Appams Appams are one of the most popular Kerala breakfast item, which is eaten with stew. Appam is made with rice (a batter made of soaked rice, coconut paste and yeast) and roasted in hot pan. This pancake will have a white spongy centre and thin crispy sides.
Putu Putu is also a rice preparation having some Srilankan influence. Traditionally it is steam cooked in hollow bamboo cylinder with grated coconut as a partition to each piece. It is eaten with different accompaniment in different parts of Kerala. Mainly it is eaten with spicy chic peas curry. Some like to eat it with fried papads, some prefer to eat it with sugar and some with bananas.
Dosa It is once again a breakfast item (like a pancake) prepared with rice and black gram dal. The dosa is popular all over South India. It is to be savoured hot and crisp with spicy chutney made out of coconut and onion, accompanied with sambar.
Idli Idli and dosa are made out of the same rice and black lentils paste. Idli is steamed in a specialised cooker. Eaten with sambar and chutney. Unlike dosa it is soft and fluffy and fat free too !!!.
Biriyani Biriyani or Pulao is a delicacy brought into Malabar by the Arab traders. It is considered to be a royal dish served to royal guests. It is mainly made of meat cooked with masalas (onions and spices) on slow fire and layered with cooked rice. There are many versions of biryani in India. The Malabar biryani is unique in itself, as it is a softer variety and lighter on the stomach. It is eaten with vinegar pickle, fried papads (thin pancakes made out of flour and deep fried) and salads.
Thorans Thoran is part of the traditional feast. Thorans are finely chopped vegetables or possibly meat and seafoods. For flavour mustard seeds, curry leaves and fried red chilly are added with grated coconut.
Avial Avial again is an item in the feast, which is a mixed vegetable gravy dish thickened with coconut paste and yoghurt. Drumsticks, jackfruit seeds, raw banana, yam, ash-gourd and slices of mango are the vegetables commonly used in its preparation.
Olen Olen is also a gravy dish, white in colour made of ash gourd and drum beans where the predominant flavour is that of coconut milk (fairly thick liquid squeezed out from the white flesh of a fresh coconut). It is mainly a north Kerala item.
Pachadi It is a fairly thick sauce made of yoghurt, grated coconut, mustard seed cooked with green chilly and curry leaves.
Sambar It is a gravy item and it contains smashed lentils, cooked vegetables and spices including the exotic and edible asafoetida. The style of cooking sambar varies from north, central and south part of Kerala. Hence one can taste different kind of Sambar in Kerala. In north a paste of fried coconut with dry coriander seeds is used. Some also use garlic in Sambar.
Fish/Meat Curry Fish in fiery red chilly sauce is also another favourite item. Besides the chicken and fish there is also red meat. Beef or lamb is boiled with roasted coriander seeds, red chillies, cloves, onions, cumins, garlic, ginger, fried coconut chips and a little vinegar. Then with the water reduced, the meat is almost fried dry in a little oil that has been flavoured with sliced shallots and highly aromatic curry leaves.
Deserts Main deserts are Payasams. Pradhaman or Payasam is porridge like sweets with vermicelli of rice base, cooked in milk and sugar or jaggery.