Kerala has such a plethora of authentic lip-smacking snacks that a sequel to the post “5 authentic nalumani snacks every Malayali loves” was inevitable. Here’s a follow-up to the list we previously explored and this time not 5 but 9 snacks have made it to our list:
Crispy and crunchy Parippuvada, or lentil fritter as ‘em sayips call it, is one of the most widely known tea-time snacks in Kerala. For most Malayalis out there, Parippuvada is an emotion. For some of them, it triggers memories of cosy train journeys with food vendors scurrying past the passengers screaming “Paripuvada, Kaapi”. And then there are those who associate it with comrades of Kerala. Of course, for the comrades, Parippuvada and Kattan chaya are not just regulars for the party meetings, but something that stands synonymous to their identity.
An instant homesickness inducer of a snack! Sukhiyan or Sughiyan, however you want to spell it, is in fact a staple chayakada snack which can be spotted neatly stacked on the local tea stall’s swiftly emptying snack bar. Sukhiyan is made with soaked green grams, which makes it quite a healthy snack, and the signature sweet taste is induced by the combination of jaggery and coconut in its filling. This mixture, upon rolling into bondas, is then deep-fried till it turns golden brown.
If you’re not someone with a sweet-tooth, and you keep craving for something crispy, crunchy and spicy as your clock hits 4 PM, then we’ve got Ulli Vada to your rescue. Also known as Savola Vada, this snack is made of onions, rice flour, gram flour, and ginger. Ulli Vada can be made in a matter of minutes and is the perfect companion to a cup of tea. Compared to the other kind of vadas, Ulli Vada is the easiest one to prepare and is also a good option when you’re short on resources in the fridge.
Ela Ada is a steamed and sweet delicacy which is made with rice flour, powdered jaggery, and grated coconut. With all its finesse, this dish is meticulously wrapped and steamed in banana leaves which encase rice jackets that hold the sweetest stuffing in the world. No wonder it was fondly known as love letter among college students back in the 80s. Ela Ada is traditionally prepared on the occasion of Onam to be consumed during sadya. However, there is a slight tweak in the filling of this dish as the sweetened pulp of jackfruit also goes into it. Ela Ada is also preferred to be eaten as a breakfast dish by many.
Time for a steamed, savoury, and old-world item on the list! Before bakery snacks started trending, Kozhukattas was one of the commonly eaten nalumani snacks. Actually, Kozhukuttas can be made sweet or savoury depending on one’s taste and preferences. It is basically a dumpling made from rice flour along with coconut and jaggery. Kozhukatta is also associated with a Christian tradition called Kozhukutta Shani and is prepared on the day before Easter in most households. This dish has awed foreigners as they have gone bonkers wondering how on earth a stuffing can exist inside a ball that has no opening to let it in.
Unnakaya, of Malabar origin, is known to be a snack that makes optimum use of all the available ingredients. One of the staples during the holy month of Ramadan, this dish is prepared by boiling plantains, mashing it and then stuffing it with whole loads of coconut, nuts and raisins. Some even add beaten rice or aval as the filling to make it extra healthy. Before deep-frying, it is rolled back and shaped to a spindle-like form.
Who doesn’t love nibbling onto some good old crunchy and spicy Kerala mixture along with a sip of tea? As the name suggests, the mixture is indeed a mixture of a variety of nuts, spices, chickpeas and flaked rice. This is a deep-fried snack that is bought from the bakeries or supermarkets and stored in tins to be savoured for days to come. The taste of tiny bits of murukku in the mixture is something that gives me great delight. I’ve always felt it tasted better in the mixture than when eaten alone.
Say “Avalose unda” and nostalgia sets in for many Malayalis. I called them God’s Own Laddoos. What precedes the preparation of Avalose Unda is the preparation of Avalose Podi. Adding melted jaggery, grated coconut and cardamom to this podi, and shaping it into balls gives you roasted broken wheat balls called Avalose Unda. This dish is also known as Mavunda in some parts of Kerala. Avalose Podi is also paired with honey or sugar as an evening snack and can be stored in air-tight containers for up to even a year.
Achappams are sweet, brittle and crunchy versions of the rosette cookies. This flower-shaped snack is mildly sweet and never fails to invoke a festive feeling as this is traditionally prepared during festive occasions. One thing about Achappam is that it requires a lot of patience and effort to prepare. In fact, Achappams are made in special moulds called Achu which is dipped in the loose batter of rice powder and then dipped in oil to make the Achappams crispy and golden brown.
Which one of these snacks are your favourite? Let us know in the comments section!