Let’s all get this straight. We wouldn’t have survived the lockdown if it weren’t for two things – food and music. While one is nourishment for the body, the other nourishes your soul. Isn’t it a kickass combination when these two get together? Today we look at Malayalam songs that are food-themed and/or have food references (sometimes metaphorical) in them. Not just any kind of food, we specifically look at traditional Kerala dishes.
Also, if you haven’t had your meal yet, we’d urge you to grab a little something and keep it beside you. You might just wanna munch on it by the time you get to the bottom of this piece. Okay, so let the musical feast begin!
Dosa Nalloru Dosa
How many varieties of dosas can you name in one go within 20 seconds? Oh no, don’t start yet! You’ve got a whopping record of 30 dosas in 18 seconds to break. That’s what Shankar Mahadevan could manage in the song Dosa Nalloru Dosa from Kammath and Kammath (call us jobless, but we counted!). Well, no surprises there. We’re pretty sure he’d been practising for this since his debut Indi-pop, Breathless.
Tea lovers assemble! So, we discovered this song quite recently and fell in love with it. There isn’t a better tribute one can pay to a steamy, hot cup of chaaya. The chaaya they refer to is a madhuramida chaaya. But Sithara Krishnakumar’s voice lends the drink just the right amount of sweetness. Try listening to this on a rainy day with your cuppa, as you unwind on your sofa “kaalumele kaalu ketti”.
Ayala, mathi, choora and all the fishes whose names have gained a spot in this song by Thaikudam Bridge might have had their fleeting moment of fame. We imagine them joyously rocking and rolling to the rhythm of this song. We guess even their fish partner would never have told them that their shiny scales are a huge turn on!
You see, this is why we told you to keep a munchie handy. This is the song that set the trend of food songs in Malayalam. Kerala dishes would be swelling with pride listening to this. To say the least, Chembavu Punnellin is a musical menu that describes a plethora of Malayali dishes (except Porotta and beef, sob sob!) one must have savoured in their lifetime. What makes it even more appealing, apart from the vivid visuals, is the metaphors used by Rafeeq Ahmed such as vinmegha pathiri (pathiri resembling the fluffy clouds up there) and pranayam pol parakkunna manapayasam (payasam bubbling away like love).
Who are we? Malayalis! What do we want? Puttu! Yes, cement and cementinte podi – oops sorry, that’s the Karikku effect – puttu and puttuinte podi are all we need to make the world go round. Gosh, puttu would be all flattered listening to this song by Thakara. We can almost see the puttu kuttis hitting the roof with this one.
A list without a song dedicated to our lacy, soft and fluffy appams would be blasphemous. Here’s to the humble appam (not to be confused with kumbilappam) that kept Ammayi and her marumon sane till their kachodam withered. Maybe it wouldn’t have if she had made enough for her customers, instead of spoiling her marumon with her generosity!
Oru Kanji Paattu
High time we had an ode to the good ol’ kanji which kept us going many nights during the lockdown, don’t you think? Much to our pleasure, we discovered that the OG kanji has a new anthem! Oru Kanji Pattu not only rounds up the benefits of kanji but also gives a glimpse of all the must-try kanji combos like kanji-payar, kanji-puzhukku and kanji-chembu asthram.
This song was the Chembavu of the ‘70s. As the song croons, the lyrics serve us delicious ayala, karimeen and chemmen curry with thumbapoo choru. Probably the only person who wasn’t enticed with such droolworthy descriptions of a non-veg oonu in this song was the hero Madhu. Beats us, though!
Paayasam Ithu Paaysam
Now that you’ve devoured a wholesome oonu, you might be craving for some dessert! Why not wash it all down with some yummy paal payasam? Paal – check, theyn – check, Neyy – check and the most important ingredient they say is punchiri! Sipping on this goodness – ah, refreshing indeed!
Kappa and Chakka
The omnipresence of these two beloved dishes of Kerala – Kappa and Chakka blew our mind. I mean, who would have thought Kappa and Chakkaravaratti would even be served in hell? But apparently, the Bachelor Party gang got lucky!
That’s it from us for now! How about garnishing this list with your favourite food songs based on Kerala dishes?