Appam and stew may be a Malayali staple, but thattukada chicken fry and fried fish are equally well regarded in Kerala.
Besides its hills, tea and cardamom plantations, and backwaters, Kerala has a rich cuisine to offer. Appam and stew may be a Malayali staple, but thattukada chicken fry and fried fish are equally well regarded in Kerala. Restaurants aren’t the only places where good food can be found in the state. Street-side stalls prepare and sell tasty dishes that can put Delhi’s chaat to shame. We recommend five dishes from the streets of Kerala that you must try:
The term ‘thattu dosa’ has been inspired by ‘thattukada’, which refers to street-side eateries in Kerala. Thattu dosa is very soft and is smaller in size than regular dosa, nearly the size of your palm. It is served with coconut chutney, red chilli chutney, rasa vada and sometimes even papad. Recently, cooks have begun preparing the dish with egg and calling it thattu dosa omplate. Thattu dosa is considered South India’s most popular street-side snack.
A kind of fritter made with lentils like chana dal and toor dal, parippu vada is also known as dal vada. To make parippu vada, dal is ground and then seasoned with onion, coriander, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. The batter is then rolled into balls, which are deep-fried until crisp and golden brown. Biting into a traditional parippu vada should result in a loud crunch, which is telling of how well it has been cooked.
Pazham pori are essentially banana fritters. Given the Malayali love for bananas, with everything from pancakes stuffed with them to banana chips, it comes as no surprise that there exists a snack that uses the fruit. Also called ‘ethakka appam’, pazham pori are quick and easy to prepare. To make pazham pori, bananas are sliced, dipped in batter of flour, water, egg, oil, sugar and salt, and then deep fried. Best enjoyed hot, they make a great tea time snack.
Also known as Kerala chicken fry or thattukada chicken fry, kozhi porichathu is a dish of deep-fried chicken that has been marinated in a spice paste. Once the marinated chicken has been fried, it is kept aside and a pan is prepared with oil, in which some tomato sauce, curry leaves, cumin and green chillies are tossed together. The chicken is then added to the ingredients and mixed well. It is desi-style fried chicken that can give KFC a run for its money.
Crunchy skin and soft flesh define fried fish, the aroma of which is enough to tempt even those with full stomachs. The streets of Kerala are home to numerous stalls that make the fried treat. Usually made with sardines, fish that is meant for frying is first marinated in spices and then deep-fried in hot oil until the raw, red masala turns deep brown. Once cooked, it is served with a lemon wedge. There’s nothing like spicy, fried fish with a generous squeeze of lemon.