Hot and spicy but refreshingly delicious is how one can describe Keralan cuisine that is deeply steeped in history and culture. The vegetarian dishes are often less spicy than the non-vegetarian. Rice is the staple diet, and is used in many different forms – powdered and fermented as in the idli and dosa or whole in biryani or plain steamed. The Keralan use of the banana brings out it’s versatility – banana chips, raw banana dish, dried banana, fried banana, red, green and yellow bananas. Fresh sea-food is found in abundance because of its long coastline. Coconut and tamarind are two important ingredients of Keralan cuisine.
Another popular Keralan vegetarian dish is Sadya, a plate of rice with an array of at least fourteen varieties of vegetarian items served on a banana leaf.
Seafood is the most popular side dish, and rightly so, considering the huge stretch of coastline.
The most common dessert is the payasam, a rich milk delicacy made with vermicelli, gram or rice, garnished with raisins and nut fried in ghee.
Kerala abounds in delicious crispy snacks for every season, every occasion – ethekka (banana chips), tapioca chips, chakka vattal (jackfruit chips), pappadam, kuzhalappam, achappam, cheeda and churuttu.