Munnar is located in India’s Kerala state in the Western Ghats Mountain range. A hill station is known for its tea plantations, its hiking trails, the mountains, the Lakkam waterfall, and most importantly the local cuisine.
Their staple food plays a very important role in the traditions, history, and culture of the state. It has both vegetarian and non – vegetarian options. Rice is the staple food in the state followed by fish and coconut. The food is heavily influenced by the flavours like Coconut, asafoetida, turmeric, ginger, tamarind, chillies, and spices like cardamom, clove, etc. The most traditional food present in Kerala is the Kerala Sadya prepared during ceremonies and festivals. The most common ingredient that you might find is Coconut which can be used in the grated format as well as the milk version for the exotic flavour and to thicken the food items which is commonly followed mostly in South India.
The following are the top 12 cuisines to taste in Munnar for those who are vegetarians like me and those who crave such cuisines.
Appam and Stew
Appam and stew are the age-old traditional food in Kerala. Appam is made out of rice and it is the softest food item with a pillowy-like texture. It can be taken with a stew or coconut milk. Usually, the stews present there will contain meat like chicken, etc. But you can always opt for a vegetarian option with such outlets as Saravana Bhavan, etc.
Puttu and Kadala Curry
Puttu is also the most known cuisine in places like Kerala. It is a cylindrically steamed rice cake cooked with coconut shavings drizzled on it. It is usually taken with Kadala curry (which is made of black channa or chickpeas).
Idiyappam with Curry
Idiyappam here is also known as Noolappam. It is made of rice flour, water, and salt. It has a thread/noodle-like texture. It is often accompanied by curry (It usually has egg but there are also vegetarian options). The best place to find this is often the stalls by the roadside.
“Ela” means leaf as in banana leaf. “Sadya” means banquet. So, “Ela Sadya” means when there are finest meals offered on a banana leaf. It is said to be served during occasions like marriage, festivals, and many such ceremonious occasions. This royal lunch consists of food items like Payasam, Vadai, Pachadi, Olan, Pulissery, Varavu, Thoran, Puttu, Appalam, and Aviyal with hot steaming rice which would be served on a banana leaf.
Parippu curry is made out of dhal. This dhal is made out of chillies and many spices. It is mostly accompanied by rice.
Kerala style sambhar
There are different styles of sambhar followed in South India. From the Bangalore-styled sambhar to the Tamilnadu-styled sambhar to the Kerala-styled sambhar which has its unique flavour and texture. This is usually accompanied by Idly or Dosa or Rice.
Malabar Parotta, also known as Kerala Parotta is made of Maida or refined flour. It is made with flour, milk, and sugar (some may add eggs for the texture but this is optional).
“Palada” means the thick layer surrounding the milk. “Payasam” is a dessert commonly taken around all parts of South India. Palada Payasam is a sweet that consists of rice, nuts, and spices like cardamom, clove, etc. It is served during joyous occasions, especially during Onam.
Ethakka Appam is when bananas are coated in plain four and then deep-fried in oil. It is usually a tea-time snack that is usually accompanied by either tea or coffee.
It is the most famous dessert in Kerala. “Ada” means the batter made out of rice. It is also made with coconut milk. It is served during occasions like Onam.
Chatti Pathiri is a sweet delicacy as well. It is made out of flour, eggs (which is optional), oil, and water. It usually looks like a sweetened version of dosa. It is then drizzled with nuts and raisins on top as a garnish.
Nendram Pazham Pradhaman
Nendram Pazham Pradhaman is a puddling-like sweet that is made out of bananas, jaggery, and coconut milk. All kinds of Pradhaman have a “Payasam” (kheer) like texture but the difference is that Payasam is boiled once while Pradhaman is boiled twice to get that texture.
Other snack items
Other snack items like Unniyappam (sweet fritters made of banana, rice, a few spices, and coconut), Bonda (made of wheat flour, brown sugar, bananas, baking soda, and other spices), Pakoda (made out of Besan (gram flour), onion, and rice flour), Sugiyan (Made out of Maida, Rice flour, Turmeric powder, Coconut oil, and other spices), Nendram Pazham Chips (Raw Banana flavoured) which are usually served alongside tea or coffee.
I hope, you enjoyed reading this article.