What To Buy When In Kerala And Where To Get Them

When a person travels, they collect memories. But when a food enthusiast travels, they collect local ingredients that can help revive and relive the stories of their journeys through food. Traveller's Pantry is a series by Slurrp through which tourists travelling across the states of India will find indigenous gems that they can stock up on, take back home and learn more about India’s regional cuisines. This series will walk you through some of the best ingredients that India’s states have to offer, especially through the experienced hands of local chefs, experts and vendors, taking you on a true culinary safari of the nation.

Ever wondered why Kerala is called God’s Own Country? According to Hindu mythology, Lord Parshuram, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, threw his axe into the sea and Kerala came into existence. Be that as it may, a journey through its lanes, clean sandy beaches, mesmerising backwaters, and rich cultural and culinary heritage will make you understand the significance behind its name, if you don’t believe folklores. 

If you have ever been to Kerala and tried its cuisine, you must have been blown away by the culinary adventure. From countless vegetarian delights to flavour-packed seafood, meat-based, and poultry dishes, the delicacies originating the God’s Own Country boast of a unique aroma and taste. Just the sight of savoury and sweet accompaniments served along with the main course can make your mouth water.

Video Credit: Get Curried/ YouTube

If you are a food enthusiast who is planning to explore the state, it will be impossible to forget the gastronomical journey that it offers. One of the ways to relive your memories is to recreate recipes of dishes that instantly had your heart. Another way is to bring home the taste of Kerala by purchasing locally sourced food items, spices, herbs, and more. 

Slurrp spoke to Chef Jomon, Kerala-based chef and director of culinary at The Tiffin Box, UK; Sreenivasan, owner of Mango (greengrocers in Muthalamada); Dr Boby Kizhakkethara, CEO of Kerala Remedies; Murlidhar, owner of Malabar Chips; Anoop Gopinath, owner of Kerala Spice Cart; and a representative of Easwari’s Dry Fruits and Spices, to create a traveller’s pantry for the state.

Banana Chips

One of the most popular snacks you can find in Kerala is banana chips, locally called nendran chips or ethakka upperi. Available in a variety of flavours, these chips are made from the nendran variety of bananas which is grown in parts of the state. Murlidhar said that these types of bananas are rich in fibre and flaunt thick skin. In his shop, you can find four varieties of chips - ginger, salty, masala, and pakka kela.

Shop Name: Malabar Chips

Address: Railway Station, Kalathiparambu Rd, Near Ernakulam South, Kalathiparambil, Valanjambalam, Kochi, Ernakulam, Kerala 682016

Number: 9495767318

Price: Rs 440/ kg (any variety)


Whether you try thoran (dry vegetable dish) or chemmeen vada (prawn cutlet), you will notice a distinguished flavour palate that differentiates Kerala cuisine from other regional cuisines of India. It is because of the wide variety of spices grown in the state, which is why it is also referred to as the land of spices. According to Chef Jomon, if you are visiting Kerala, you must stock up on dry ginger, black pepper, turmeric, and green cardamom.

Sharing what is unique about the spices grown in the state, Anoop Gopinath said, “Climate conditions make spices grown in Kerala better than any other parts of India. Black pepper is spicy here and turmeric grown here contains more curcumin, which adds a dense yellow colour to it.” He also shared that Malabar tamarind is used to add tangy flavour to sambar, rasam, and dishes from Kerala cuisine. 

Shop Name: Kerala Spice Cart

Address: Nh 183 Thekkady, junction, Kumily, Kerala 685509

Contact: 9846780080

Price: Rs 220/ kg for turmeric, Rs 2200/ kg for green cardamom, Rs 600/ kg for dry ginger and black pepper, and Rs 240/ kg for Malabar tamarind

Dry Fruits

One of the reasons why sweet and savouries from the Kerala cuisine are rich in flavour and taste is the use of dry fruits grown in the state. According to a representative of Easwari’s Dry Fruits and Spices, the climatic conditions and soil make the dry fruits rich in texture, flavour, and nutrients. From cashews to almonds, you can stock up on your favourite dry fruits and nuts from this shop located in Thrissur.

Shop Name: Easwari’s Dryfruits and Spices

Address: East Fort, Pallikkulam, Thrissur, Kerala 680005

Contact: 7306880507

Price: Rs 700/ kg for cashews, Rs 1300/ kg for walnuts, and Rs 800/ kg for almonds


Not many know but mangoes of Kerala are quite famous. While speaking about the varieties of mangoes grown in Kerala, Sreenivasan said, “Sindhuri, Alphonso, and a few other varieties are grown in the state. The flowers begin to appear on trees between November and December, and one can witness fruits in February. The harvesting starts in late March and early April.” During the celebration of Vishu, the Malayalam New Year, people offer mangoes to Gods and add mambazha pulissery to sadhya. Chef Jomon will also be adding mambazha pulissery to his sadhya meal in the UK and suggested tourists must try Kerala home-grown fruits.

Shop Name: Mango

Address: Muthalamada, Kerala 678507

Contact: 9447920483

Price: Rs 100/ kg for sindhuri and Rs 200/ kg for Alphonso

Ayurvedic Herbs

Ayurvedic centres, treatments, and herbs in Kerala are famous among tourists across the world. People visit the state from various parts of India and abroad to experience relief from health ailments, especially those associated with joints, spine, mobility, soreness, and more. Dr Boby Kizhakkethara is the CEO of Kerala Remedies which manufactures capsules made from ayurvedic herbs and ingredients like turmeric, amla, ashwagandha, kokum extracts, etc. He says that capsules allow a person to moderate the quantity of ayurvedic herbs in the body and contribute to the overall well-being of a person.

Shop Name: Kerala Remedies

Address: Kribs Bionest, Kinfra Hi-Tech Park, Kalamassery, Kochi, Kerala - 683503

Contact: 9497023003

Price: Rs 650 for 60 capsules of ashwagandha medicine