Kerala is not just known for its pristine natural beauty, but is also a land of culinary delight. From delectable fish curry to lip-smacking chutney, Kerala is every food lover’s Mecca. Kerala food has something for everyone, from sweet lovers to spice connoisseurs. 

With the grand festival of Kerala, Onam, around the corner, it is high time that you try some of the below-mentioned traditional and special food of Kerala that are sure to take you on a heavenly food journey with every morsel. 

List of Traditional and Special food of Kerala:

  • Idiyappam or Noolappam
  • Theeyal
  • Erachi Puttu
  • Pathiri
  • Kozhi Pidi
  • Toran
  • Pappada Vada
  • Kerala Payasam
  • Boli
  • Unniappam
  • Ela Ada
  • Kozhukatta
  • Pazham Pori
  • Kadala Curry
  • Sukhiyan

Idiyappam or Noolappam

It is one of the known traditional dishes of Kerala and a delicious breakfast item in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Idiyappam is basically a noodle cake that is steamed just like Idli. It is made of rice flour, and it is usually served with a side of coconut milk. However, you can also have it with a spicy chicken or fish curry, and both are delicious and would surely leave you smiling from ear to ear.    


You may know that Kerala is a land of spices, which makes the local cuisine too hard to resist. While you may have had many coconut-based fish and chicken curries in God’s Own Country, you may not have had anything like Theeyal. It is one of the known special foods of Kerala, which is made of an assortment of fresh vegetables and make a perfect accompaniment for rice and appams. 

Erachi Puttu

Putti is quite famous in Kerala, and is one of the most popular dishes. But, Erachi Puttu, not so much. This delicious chicken preparation is aromatic and each mouthful is a flavour bomb. It is made like an ordinary puttu, i.e., rice flour steamed in a special cylindrical vessel, and loaded with grounded coconut. However, what makes it different is the addition of a layer of pepper-based chicken gravy, which is sure to leave your taste buds tingling for more.


Popular in the Malabari region, this is one of the dish from Kerala. Pathiri is basically a roti or flatbread made from rice flour. In the land of appams and parottas, Pathiri may have lost its way in gaining popularity, but in terms of taste it is right up there. You can have Pathiri with your favourite Kerala fish or meat curry, and you may wonder why you didn’t taste this before.

Kozhi Pidi

Without a shadow of doubt, one of the most underrated foods of Kerala, Kozhi Pidi is a traditional dish, usually made by Christian families in the state. Pidi is essentially a marble-sized rice dumpling that is dunked in a thick and spicy chicken curry. If you don’t mind a bit of spice, you would surely enjoy shedding a few tears of joy when you taste this dish. 


This is one of the many delicious vegetarian dishes of Kerala that deserves the attention and fame like other popular dishes. It is a simple yet heart-warming main course dish that is made of finely chopped vegetables like cabbage, carrots, and beans and lots of coconut. The addition of the tempered curry leaves on top adds another layer of flavour.

Pappada Vada

Indians are known to like all things crispy and deep-fried, and the world is a fan of Banana chips, the most famous Kerala food. However, there is another crunchy delight that is one of the known dishes of Kerala

It is too hard for anyone to resist the temptation of a Pappada Vada. A common evening snack in Kerala, these papads are made of rice batter, and fried in coconut oil. It is delicious, and you can have it any time of the day. 

Kerala Payasam

You may have tasted the ever-so-delicious Kerala Payasam (Kheer) and drooled over it. This is a velvety blend of milk, rice, or vermicelli, simmered to perfection and sweetened with golden jaggery. 

Infused with aromatic spices like cardamom and nutmeg, each spoonful is a celebration of flavours. Payasam isn't just a dessert; it is one of the traditional dishes from Kerala and a cultural delight served during festivities, creating moments of sweet joy.

  • Boli

It is a lentil flatbread with a sweet coconut and jaggery filling, i.e., flavoured with the goodness of nutmeg and cardamom, and loaded with dollops of ghee. It is like a flavour-packed surprise rolled up in a thin, soft, and slightly crispy exterior. The thin, golden-brown exterior gives way to a luscious filling of sweet coconut and jaggery, in conclusion, a divine combination.

Boli is usually made during Onam and is one of the best sweet dishes in Kerala.  

  • Unniappam

Unniappam, one of the charming food from Kerala, brings together rice and jaggery in a bite-sized delight. Often shared as prasadam, it's not just a religious offering – it's a lovely taste of Kerala. The recipe blends rice and jaggery into a fragrant batter, spiced with cardamom and banana. These small goodies are fried to a golden crispness, revealing a tender, flavourful inside.

  • Ela Ada

Ela Ada, is an absolute flavour fiesta! This dish is composed of delicate rice parcels embracing a compelling blend of jaggery, grated coconut, and cardamom, all wrapped in fragrant banana leaves. The perfectly steamed rice teams up with jaggery and coconut for a sweet symphony. Banana leaves add a hint of earthiness.

It is one of the traditional dishes from Kerala that makes for a great breakfast or an evening snack.

  • Kozhukatta

This is a flavour explosion akin to ela ada but with a sweet twist. These little dumplings are a post-meal delight, featuring perfectly crafted sweet rice dough filled with coconut and jaggery goodness. 

