Food in KochiLike every state in India, Kerala too has its indigenous cuisine that beautifully reflects the state’s culture, tradition and geographic location. Apart from its traditional Keralite cuisine, Kochi being a modern cosmopolitan city, has embraced culinary delights of other cities and parts of the world with perfection. Kochi cuisine comprises both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. The residents, however, prefer fish, red meat and poultry to vegetarian dishes.
No Kochi or Keralite cuisine is complete without coconut. Since coconut is found in abundance in the entire state, this food item is used profusely in almost every Keralite dishes. Thus, coconut is an essential part of Kerala cuisine and every part of the coconut is taken as a delicacy, be it the coconut kernel, coconut cream or coconut milk. Two staple dishes of Kerala cuisine are tapioca and rice. The main dishes are made from these two ingredients and are served with Kootan or side dishes.
Another essential ingredient in Keralite cuisine is the various kinds of spices. Spices are cultivated in large quantities in Kerala and the residents love their delicacies spicy and flavoursome. Spices like cinnamon, cardamom, chilli, cloves, black pepper and ginger are a must in Kerala cuisine.
What makes Kochi cuisine interesting is its uncommon choice of vegetables for side dishes and curries. Majority of the dishes are prepared from vegetables that are not very popular in other parts of the country. Vegetables like plantains, bitter gourd, yam, colocasia, ash gourd are turned into exotic and delicious dishes.
Breakfast for Kochi residents always include a variety of dishes like Puttu made from grated coconut and rice and steamed in a bamboo holder and is accompanied by Kadala that is gravy prepared from garbanzo beans. Other dishes like dosa, sambar, idiyappam, chutney, pidiyan and Paal appam are also taken for breakfast.
Lunch and dinner for Kochi localities mostly comprise Sadya that includes boiled rice with variety of vegetables like sambhar, pachadi, aviyal, paripukkari with ghee, Kuttari, Puliyan, kalan, rasam, pappadam, kichadi, olan, injikkari, raita and payasam.
There are different variants of rice as well. The most preferred rice is choru or parboiled rice made from rice husks. Other popular rice dishes are kanji and tapioca. Tapioca is mostly taken with fish and beef curry.
Some of the common side dishes with rice are upperis, rasam, pulli-sherry, chips, pulinji, cherupayaru, poduthol, erisherry and sambar. All these items are made from differen types of vegetables.
Among non vegetable items nadan kozchi curry or traditional Keralite chicken curry, mutton stew, Kozchi porichathu or chicken fry, beef fry, molly fish curry, spicy steamed fish, prawn fry are very popular with rice.
The Thalaserry Biryani is another authentic Keralite biryani that is found in many restaurants all over Kochi. The dish is made from Kyma rice and not the traditional basmati rice.
Among desserts Kochi residents highly prefer payasam made from different items like rice, lentils baked starch, wheat and jaggery.
Restaurants in Kochi
Kochi has a variety of restaurants serving authentic Kerala cuisine to multi-cuisine. Some of the popular local food restaurants are:
- Sri Krishna Cafe at Mattancherry serving delicious parottas and dosas.
- Palms restaurants at Metropolitan that dishes out various types of authentic local cuisine.
- Art Cafe serves all types of delectable banana cakes and chocolate cakes. They also serve the authentic Kerala kappi or coffee.
Other well-known local food joints are Solar Cafe, Fort House restaurant, Kashi Art Cafe and Salt N Pepper.
For multi-cuisine try out Renaissance, Tharavad and Pandhal.