6 Malayalam Movies Every Foodie Should Watch
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Malayalam cinema is making waves even internationally for its interesting themes and subjects. There's something for everyone. Even the foodies. There are countless films with fantastic food shots, the kind that is impossible to watch on an empty stomach. From the Salt N' Pepper 'thattil kutti dosa' to the Premam nannari sharbat. Here's a look at how food has been used in Malayalam cinema, from the SuleimanI in Ustad Hotel to the Porotta-Beef in Godha. When good cinematography and food combine, something magical occurs.

Salt N Pepper

In this Shyam Pushkaran and Dileesh Nair-penned Aashiq Abu film, Lal and Shwetha Menon play middle-aged singles who meet through food. The title card shows a delicious procession of popular street foods and delicacies from Kerala through a montage song, starting with the well-known Pai Dosas, Karimeen Pollichathu wrapped in banana leaves, fiery Syrian red fish curries, crisply fried anchovies, bubbling unniyappam, stacks of colourful halwas, paal payasams being carried in large cauldrons inside the Ambalapuzha temple and plantain leaf sadya, yellow jalebis emerging from hot pans, heaps of jackfruit chips, plates of roasted beef laced with shards of coconut, steaming puttu, pathiri, Thalassery Dum Biryani containers, and shots of iconic restaurants and thattukadas. The film came with a statutory warning when it was released: never watch it on an empty stomach. Food milestones propel the story forward—a misdialed food delivery call sparks their first conversation, the fight is resolved after devouring the very dosa and garlic chutney that sparked the conflict in the first place, and the romance blossoms over the course of a decadent old rainbow cake recipe. Food has played an important role in the leading man's discovery of his favourite people. After biting into the unniyappams that were prepared for him, the man hijacks the cook during what was supposed to be a matchmaking event.


Alphonse Puthren's coming-of-age drama follows George (Nivin Pauly) from his school days to maturity, and as is customary, food makes an appearance frequently throughout the story. starting with George the teen's love letter to Mary, which is derailed by his gluttony for sardines. Anupama Parameshwaran's character Mary, a student, enters a tea store and looks longingly at the tall, thick glass jars of kappalandi muttai and naranga muttai as well as the dishes of steaming pazham pori and parippu vada. The energy to talk with his buddies about George's courting ambitions is provided by a nannari soda topped with khus khus. Vimal Sir is being duped by PT Sir in the campus canteen for an additional helping of fishy fries in exchange for tips to woo Malar miss. For plates of puttu and beef curry, George and his buddies also participate in this charade. Then comes what might as well be called the cherry on top of the red velvet cake, setting up George's meeting with Celine, his future wife. Excellent conclusion to a mouthwatering story.

Angamaly Diaries

The slice-of-life movie by Lijo Jose Pellissery, which centres on Pepe and his friends in the town of Angamaly in Central Kerala, is seasoned with regional food. Like their fellow Gauls, the Angamalys enjoy their pork roasts and favour certain clever combinations that are appropriate for any event and occasion. It must come from the finest meat shops and can be served with Chinese potato, yam, or just crisply sautéed as is. Pepe's teenage years are remembered for his unceasing love of food, whether it was pounding raw mangoes and finishing them off, seasoning them with salt and pepper, eating ghee dosas with a free side of beef curry, eating parotta and beef fry, eating omelettes, eating biryanis, or simply drinking lime sodas with friends. He compares falling in love to pairing Kappa with eggs.


This little clip appears early on in Basil Joseph's sports movie about a Punjabi girl who is passionate about wrestling and finds her dreams realised in Kerala. The protagonist, Tovino Thomas, who is studying in Punjab, tells his Tamilian friend that he would like to share some parotta and beef. As he describes how to make the beef curry and how crispy parottas should be dipped liberally into it to reach that ultimate gastronomical bliss, he takes his time with every word. The audience and the friend are left drooling.

Ustad Hotel

Food appears frequently in this movie on food that depicts the ideological conflict between a grandfather who is a traditional chef with some local recipes on hand and his grandson, an internationally trained chef who has his sights set on becoming successful abroad. It starts with a scene kesar milk is fed by the grandfather to calm the crying infant grandson, which seems like the ideal method to expose him to flavours. Shahana (Nithya Menen) and Faizi (Dulquer) first meet over a crab meal gone wrong.

Kammath And Kammath

Kammath And Kammath was a popular entertainer that told the tale of two brothers who had a renowned dosa business famed for its wide selection of dosas. Your taste buds will definitely ring after listening to the movie's tune Dosa Nalloru. This film was quite relatable to their target audience as South Indians’ love for dosa is no secret.

Not every film on the above list had food as its main focus. Only Usthad Hotel and Salt N Pepper could be classified as solely being about cuisine.

Well, references to cuisines and dishes in movies are nothing new in the Malayalam film industry. One of the earliest songs to tickle listeners' appetites was "Ayila Porichathundu..Karimeen Varathathundu" from Venalil Oru Mazha. However, Salt N Pepper was the movie that made it possible for other food-related movies to be made in Malayalam. The movie represented somewhat of a revolution and opened up new possibilities for Malayalam food-based movies.