Kerala Folklore
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Food and Food custom of Kerala

Kerala's cuisine is renowned for its diverse flavors, use of aromatic spices, and emphasis on fresh ingredients. The traditional food of Kerala reflects the state's agricultural abundance, coastal geography, and cultural influences. Here are some key aspects of Kerala's traditional food and food customs

Puttu and Kadala curry is a classic and popular breakfast combination in Kerala, India. It is a traditional dish enjoyed by Keralites and is also loved by people from various parts of the country

Puttu is a cylindrical steamed rice cake made from ground rice flour and grated coconut. It is a common breakfast dish in Kerala and is usually served with a variety of accompaniments. To prepare puttu, rice flour is mixed with water and a pinch of salt, and then it is steamed using a puttu maker or steamer. The puttu maker is a specially designed vessel with two sections – the bottom section holds water for steaming, and the top section contains the rice-coconut mixture. When steamed, the puttu gets a fluffy texture and a subtle coconut flavor.

Kadala curry is a spicy and flavorful black chickpea (kadala) curry that is often served as an accompaniment to puttu. The chickpeas are cooked in a rich and aromatic gravy made with onions, tomatoes, coconut milk, and a blend of spices such as coriander, cumin, fennel, and red chili powder. The curry is simmered until the flavors meld together, resulting in a delicious and hearty dish that complements the mild taste of puttu perfectly.

To enjoy Puttu and Kadala, you would typically place a layer of puttu on a plate, followed by a layer of kadala curry on top. The combination of the soft and fluffy puttu with the spicy and flavorful kadala curry creates a delightful culinary experience that appeals to both locals and visitors alike. It is often served with grated coconut, ripe bananas, or papadum on the side to add extra textures and flavors to the meal.

Rice and Grains: Rice is the staple food of Kerala, and a typical meal often includes rice served with various accompaniments. Kerala's cuisine also includes a variety of other grains such as wheat, tapioca, and millets, which are used to make different dishes.

Coconut: Coconut is a fundamental ingredient in Kerala's cooking. Coconut oil, grated coconut, and coconut milk are extensively used in most dishes, adding a rich and distinct flavor.

Sadya: Sadya is a traditional Kerala feast served on banana leaves, usually during festivals and special occasions. It is a multi-course meal that includes a variety of vegetarian dishes, served in a specific order. Sadya is a delightful and grand affair, often featuring more than a dozen dishes, including various curries, pickles, desserts, and more.

Curries and Gravies: Kerala is famous for its flavorful curries and gravies, made with a blend of spices and coconut milk. Popular curry varieties include avial (a mix of vegetables in coconut gravy), sambar (lentil-based curry with vegetables), olan (ash gourd and black-eyed peas in coconut milk), and more.

Seafood: Kerala's long coastline makes seafood an essential part of its cuisine. Prawns, fish, crabs, and mussels are often prepared with coconut and spices, creating delicious and aromatic dishes.

Appam and Idiyappam: Appam is a soft and fluffy pancake made from fermented rice batter, typically served with coconut milk and a side dish like stew or egg curry. Idiyappam, also known as "string hoppers," is made from rice flour and served similarly to appam.

Banana: Kerala has a wide variety of bananas, and they are used in various ways, both as a fruit and as an ingredient in dishes. Ethakka (ripe plantains) are often used to make pazham pori, a popular snack.

Snacks and Sweets: Kerala offers an array of snacks and sweets, such as banana chips, Kerala halwa, unniyappam (deep-fried rice and banana fritters), and payasam (a sweet milk-based dessert with various flavors).

Food Customs

Eating with Hands: In Kerala, it is common and considered traditional to eat with hands, especially during a Sadya or traditional meal. The right hand is used for eating, while the left hand is used for pouring water or passing items.> Hospitality: Kerala is known for its warm hospitality, and guests are often served with the best food available. Welcoming guests with a meal is a significant cultural norm. Feasting during Festivals: Festivals in Kerala are celebrated with elaborate feasts, especially during Onam and Vishu. The Sadya served during these festivals is an integral part of the celebrations. Religious and Ritualistic Food Offerings: During temple festivals and religious ceremonies, various food offerings are made to the deities, and later, these offerings are distributed as prasadam to the devotees. Overall, Kerala's traditional food and food customs reflect the state's cultural diversity, natural abundance, and strong ties to its rich heritage..