7 Famous Foods You Shouldn't Miss in Kozhikode

Kozhikode offers the very best of Kerala cuisine, be it street food or snacks. Some ingredients are more popular than others, so they are found in multiple local delicacies. Take bananas, for instance. Kerala is one of the largest producers of bananas, and naturally, some of the most popular Kozhikode foods are made from bananas, be it banana chips or pazham pori. Coconut, cashews, and ghee are also used in several local delicacies.

One of the biggest USPs of the city is the diversity of desserts you can find there. From the popular Kozhikode halwa and the deep-fried rice flour fritter Neyyappam, to the sweet plantain and coconut snack Unnakai and Ela Ada, a steamed rice cake filled with coconut and jaggery, the sweets of Kozhikode are its biggest draw. If you’re headed to Kozhikode anytime soon and want to learn about the most popular local foods, you need to read this!

Kozhikode Biryani 

Kozhikode Biryani is a fancier rendition of the famous Thalassery Biryani; the aromatic rice dish is characterised by the spice blend along with fragrant kaima rice, tender meat, coriander and tomato. The spice mix features cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom. What sets this Biryani apart is its layering technique, where the rice and meat are cooked separately before being assembled and slow-cooked to perfection. 

Recommendation: Rahmath Hotel

Type: Vegetarian and non-vegetarian

Budget: Rs 300-600

Kozhikode Halwa 

One of the most famous and vibrant desserts, this melt-in-your-mouth delicacy is crafted from a blend of wheat, sugar, ghee, and water, resulting in a smooth, jelly-like texture that is both sweet and satisfying. The hallmark of Kozhikode Halwa lies in its preparation technique, where the mixture is continuously stirred in large copper vessels over a low flame until it reaches the desired consistency. The black halwa is a cult dish, made with cashew and jaggery, while certain variants of the halwa feature pulps of seasonal fruits.

Recommendation: Sankaran Bakery

Type: Vegetarian

Budget: Rs 150-500

Chatti Pathiri 

Chatti Pathiri is a traditional Malabar dish that hails from Kozhikode. This savoury pastry is made by layering thin crepes with a flavourful filling of spiced meat, eggs, and nuts, all bound together with a luscious egg mixture. The layers are usually baked or cooked on a griddle until golden and crispy. The pathiri or the thin pancakes are usually made with wheat flour and often contain coconut fillings.

Recommendation: Zain's Hotel

Type: vegetarian and non-vegetarian

Budget: Rs 300-500

Kozhi Ada

The traditional snack is essentially an Indianised version of chicken pockets and often consists of sugar fillings and coconut. The snack has ornate turns towards and its edges and it’s popularly served during Ramazan. The savoury chicken filling is usually encased in a crispy, golden-brown shell of rice flour dough.

Recommendation: Ojin bakes

Type: vegetarian and non-vegetarian

Budget: Rs 300-500

Erachi Ularthiyathu 

Erachi Ularthiyathu, also known as Kozhikode-style Fry, is a quintessential dish that showcases the rich flavours of Kerala cuisine. Tender pieces of meat are marinated in a blend of spices, including black pepper, turmeric, and fennel seeds, before being slow-cooked with onions, curry leaves, and coconut slices until caramelized and fragrant. This spicy, aromatic dish pairs perfectly with steamed rice or flaky parathas.

Recommendation: Rahmath Hotel

Type: vegetarian and non-vegetarian

Budget: Rs 300-500

Kallummakkaya Nirachathu 

Kallummakkaya Nirachathu is a traditional Malabar delicacy that features stuffed mussels cooked to perfection. The mussels are filled with a flavorful mixture of grated coconut, shallots, garlic, spices, and sometimes rice, before being wrapped in banana leaves and steam-cooked or baked until tender. The combination of fresh seafood and aromatic spices works together perfectly. 

Recommendation: Lunch House

Type: vegetarian and non-vegetarian

Budget: Rs 300-500

Banana Chips/Banana Fry

If you’re in Kozhikode, milk sharbath and banana chips is the food pairing you can’t afford to miss! Banana chips are a local staple and they are served almost everywhere from street food stalls to cafes. They’re popularly known as upperi and are fried in pressed coconut oil. While pazham pori or banana fritters are popular too, banana chips are more widely consumed across Kerala.

Recommendation: SNR Banana Chips

Type: vegetarian and non-vegetarian

Budget: Rs 100-350