Munnar, a city in God’s Own Country, Kerala, is a food lover's paradise. From mouth-watering non-vegetarian meals to crunchy, salty, and crispy street food treats, there is an abundance of choices for foodies in Munnar. Here are some that you should be looking at.
Munnar, located in the Indian state of Kerala's Idukki district, is a region with lush landscapes, stunning hillocks, and mouth-watering dishes that are sure to leave a lasting impression on the senses. This place has delectable non-vegetarian foods as well as crispy, crunchy, and tangy street food delicacies that can be a foodie’s delight no matter where they are from.
The rich, flavourful, and aromatic dishes in Munnar not only represent the diversity and depth of Kerala cuisine, but will satisfy even the pickiest eater. Travellers are well aware of the delectable appeal of South Indian foods like dosas and idlis, even Thattu Kada or evening snacks served at Kerala’s famous tea stalls. But what most people don't know is that Munnar also has a vibrant street food scene that comes alive at dusk. The immense variety of Munnar’s food, ranging from puttu and kadala curry to appams paired with varieties of stews makes it difficult to select only one dish to indulge in at a time.
Explore the culinary highlights of Munnar and learn about the unique experiences this breathtaking location has to offer. Here are some of the most delicious delicacies of Munnar that you simply must try out.
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1. Ari Pathiri And Chicken Curry
Ari Pathiri has a mouthwatering taste because of its deliciously soft and silky texture. This dish is popular not only among the locals but also the people who taste it once when visiting there. Ari pathiri is prepared with rice flour and has a simple, smooth texture. It is best to enjoy with a spicy, finely diced chicken curry that will undoubtedly tickle your taste buds. The chicken curry is extremely easy to make. Simply cook the chicken slowly with the onion and tomato before adding the ground coconut mixture. Ari pathiri can also be tried with nadan mutta or egg curry, mutton stew, mutton keema, chicken roast, mutton liver, and even mutton roast.
2. Appam And Prawn Curry
Keralan cuisine is known for its appam and stew. A thick pancake made with rice flour and coconut batter is called an appam. It tastes great with stews or a variety of other recipes because of its crispy outside and soft within. The prawn curry is a mixture of coconut milk, chillies and jaggery. Any type of prawn can be used and marinated with green chillies, ginger, garlic, and ry red chillies and sauteed. Then mix with jaggery and coconut milk. This curry is also available in a vegetarian version prepared with potatoes, carrots, bean, and onions. This veg curry also pairs nicely with appam.
3. Kairali Thali
While Munnar is well-known for its wide variety of non-vegetarian foods, the Kairali Thali is a special meal that is specially prepared for vegetarians. According to the traditional culture of Kairali cuisine, the thali is served on banana leaves to the guests. This thali comprises a wide variety of foods, including payasam, vegetable pachadi or salad, mixed vegetable thoran, rice with sambar, and rasam. These dishes are also prepared with coconut oil. All of these dishes are served with a garnish of crushed coconut or a tempering for curry leaves and mustard seeds.
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4. Idiyappam With Egg Curry
Though prepared with the simplest of ingredients, idiyappam has a unique look and a neutral flavour that pairs really well with Kerala-style egg curries and chutneys. In essence, this dish consists of white vermicelli strands prepared from rice flour, water, and salt–which are then steamed. As per tradition and custom, the dish is served on a banana leaf and can be enjoyed with several curries. People get captured by the sight of its interwoven white threads. It's even available at roadside stands where people can savour it.
5. Mutton Fry
When visiting God's Own Country, a Kerala-style mutton fry is an absolute must. This is a classic dish in Kerala. Cubed or chopped meat is boiled till soft and then roasted or fried in a mixture of onions, spices, and herbs until the spice mixture caramelises on every bite. Spices like curry leaves, mustard, spices, onion, and ginger-garlic paste are used to prepare it. The mutton fry is commonly paired with parotta. The dish's delicious, caramelised and spicy flavours come from gradual, slow frying over a long duration.
6. Puttu And Kadala Curry
Puttu and Kadala Curry must be the first choice for a delicious breakfast when in Munnar. Puttu is a cylindrical, layered, coconut-cooked steamed rice cake. Puttu has a nutty and sweet taste. Compared to that, kadala curry is a fiery, aromatic curry cooked with spices and black chickpeas. A side of coconut chutney is the ideal way to turn these dishes into a complete and wholesome vegetarian meal. Puttu with kadala curry is also a satisfying and nutrient-dense breakfast option across Kerala.
7. Nadankozhi Varuthathu
Kerala is known for its distinct brand of spicy chicken fry, or nadankozhi varuthathu. The inside of the chicken is completely moist and soft, while the outside is crispy. Onion, garlic, vinegar, and spices like fennel seeds, cardamom, clove cinnamon, and garam masala blend are used to season the chicken. Both locals and tourists enjoy this delicious fried chicken. Nadankozhi varuthathu is a meat-lover’s delight. It is extremely flavourful and spicy. The spicy taste of the chicken lingers on the palate for a long time.
8. Beans Mezhukkupuratti
This recipe for beans mezhukkupuratti consists of a basic stir-fry of beans tempered with curry leaves and mustard seeds.The beans mezhukkupuratti is a delicious dish in which the beans are cooked with onion slices, tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves, and finished with turmeric and pepper powder, which give the beans a lovely, mild flavour. For a traditional Kerala-style supper of this dish while in Munnar, pair this mouthwatering sabzi with Kerala red rice or matta rice and mixed vegetable sambar.
9. Elaneer Payasam
Kerala cuisine offers a wide variety of payasams, which are basically rice puddings flavoured with coconut and coconut milk. Elaneer Payasam stands out among these because it is made with tender coconut and is a delicious, silky smooth delicacy. It is simmered in milk with sugar, condensed milk, delicate coconut pulp, and cardamom powder. Elaneer Payasam serves as an alternative to standard payasam for celebrations and gatherings. This is a delicious and simple dessert to prepare and is often a part of the Onam-special Sadhya platter in Munnar.
The most popular and iconic dishes of Munnar are true representatives of Kerala cuisine and offer a fusion of flavours influenced by the region's natural surroundings and cultural variety. For those who want to experience the authentic flavours of this charming hill station, sampling the regional cuisine is a must when visiting Munnar.