The southernmost point of India, Kanyakumari is a traveller’s paradise. People from different parts of India and even abroad visit the place every year to experience the breathtakingly beautiful sights of sunrise, sunset and moonrise. But the tourists spots aside, the Kanyakumari district is worth exploring for its culinary treasures too. Be it savoury, sweet or super spicy, the cuisine here has influences from other corners of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and even the Dutch. 

From scrumptious roadside snacks to delectable fish curries, the food culture of Kanyakumari is worth exploring more than once. We have put together a beginner’s list for you. Take a tour!


1. Pazha Bajji

A tea time favourite, Pazha Bajjis are sweet banana fritters that are widely available on the streets of Kanyakumari. The cylindrical snacks are made by dipping ripe bananas into maida batter and then frying them in hot oil until they turn golden yellow. The other ingredients used in the recipe are sugar and a bit of turmeric powder, kesari powder, cumin powder and salt. Some people also use rice flour and wheat flour to make Pazha Bajji.




2. Chakka Chips

Another popular snack in the southernmost point of India, Chakka Chips are basically crispy and delicious jackfruit chips. The region is blessed with different varieties of jackfruit. So naturally, it is intrinsic to the place’s culinary culture too. Quick and easy to prepare, julienned jackfruit strips are salted and deep-fried in coconut oil until they turn golden. Chakka Chips are best enjoyed with a cup of hot tea.

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 3. Kai Suthu Murukku

This hand-twisted yummy snack made with rice flour and then deep-fried can be quite addictive. Yet another tea time delight, Kai Suthu Murukku is also prepared during religious festivals. The other ingredients required for this recipe include urad dal flour, melted butter sesame seeds, asafoetida, salt and water.



4. Achu Murukku

Also known as Rose Cookies, Achu Murukku is a popular delicacy that is often prepared in Syrian Christian households, and is said to bear a Dutch influence. Be it Christmas or a wedding ceremony, this item is a must on the menu. To make Achu Murukku, you’ll need maida, rice flour, sugar, coconut milk, sesame seeds, salt, water and oil to fry. If you don’t like it plain, you can spice it up with cumin and cardamom. A Rose Cookie maker is also to get the desired shape.



5. Munthiri Kothu

An admired festival sweet from the district of Kanyakumari, Munthiri Kothu has a fanbase of its own. The traditional recipe for this food item primarily consists of green gram, sesame seeds, grated coconut, cardamom and palm jaggery. For the batter, you’ll need maida, rice powder, turmeric and salt. This sweet delicacy is also known as Paniyaram (in Kerala) and Payatham Urundai (in Sri Lanka).


 6. Avial

While Avial has its roots in Kerala cuisine, there is also something called the Kanyakumari-special Avial. It’s basically a vegetarian side dish, which is best enjoyed with steamed rice. Grated coconut, green chillies, turmeric powder, cumin, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, coconut oil, curry leaves and salt are among the vegetables required to make this dish. In terms of vegetables, you can go for brinjal, carrot, cucumber, elephant foot yam, raw mango, snake gourd and onions.



7. Nandu Masala

A traditional recipe from Kanyakumari, Nandu Masala is a tasty crab dish. It is best enjoyed with rice, rasam and papad. Freshwater crabs are often preferred to make Nandu Masala. The ingredients for the dish include onion, tomato, curry leaf, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger-garlic paste, shredded coconut, fennel seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, oil and salt.


 8. Fish Aanam

Popularly known as the Kanyakumari-style fish curry, Fish Aanam comes with a rich orange colour and a silky smooth texture. It is usually served with steamed rice, dosa, appam, idiyappam or puttu. To prepare this special delicacy, the ingredients needed  are tamarind water, coconut, shallots, green chilli, dry red chilli, curry leaves, mustard, fenugreek, tomato, Kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, salt and coconut oil. Pomfret is often preferred for this dish, but you can also go for King Fish.