Posted by: Prem Piyush | January 14, 2007

Exploring Kerala (2) – Traditional foods and drinks

All the south Indian marriages till now I attended, are simply quite different than north Indian ones, and thats true regarding lunches too.

On the auspicious occasions, there are no non-veg items on menu. Foods were cooked with minimum spices. Thick small rice ( but tasty), sambhar, rasham, chutney, mazziga and at least 8 types of unnamed (boiled type) sabzi’s, papads and of course the famous banana chips. Finishing touch was with kheer in cups and ice-cream.

I was satiated, as I expected something different than north India. As I love variety in everything of life, I was pleased to have the meal with hundreds other there on a banana leaf.

The Kerala is a state with a good traditional knowledge of Ayurveda. Everywhere the water that was served to drink as normal drinking water used to be lukewarm and coloured pink or yellow or colorless sometimes. Customary, they prepare drinking water after boiling some herbs in it and cooling them down for drinking. The herbs ( I bought it later, its red wood type actually ) make the water coloured after inducing medicinal properties, appearing as if rose leaves extracts were diluted. And there is a slight specific herbal aroma in water. Though I drink a lot of water and that herbal treated water I took more than normal litres during my Kerala tour, the effect was better than packaged ones of Bangalore.

The main point about Kerala food is coconut. Though sometimes I failed to recognised the medium of cooking but most food items are cooked in coconut oil including egg curry and non-veg items. But the best thing about food is, for sure, cooked well and tastes well ( as per taste buds of my team there). Its difficult to find any trace of aroma of coconut oil that we find in coconut hair oils.

Over the head there one can find hanging thousands of coconuts everywhere, on the roadside – one can find broken coconuts drying in sun.

The climate in mid january is as if the climate of march-april in north India. Days and nights were warmer than Bangalore. So there was abundant in number of the shops, selling salt water boiled amla, carrot, mango, ber, anaras in glass pet jars. People buy them in considerable amount. For me two amlas were more than enough for my sensitive tooth. And that was a natural way for them to beat the heat in summers, I think !

Cofee and tea is mostly served unfiltered in one glass with an additional glass to pour and sip. The black coffee / tea many people prefer to sip after the dinner.



  1. Nice take on Kerala 🙂

  2. @ Jay

    Compliments from Kerala Tips 🙂 Wow !

  3. great observation and expression, i felt as if i am in the God’s Own Country

  4. @ Mohanty ji,
    I have to see Rathyatras, Konark Temples, And Chilka lake, then again I shall wait for you here on blog ! Thanks 🙂

  5. Don’t eat Kerala food from “Kairali restaurant’ at Kammanahalli. I had breakfast from there once. I was unable to take food for the next three days. (The outlet at Madiwala with the same name is different.That is good).

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