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Kerala Cuisines

Kerala is known for its traditional sadhyas, a vegetarian meal served with boiled rice and a host of side-dishes. The sadhya is complemented by payasam, a sweet milk dessert native to Kerala. The sadhya is, as per custom, served on a banana leaf. There is a difference in the servings from the sothern part to the northern end. The south Kerala dishes are spiced up with garlic whereas in North Kerala garlic is generrally avoided in all vegetarian dishes.

Pachakam is a Malayalam word that means cooking food or meal.

The culinary skills of the different communities of Kerala make the dishes distinct in taste and in variety. Almost every dish that is prepared in the Kerala style has coconut and spices added to it. The main spices used are cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, green and red peppers, cloves, garlic, cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, etc. Spices are used in Kerala to tone up the system the way wines aid the digestion of Western cuisine.

The vegetarian food includes sambar, rasam, olan, kalan, pachadi, kichadi, avial, thoran, etc. Biriyani, a Mughal dish, was popularised by the Keyi family in Kerala. Biryani is a dish of rice cooked along with meat, onions, chillies and other spices. Karimeen pollichathu and fish moilee are seafood delicacies.

Located on the coastal portion of the country, seafood is one of the main essences in the daily meals of the common man and the locals. Meen Vevichathu or fish in fiery red chilly sauce and prawn curry in coconut gravy are the all time favourite dishes of seafood lovers of Kerala. Bananas are very popular in Kerala Cuisine. Sliced finely and deep fried as chips, they are chewy snacks. Cut into bits, fried and dipped in jaggerey or sugar syrup, they are sweets.
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