8 Dishes Foodies Must Try In Kozhikode, City Of Literature

It was a proud moment for Indians when Kozhikode, an important city along the Malabar Coast in Kerala, received the UNESCO ‘City of Literature’ title on June 23, 2024. It is the first Indian city to be rewarded with this status, and it speaks highly about the contributions of the city to the world of literature. This title has not only cemented the coastal city’s place in the cultural map of the world but also highlights Indian heritage getting recognition worldwide.

Video Credit: Abida Rasheed/ YouTube

Apart from being the cultural hub, Kozhikode also boasts a stunning landscape that attracts tourists and foodies across the globe. Its Kappad Beach is believed to be the spot where Vasco Da Gama landed in 1498 and made the discovery of a sea route to India. Kozhikode is also the birthplace of many regional recipes that foodies can’t relish enough. Note these recommendations.

Kozhikode Biryani

Kozhikode biryani is a must-have savoury dish in the coastal city. It is prepared by cooking marinated meat in a spicy blend of tomatoes and onions. Once the meat is tenderised, it is slowly cooked with long-grain aromatic rice so that the combination of the two shows a foodie the way to gastronomic heaven. It is often served with raita, papad, pickle, lemon slices, and boiled eggs.

Kozhikode Halwa

One of the best ways to celebrate any victory or good news is by making and relishing something sweet. What is a better way to feel proud of Kozhikode receiving the UNESCO ‘City of Literature’ title than by cooking and serving Kozhikode halwa? The sweet confection requires you to blend sugar, flour, and ghee in the kadhai. It is topped with coconut, cardamom, dry fruits, and nuts for extra spoonfuls of richness and nutrition. 

Kallummakkaya Fry

Have you tried mussels? If you haven’t, wait until you visit Kozhikode. One of the regional recipes is kallummakkaya (mussels) fry. Fresh mussels are first marinated in a spicy paste and deep-fried until crispy. This seafood delicacy is for all those who are looking to try something unique, and traditional. In this region, the snack is served as a side dish along with rice and curry.

Erachi Pathiri

You must have eaten sweet pancakes, but if you are in Kozhikode, you must try erachi pathiri, savoury meat-stuffed pancakes. Rice flour dough is prepared and stuffed with minced meat. Usually, restaurants here use chicken or red meat. The pancakes are shallow-fried to perfection so that the crust is crispy and the insides are soft and delicious. 

Nannari Sarbath

Nannari sarbath offers a respite from the heat and is a must-try for every traveller visiting the coastal city. It is made using nannari roots that are associated with improving digestion and helping with acidity. It is a variation of lemonade but tastier and loaded with nutrients. Prepared by cooking nannari roots, you can order it as an accompaniment to food or enjoy it after a hectic day of sightseeing.

Pazham Nirachathu 

You might know about banana fritters, but pazham narichathu is a dish prepared by stuffing raw bananas. A sweet mixture of coconut, sugar, and dry fruits is prepared and filled into sliced bananas. The fruits are sealed with a coating of maida, water, and salt mixture to prevent the stuffing from oozing out while you shallow-fry. It is often served as a snack with tea or coffee. 


Kinnathappam is a rice and coconut-based sweet dish. It is prepared by soaking and blending basmati rice with coconut milk. The recipe uses eggs as a binding agent. When the mixture thickens, it is added to a steel container and cooked in steam. The pudding tastes delicious topped with cardamom.