When you think about the Kerala images of backwaters, beaches and houseboats fill your imagination. Have you ever wondered what the cuisine here is like? Would it be as exquisite as the multitude of destinations here? Well, the answer to the questions that you have posed is a ‘Big Yes’ to all of them.
The amalgamation of culture, the regions rich heritage as well as modern influences have helped Kerala cuisine evolve into its present stature. However, there are a mind blogging number of dishes that you could choose from and picking one over the other would be a crime. It would be difficult to generalize about this multifaceted nature of the cuisine, but nevertheless an attempt needs to be made.
The most distinct feature of Kerala cuisine is the taste of coconut oil and spices. This adds a zing to even the simplest dishes. Once you take a ladle of rice and dunk it into sambar, you would experience an explosion of flavors in your pallet. However, there are a few intricate details that only a seasoned chef or food critic can tell apart. For instance Cinnamon is an item that is rarely used, but you can find a hint of hit in meat preparations. Additionally, it is also used as a flavoring in payasam, which is a liquid sugary delight served as a dessert. Made out of a mixture of milk, vermicelli, cardamom and sugar, it is nothing but heavenly.
Then you would also observe that the use of turmeric powder in a host of preparations. Also, grounded cumin seeds are grounded alongside coconut to serve as a base for several dishes. You would find that mustard seeds are used for seasoning as well. If you are overwhelmed with the flavor of coconut in nearly every dish, then be rest assured as there are plenty of dishes that don’t have even a hint of it.
A common misconception most people have is that only coconut oil is used in this cuisine. You would be surprised to hear that the trend of using coconut oil has is a very recent development. Before the coconut oil gained so much popularity, gingelly oil that was made out of sesame seeds were used as a cooking medium. The use of coconut oil then was restricted to frying appams, chips and pappadams.
These are a few interesting food facts about some of the secret behind Kerala cuisine. Now, you are all geared up for a real taste of Kerala!
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