Last winter, Vibha and I visted North Kerala. This was first time for me in Kerala while it was second time for Vibha. Earlier she had explored south Kerala which is most popular among tourists. During this trip, we had decided to try only Kerala food and avoid anything which we usually eat in Delhi or North India. This exploration made us try varied stuff and our decision of staying in Home-stays made this trip even more exciting. This Photo Journey shares more about food of Kerala.
We spent good amount of time in Wayanad and it's home-stays. During one of the days, we asked our auto driver to take us to some good restaurant which offers authentic Kerala food. We spent good 10 minutes in looking at the menu and finally decided 2 dishes with rice. After a while a queue of waiters comes to our table and start putting multiple things. It seemed like that idea is to fill the table and there should be no open space. I clearly remember that the fish ordered was served in 5 different bowls. Every bowl had same kind of fish cooked in different style. Unlike north india, fish-skin is not taken out usually in Kerala. We noticed this trend almost everywhere. One of our home-stays in Bamboo village served us fish multiple and all the time skin was not removed. I loved the smaller fish which is sold by folks on bicycle. These folks drive their cycle from one village to another. They sell smaller fish which is sliced into 3 long pieces. Then served by frying in coconut oil. I liked the crunchiness they bring in most their non-veg dishes.
Different types of sauces are also served. The rice used in Kerala is quite different from what you get in North India. While we prefer the thinnest rice in North, Kerala folks love the spherical and thick rice. This type of rice is considered as light. Initially I didn't like the flavor of this rice but when tried 2-3 times I found it interesting. Although give 2 plates side by side, I would chose thin version over the thicker rice. Another interesting thing is water. Warm water is served with food in Kerala. This was consistent all across in Kerala. At times, you find that pink colored water is served with food. This is boiled water and patimugam is used inside the water while boiling. This is considered good for digestion, especially when you eat lot of non-veg.
So the basic rule of ordering food in Kerala is to order single dish first and see how much you get. Then you can decide your next order. There are many things that you find in Kerala, which you may find boring. But just go ahead and try. You may find them interesting. At the same time, you would get to know about things which would not work for you at all. e.g. - boiled bananas in breakfast never worked us. Hope to share more about Kerala food on my blog in future.