7 Thalassery Dishes To Get To Know North Kerala Cuisine

There are many rich regional cuisines to explore around the length and breadth of India and one that can’t be ignored is that of the North Kerala town of Thalassery. This culinary style is a harmonious fusion of Arabian, Persian, Indian, and European influences, shaped by the town's extensive history as a significant maritime trading post. Thalassery served as a vital hub for the spice trade, becoming a cultural melting pot with a rich diversity of cuisines.  

One of their most famed dishes is the iconic Thalessary biryani which stands apart from other versions of the dish around India, but there's a world of dishes beyond this just waiting to be explored. 

Video Credits: Home Cooking Show/YouTube

Here are 7 distinctively Thalassery dishes you can try:

1. Thalassery Biryani:

Exploring the world of Thalassery cuisine must begin with their most famous dish. Thalassery Biryani. This is unlike most biryanis of the country and stands out with distinct features. Made primarily by the Mappila community, the chicken is the hero of the dish and is added raw without any additional seasoning. It features local spices like pepper and cardamom plus regional short-grain rice like kaima which is first fried in ghee to provide a distinctive flavour.  

2. Irachi Pathal:

This snack food features fried meat-stuffed rice bread. The process involves deep-frying the bread, dipping it in an egg-milk mixture, and frying it once more. It's commonly featured on the Iftar menu, with beef being the primary meat used. However, one can opt for mutton, chicken, or any preferred meat. It's crucial to note that the meat should be cooked with spices and hand-shredded, avoiding the use of ground meat.

3. Kinnathappam:

Don’t be confused by the term ‘appam’ in this dish as it’s not a bread but more of a steamed cake. In Kerala the general term "Appam" can be used for anything steam-baked. This recipe requires only five ingredients, with ground raw rice being the main one. Coconut is another essential ingredient, contributing to the authentic Kerala flavour that characterises many regional recipes.

4. Thenga Muri:

There are many versions of egg chop or egg kebabs to enjoy in different parts of the country and for the Thalassery region, Thenga muri is the go-to. Thenga Muri is an egg kebab-style preparation that is made by wrapping a boiled egg in a coating of spiced mashed potato, rolled in breadcrumbs and then deep fried. It’s a popular iftar special and pairs well with tomato sauce or coconut chutney.

5. Kozhikkal:

In Malayalam, Kozhikkal translates to chicken leg, but there’s no chicken to be found in this traditional Malabar snack and it’s named so because it resembles the shape of fried chicken legs. Instead, it’s made with chopped pieces of tapioca prepared using gram flour and rice flour, or optionally with Maida and then fried, this snack has a crispy exterior and a soft inside. It makes for a satisfying tea-time treat.

6. Kadukka Pollichathu:

With its rich seafood offerings, there are many dishes of Thalassery that revolve around mussels or Kadukka as they’re known locally. Kadukka Pollichathu features Asian green mussels (Perna viridis) sautéed with ginger, garlic, and spices, offering a spicy dish common in Thallasery cuisine. It can be served as an appetiser or as a side dish with rice.

7. Neypathal:

Also known as Ney Pathiri or Poricha Pathiri this is is a delicious Thalassery specialty. This deep-fried rice pancake includes crushed coconut, onion, and cumin seeds. Traditionally made by soaking rice, grinding it, and adding crushed coconut and spices, there's also an easier method using coarse rice flour. It's a versatile dish which can be enjoyed for breakfast, tea-time snacks, or dinner.