Beyond Appam And Stew: 7 Breakfast Dishes From Kerala You Must Try

When thinking of food from Kerala, images of beef fry and appam and stew are evoked. While appam and stew may be a classic breakfast combination within the state, there are also various other pancakes, and sweet and savoury dishes that can be eaten for a morning meal. Most of these dishes are either made using rice flour, or have fillings of coconut and jaggery. It is also common to lightly spice sweet breakfast dishes with cardamom. 

Here are seven breakfast dishes from Kerala that you must try: 


A steamed rice cake that uses fermented rice batter with yeast, vattayappam is soft and spongy. It may be served with stew, different types of curries or sambar. When making vattayappam, it must be ensured that the batter is thick, similar to the batter used for making idli. Syrian Christian recipes for vattayappam use toddy instead of yeast. 

Karikku dosa

In Malayalam, ‘karikku’ translates to tender coconut. A thin, crepe-like pancake, karikku dosa is a soft dosa made with tender coconut water and tender coconut flesh. It is also known as ilaneer dosa, and is very similar to Karnataka’s neer dosa. The batter used for making this dish needs to be fermented, or an instant version may be used. 


Commonly prepared in Muslim households, orotti is a kind of roti made with rice flour and grated coconut. It is well-known in the Northern parts of Kerala as a snack to be had with tea or a light breakfast, and is also called Thalassery orotti or Malabar orotti. Sweet versions of orotti use sugar as part of the dough. 

Avalose podi

A popular evening snack in Kerala, avalose podi may also be eaten for breakfast. It is made using roasted rice flour, grated coconut and cumin. Best enjoyed with honey or sugar, avalose podi makes a great accompaniment to tea or coffee. It is often served with bananas. For the best results, the rice flour used to make this dish must be freshly ground. 

Madakku san

Fondly called love letters, madakku san are crepes filled with grated coconut, sugar or jaggery and cardamom. The batter for madakku san uses flour, milk and eggs to ensure that the resulting crepes are fluffy. These crepes are served hot, sometimes accompanied by banana or a cup of tea or milk. Madakku san are also called eylanchi. 

Kappa vevichathu

Kappa or tapioca was initially considered a substitute for rice, but has now achieved the status of a staple across Kerala. To make kappa vevichathu, tapioca is boiled with water and salt. Then, coconut milk and crushed onion, garlic and cumin are added to the tapioca, resulting in a thick curry. Grated coconut is later added as a final touch. 

Aval vilayichathu

Some people consider aval vilayichathu a dessert, some consider it a tea time snack, and others eat it for breakfast. It is made using puffed rice or rice flakes, grated coconut, jaggery, cardamom and ghee. Aval vilayichathu has a shelf life of two to three days so it can be prepared in advance and stored.