconut and spices added to it-spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, garlic, cumin, coriander, turmeric etc. Spices are used in Kerala to tone up the system the way wines aid the digestion of Western cuisine. The juice of tender coconut - world's safest natural soft drink' - is a refreshing nutritious thirst quencher. The staple food of the masses is rice. Kerala cuisine also has a medley of pickles and chutneys. The crunchy pappadams and banana chips can give French fries a run for their money any day.

Beef Ularthiyathu
Ingredients Quantity
Beef (trimmed) 1 lb
Red chilli powder 3/4 spoon
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder 1/4 tsp
Cummins (Jeera) 1 pinch
Cinnamon 2 pinch
Cloves 3-4
Cardamom 2
Shallots (sliced) 100 g
Garlic (flakes) 1 big clove
Ginger 1 piece
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Coconut (cut into small pieces) 100 g
Vinegar 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coconut oil 50 ml
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Method of Preparation
Grind all spices together into a fine paste.
Marinate beef with the spice paste and keep aside.
Add ginger, garlic, shallots, curry leaves, coconut, vinegar and salt to the marinated meat and mix thoroughly.
Cook meat on a slow fire till tender.
Temper beef with coconut oil, mustard seed, curry leaves, shallots and crushed garlic.
Serve hot.

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