Let’s face it, every single dish in Kerala’s cuisine deserves a separate fan base. Many of these dishes, including the classic karimeen pollichathu to the humble aleesa, come in different forms and names. Whatever be the case, there’s no debate about the fact that Kerala has an amazing cuisine packed within our paavakya polathe swadesham. Don’t take my word for it, play out the Masterchef Australia episode where Deepinder Chhiber spins out the famous Fish Moilee that leaves the judges speechless.
Revisiting many more of such traditional delicacies, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Kerala dishes that could hit it off at the Masterchef table.
Hands-down, this is the laziest and yummiest invention from Kerala. Steamed out of barely three ingredients, Puttu is the staple breakfast dish at every Malayali household. To spice it up a little for the Masterchefs, throw in layers of flavourful meat masala, and we have extra joy served from the puttu kutti in the form of Erachi puttu. After all, what else would one need on the table if “puttundallo puttin podi undalloo“?
Shaapile Meen Curry
A patented dish from the cuisine of Kerala, shappile meen curry is not your basic fish gravy. Freshly caught fish is brought to boil in a chatti (earthen pot) full of gravy. It carries the spiciness of locally available chillies along with a dollop of the Malabar tamarind. This dish demands to be savored from the benches of a toddy shop with its classic combination of kappa and some nadan pattu brewed in the shaap.
This dish has got way more alankara pani than any other dish in Kerala cuisine. It is deep-fried in pure coconut oil along with crushed spices, a handful of garlic, red chillies, and a secret recipe only the thattukada chettan would know of. KFC and its secret ingredients stand no chance against our OG KFC (Kerala Fried chicken). The Kerala-style poricha kozhi is a stand-alone dish that would go along with absolutely anything, be it pathiri, plain rice, or parotta. And if you’re thinking international, it could give you an exciting twist as a substitute burger fillet, taco filling, and whatnot!
Chukkapam with Beef fry
Soft cloud-like dough fried with the richness of coconut milk; this dish is a lot like pathiri, but bite-sized, fried, and even more lip-smacking! This button-sized goodness is a hug hit in many regions of North Malabar.
The classic combination of some spicy stir-fried beef along with this is amazing. This savory dish deserves to be experimented with on international levels for the simple reason that (with all due respect to gowmaatha) it is a complete snacc.
Angamaly Manga Curry
A perfect example of look’il alla kaaryam work’il aan. This dish is made by crushing shallots, ginger, curry leaves, spices, and a generous amount of coconut oil, by hand (Note: Spoons are looked at with disgust in the preparation of this dish). Letting it simmer in the sweetness of the coconut milk and tanginess of raw mango, it’s an explosion of flavors.
Pour it into a bowl of warm rice and top it with fried shallots and you have comfort food that you’d want to go back to.
Kerala’s also got some refreshing beverages exclusive to it. Apart from the usuals of kulukki sarbath and full jar soda, Mangalassery cocktail is a drink that brews a Malayali’s love for Rum and Lalettan.
This Bacardi – elaneer (palm water) infused drink is a classic fix in the loving memory of the timeless feudal lord character Mangalassery Neelakandan. And it’s got all the needed punch packed in for the Masterchefs.
Also Read: Delicious Dishes From Kerala You Must Try
A more aggressive but aesthetic version of the infamous pothichoru. This dish involves taking the chatti (earthen pot) right from the stove and placing it on the Masterchef table – not literally, but that’s pretty much the emotion.
It’s got all the elements of a mini sadya with matta rice, ozhuchuttan (curry), avial, pachadi, fish fry, pappadam, omelette, and any side dish of your choice. The only rule is the rice must be barely visible within the attakalam of dishes. If you were trying to capture Kerala within one dish, this would be it.
Never in the history of Malayali-ness has one been able to successfully say “No” to payasam. Our diabetes could be ringing sirens and our sugar-high-meter could break the scale but we would be joyously chugging this down. Even the Masterchefs wouldn’t be able to resist the high of karrikin sugar.
In case anyone is looking for a reason to indulge in this deliciousness today, here’s a scientifically proven fact – payasam is a complete poshaka aharam (nutrient-rich food).
It’s got milk. Healthy.
Ghee. Healthy fat.
Sugarcane extract. Healthy?
Drop-in some freshly squeezed coconut milk and tender coconut pulp. Health restored max.
Muttamala along with its counterpart Kinathappam is a personal dish to many in the North Malabar region. Created simply by drizzling egg yolk into sugar syrup, this dish forms a beautiful nest like a delicacy. This Portugal-origin dessert is set aside for special occasions because of its subtle and rich flavors. It would be a sure-shot treat to those with a sweet tooth and would definitely steal the limelight on a Masterchef episode.
Gothamb kanji that returned from Gelf. This is what Aleesa or more commonly the Harees, is like. Served on special occasions such as weddings or Ramadan, this heavenly porridge is given the status of an elite dish.
The one-pot recipe has husked wheat mushed along with spices, ghee, coconut, the meat of choice, and garnished with fried onions or even sugar. With no strong flavors overpowering the other, each element of this dish can be savored individually. There’s no doubt that this dish could take the Masterchef floors by storm.
The cuisine of Kerala could make even the judges go “Ah anthass!”. There are a lot more, including our national pride of baniyan’e pole itt adikyuna parotta. This is why the comment boxes are always open! Drop in your favourite dish in the cuisine of Kerala that you think should have been on the list.