The soft rice, sweet jaggery, and fragrant coconut blend seamlessly, creating a simple yet irresistible treat. Kozhukatta is one of the speical dishes of Kerala that is perfect to round off your meal.

  • Pazham Pori

The natural sweetness of ripe bananas, the satisfying crispiness of rice batter and the rich mouthful feel when you bite into it. Pazham Pori is your perfect chai-time buddy.

These fried banana fritters are one of the famous foods of Kerala. They offer a unique post-meal treat similar to bhajiyas but with a very different flavour profile.

  • Kadala Curry

Resembling chhole but nothing like it - Kadala Curry unfolds a symphony of Kerala's authentic flavours within. 

It's filled with the flavours of cinnamon, coconut, mustard, and curry leaves, creating a rich South Indian taste. The blend of spices takes the eating experience to a whole new level. 

Since it is one of the traditional dishes from Kerala, you can savour the intricate dance of spices and Kerala's culinary charm with every spoonful, making Kadala a distinctive and irresistible experience.

  • Sukhiyan

Sukhiyan is one of the special food of Kerala. It is a sweet and crispy snack that's simply irresistible. Stuffed with a mix of green gram and jaggery, its soft and sweet centre is enveloped in a golden, crunchy coating made from rice flour batter. 

The combination of textures and flavours—crunchy on the outside, sweet and aromatic on the inside—makes Sukhiyan a snack that's both easy to love and difficult to forget. This uncomplicated yet delicious treat showcases the charm of South Indian culinary craftsmanship.

So, there you have it - a list of some of the best yet lesser known dishes of Kerala. The best place to enjoy these traditional dishes from Kerala is in the state itself.

Best Time to Visit Kerala

The best time to visit Kerala to enjoy many of the above dishes is during the festival of Onam, which is a major cultural celebration in the state. 

Onam usually falls in the months of August or September, depending on the Malayalam calendar. It's a time when people indulge in elaborate feasts and traditional dishes. It is the time when the above-listed special foods of Kerala are commonly prepared and enjoyed.

Apart from Onam, Kerala is a year-round destination, but the monsoon season (June to August) may bring heavy rains, affecting travel plans. The winter months, from November to February, are considered pleasant, making it another good time to visit and savour the traditional dishes of Kerala.

How to Reach Kerala

You would wish you could teleport to God’s own country and enjoy the delicious dishes of Kerala. Sadly, that is not possible. However, you can get there easily.

Here are common ways to reach Kerala:

  • By Air:

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, Cochin International Airport, and Calicut International Airport are major entry points. Direct flights connect major Indian cities to Kerala. Check with airlines for availability.

  • By Train:

Kerala has a well-connected railway network. Major stations include Thiruvananthapuram Central, Ernakulam Junction, and Kozhikode. Numerous trains connect Kerala to major cities across India

  • By Road:

Kerala is accessible by well-maintained national highways. You can reach by car or bus. Regular bus services operate between Kerala and neighbouring states.


  • By Cruise:


There are several cruise packages and boat tours are available. These options provide a unique and scenic way to experience the beauty of Kerala.

Where to Stay in Kerala

If you are visiting Kerala during Onam, you can book your stay at any of the resorts in Kerala by Club Mahindra. It would be a perfect base to witness the beautiful culture of Kerala, Onam celebrations and enjoy the traditional dishes from Kerala served during the festival known as Onasadhya. It comprises some of the lesser known dishes of Kerala mentioned above. 

Here are some of our resorts you could stay at:

  1.  Club Mahindra Thekkady
  2. Club Mahindra Ashtamudi
  3. Club Mahindra Munnar
  4. Club Mahindra Mount Serene Munnar
  5. Club Mahindra Poovar
  6. Club Mahindra Cherai
  7. Club Mahindra Arookutty

Here are some of the reviews by our members who enjoyed their stay.

This was our family’s second visit to Munnar, but the first one here at Club Mahindra - and oh, what a lovely experience! Sanjeeva


Amazing resort at a perfect location and the view is superb from the resort. Enjoyed a lot with friends. The staff is very helpful and enjoyed the evening activities at the resort food they made according to our requirements - Lata


Three generations enjoying their quality time together in Club Mahindra Ashtamudi with a sunrise view. We booked a floating cottage. Fishermen on their boats, the rising sun, the experience of a cool breeze on our balcony, very close to nature or I would say being a part of nature makes us feel so refreshed all the time - Sonia

To conclude, visit Kerala to enjoy the underrated dishes from Kerala mentioned above. Try to plan your visit during Onam for a wholesome experience, and you can have an amazing experience at Club Mahindra resorts in Kerala.

About Club Mahindra

Mahindra Holidays & Resorts India Ltd. (MHRIL), a part of Leisure and Hospitality sector of the Mahindra Group, offers quality family holidays primarily through vacation ownership memberships and brings to the industry values such as reliability, trust and customer satisfaction. Started in 1996, the company's flagship brand ‘Club Mahindra’, today has over 250,000 members , who can holiday at 100+ resorts in India and abroad.

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