KERALA CUISINE- CONCLUSION

img-20160716-wa0009_1.jpgDue to foreign trade from ancient times, many ingredients were brought into India by traders, be it foreign or Indian, from all over the world…… They transplanted trees & vegetation to India from other parts of the world…… Arab/Indian traders brought in spice plants like cumin, coriander & fenugreek….. Portuguese introduced potatoes, tomatoes, tapioca, cashew nuts, chillies, breadfruit, pineapple, papaya,etc.to India……. Dutch brought in coffee on the higher elevations of the Sahyadri mountain range……. img-20160718-wa0012.jpgBritish cultivated tea in the foothills of Himalayas & the Sahyadri mountains in Kerala……. Different varieties of bananas, okra, yams, tamarind, sugarcane, cloves, nutmeg, etc. also came in through the traders……. Chinese traders contributed cooking utensils & storage containers…… In Kerala kitchens, the Chinese Wok (known as Cheena Chatti), is a must……. Homemade pickles & yoghurt are widely stored in Ceramic Jars called Cheena Bharani……. Thus Kerala’s astonishing diversity in cuisine is it’s openness to absorb the foreign influences & merging it with native dishes.

Apart from influenced foods, which is the theme of this blog, the original cuisine is very interesting…… SADYA, a traditional meal served on a banana leaf, includes rice, vegetables curries, side dishes, savouries, pickles and desserts….. Traditionally, the narrow end of the leaf points to the left of the seated guest….. Rice is generally served on the lower half of the leaf.20170918_211042
Curries can be Parippu (lentil curry), IMG-20170904-WA0027Sambar ( lentil & vegetables curry),IMG-20170904-WA0028 etc….. Side dishes can be Avial ( vegetables with coconut paste & green chillies) , Kalan (Yam / Raw banana with curd), Thoran ( sautéed vegetables),IMG-20170904-WA0026 etc……. Rasam (Soup like appetiser)……. Savouries may include Pappadam (fried flatbread made of spiced lentil flour), Upperi (fried plantain chips)…… Pachadi……. Kichadi (Cucumber/ white gourd sour curry made with curd)……. IMG-20170904-WA0024Salads…… Inji Puli (ginger & tamarind curry)…… Pickles (mostly mango & lime) ….. Desserts like Payasam – three types – Paal (milk) payasam, Ada (rice batter) pradhaman and Lentil (Chana/Moong dal) payasam……IMG-20170904-WA0022 Sadya is generally made for festivals like Onam & Vishu and other celebrations.

img-20160716-wa0002.jpgMy journey through the various cuisines of Kerala has been, to say the least, just WONDERFUL…… I have been to this lovely State Of India various times…… I thought I knew a lot about Kerala…… But while going through the various cuisines I discovered Kerala anew…….. In the process learnt a lot about the culture .

KERALA

I have deleted a post I had made on Kerala, on 12th April, by mistake….. Being new to blogging I don’t know how to recover a deleted post…. Have been trying to do so last few days…. But…. So I thought I might as well rewrite it again…….

Kerala is the southernmost state of India….. It is also known as ‘God’s own country’……CIMG1537

Courtesy : Mini Mahesh

It is known for it’s palm lined beaches & a network of shimmering backwaters…..picture nov2011 016

Courtesy : Mini Mahesh

Inland are the Western Ghats where tea, coffee & spice plantations are situated…….. Kerala is also known as the ‘Land of Spices’…….spices like black pepper, cloves, cinnamon, etc are in abundance…..

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Traders from far away lands came in search of these spices……. Thus ancient Kerala played host to travellers & traders from across the world including Arabs, Portuguese, Dutch, British, etc., who left their impact on the cuisine, architecture, etc. of this land.

Kerala cuisine has an abundance of rice, tapioca, coconut, spices,etc…. It also features a lot of seafood like fish, prawns, crabs & mussels because of the long coastline…… Influence of various countries & cultures on the cuisine of Kerala is marked….. This cuisine reflects the synthesis of three of the religions of the subcontinent, i.e., Hinduism, Christianity & Islam.

Hindu Malyali food is full of delicious vegetarian dishes which are light & subtle…..Sadya, a traditional banquet, is a pure vegetarian meal including rice; various side dishes like sambar, rasam, buttermilk, variety of vegetables,etc. and sweet dishes like payasam served on a banana leaf.

Syrian Christians are considered to be among the world’s oldest Christians…… Their cuisine is rich & varied.

The Mappila, or Moplah, food of the Malabar Muslims was influenced by the food habits of Arab traders who came in search of spices centuries ago.