Kochi used to be a major spice trading centre and thanks to its close proximity to the sea, it’s not surprising that seafood is the main staple here. The curries are fragrant and tantalizing, the sweets are to die for and the confluence of cultures of yesteryear adds to the already rich flavours of this place.
The only advertising that good food needs is the aroma that draws you in. So pack your bags and let your sense of smell guide you through the streets of Kochi.
Let’s start off this list with an exclusive snack that is only found in the state. Pazham Pori is a sweet snack that is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
If you are familiar with Malaysia’s pisang goreng, which uses ripe banana and wheat flour as well, then you’ll know what we’re talking about. If not, no worries, we promise you’ll still enjoy this nonetheless.
Kerala Fish Curry
Now, let’s warm up your taste buds with the Kerala Fish Curry. The dish is made with fenugreek, red chilli and green chilli powder, curry leaves, turmeric and the all important ingredient of all: fish tamarind.
What we wouldn’t give to pair the curry with a plate of piping hot rice. We think finger-licking good just got a whole new meaning here!
Another traditional snack of Kerala is unniyappam which is widely available during festivals and functions. It is a sweet confection that is deep-fried until golden brown. The main ingredients for unniyappam include jaggery (a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar), rice flour and banana.
If you’re a big eater then we challenge you to try sadya! The dish is served with rice and LOTS of curries, so don’t be surprised if the waiter brings 5 to 8 types of curries to your table. Traditionally, sadya is served on a banana leaf.
The placement of the curries are positioned in a specific order on the leaf. Even the way the leaf is folded after you finish the meal is important as well. This is a very ceremonial dish and if you are unfamiliar with it, just ask the locals for assistance.
Kerala Chicken Curry
Another curry dish that is a must-try is the Kerala Chicken Curry. It is prepared using clay pots which is similar to how the fish curry is made. The clay pots are used to help retain the flavours as compared to other methods of preparation such as using woks or pans which would not yield the same result.
The ingredients here include coconut milk, spices and roasted coconut as well as coconut oil.
The green chromide, known here as karimeen is a common fish found in the Kerala backwaters. And the people here have created a wonderful dish using this locally sourced ingredient. The karimeen pollichathu is a dish that attracts people near and far.
The fish is first marinated before it’s wrapped in a banana leaf that is then grilled to juicy perfection.
Kochi is a city where the food is bursting with flavours and it beckons all foodies to come and try the many wondrous dishes that can be found here.
GETTING THERE AirAsia flies to Kochi from Kuala Lumpur, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. For flight info and fares, visit airasia.com.