Thursday, January 06, 2005

All About Kerala Food

Type 'Kerala cuisine' in any search engine. You will get an endless list of recipees, recipees and more recipees. Sambar, avial, kalan, olan, kappa, fish moilee, appam, puttu so on and so forth. Click on google images for Kerala food. You will get thousands of images, of the green banana leaf displaying the classical dishes of a 'Sadya.'

But, the real food of Kerala is much, much different from what you see in all these sites. It is just a generalised version. And there is more than the 'sadya,' the feast. And hardly do we find any real information on the food habits, cooking methods or the rapidly changing pattern of eating preferences of Kerala. In short, nothing about the history of food in this tiny place which has an astonishing range of variety in the number of food stuff it has imported and adopted from countries all over the world.

Or, how many people in Portugal or Brazil know that the Malayalis still call their big onion 'sabola,' which spells just a little different but sounds the same as their 'cebola' ? It is another matter that many urban, 'refined' Malayalis now refer to this vegetable as 'savala,' believing this to be the 'correct' pronunciation !

So, we might look forward to little notes, anecdotes, interesting links and much, much foodlore from Kerala here. I do not plan to post too much recipees. Since the net already seems to be overflowing with 'Kerala recipees.' Instead, I would like to compare them. And contrast.