Dining With Keralites: Tips and Trivias

Food in Kerala is a bliss. It’s a paradise for vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Suma Chechi (chechi is the Malayalam word for sister) shared some of her daily kitchen secrets and rituals with me as I saw her cooking in amazement.

  • In Kerala people don’t cook Sambar or Rassam everyday. They make different types of curries using a lot of coconut.
  • Chor is the malyali word for rice. They eat the big grain rice compared to northern India. As me and my friends weren’t used to eat the big rice, they had to specialy buy small grained rice for us. The big grained rice is much easier to digest than the smaller rice. 
  • Everyday meal consists of tapioca, rice, various curries (fish curry too if non-vegetarian), aviyal (a vegetable mix) and pickles. They start their meal with tapioca and curry and then take the rice.
  • 99% times black pepper is used to spice up the food instead of red chilli powder. 
  • They don’t put the turmeric powder in the tadka. Instead they put it when the food is half cooked or at the time of putting other ingredients like masalas and vegetables.
  • Each kitchen has a coconut grounder attached to its granite kadappa. Thus it makes the daily coconut grounding job very easy. A family of four uses one whole big coconut daily for food.
Aviyal, Sambar, Curry and a vegetable mix loaded with coconut
Rice, Curry and Aviyal
Kerala Wedding Lunch : Look 1
Kerala Wedding Lunch: Main Course (later they served puranpoli, 2 types of paaysam, rassam and curd milk at the end)
When finished, you’re supposed to close the banana leaf like this as an indicator that you’re done eating.
Suma Chechi

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