Are you travelling in Kerala and want to relish the regional cuisine? Try authentic Kerala thali which is the most sumptuous feast for the food lovers. In India food is an essential part of any celebrations, be it marriage, festivals or childbirth, a set of special dishes are served in a Utsav thali. Every region across India has its own take on the thalis and are as diverse and distinctive as the county itself. Of all regional delicacies, the Kerala Utsav thali is one of the ultimate Indian thalis that take you straight to the foodie heaven.
This land of spices offers amazing vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian dishes. On the special occasions like Onam or marriages, authentic Kerala thali or ‘Sadhya’ is served on banana leaf. This grand feast of about 26 dishes is a plate of goodness, each and every delicious dish on the platter tells the story of beautiful heritage and culture of gods to own land. If you are visiting coastal areas of Kerala like Kovalam or Calicut you can relish seafood delicacies in your thali.
Different Items of Kerala thali
Like any Indian Utsav thali, it has a little bit of everything, from sides and snacks to mains and dessert making it a wholesome experience. While across the state there is vast variation in the dishes you get in the Kerala thali but there are some dishes which are an integral part of any feast. Served on the banana leaf the meal starts with a sweet followed by the variety of dishes.
Palada Pradhaman-This is a traditional dessert made with milk, rice flakes and garnished with cashew. If you are having Authentic Kerala thali it will be served at the start of your meal.
Inji Pachadi– A ginger and coconut chutney which helps to digest the meal.
Vendakka Kichadi- Ladyfinger or Okra cooked with coconut and yoghurt and seasoned with mustard, curry leaves and red chillies.
Olan- Authentic Kerala thali or Sadhya is incomplete without olan which is made with black-eyed peas, white and yellow pumpkins and coconut milk.
Kaalan– Raw plantain and Yam curry cooked with freshly ground black pepper which is the speciality of Kerala.
Kerala Sambar– This is a must try as it is prepared by grinding coconut with spices which give it a unique flavour.
Aviyal- This traditionally mixed vegetable curry is made with vegetables like white pumpkin, yellow pumpkin, drumstick, bitter gourd, raw banana etc. Cooked in Coconut milk this is the most popular dish in this region.
Koottu Curry– Mixed Vegetable curry cooked with Bengal gram.
Cabbage Thoran- This is a healthy side dish of simple cabbage stir-fried with coconut and green chillies.
Puli Inji- This is a spicy dip prepared using green chillies, ginger and tamarind sauce.
Chethumaangakari- If you will taste this freshly sliced mango pickle spiced with red chilli powder and asafoetida, you will ask for more.
Varatha Upperi- This is the world-famous banana chips of Kerala.
Papad or Pappadom– Authentic Kerala thali is incomplete without papad, just crush it into your rice and sambhar and enjoy.
Rice- Rice is the staple food of this region and people of Kerala prefer boiled rice which tastes very good with Kerala dishes.
Poovan Pazham- It is a smaller version of Banana, it adds taste to the payasam when mashed and mixed together.
Pazham Pradhaman– Its like payasam made with rice, jaggery, cashew and thinly sliced coconut.
In the non-vegetarian Kerala thali other than all the above dishes you can enjoy your choice of fish, chicken or mutton items.
Karimeen Porichathu- Don’t miss to taste mouth-watering Pearl spot or Karimeen fish shallow fried or deep fried with Kerala exclusive spices.
Malabar Kozhi or irachi curry- This is the most popular chicken and a mutton dish of Kerala which is prepared by adding roasted coconut with spices.
Where to eat Kerala Utsav thali?
Cochin- Ambiswamy, BTH Sarovaram
Trivandrum- Mother’s veg plaza
In the era of a one-pot meal with no time to relish the taste of food, traditional thalis are like a feast to our eyes. Authentic Kerala thali is one of the Indian thalis you need to try at least once in life to taste the regional delicacies of God’s own country.