For a foodie or for a traveller, to be stuck at home means a complete change in the rhythm of life. Travelling far and wide to enjoy the delicacies seems to be still an unlikely reality. When tasting elsewhere gets tough, let’s cook at home. Trying out on a few popular snacks from Kerala and its households can be a tasty way to spend time at home.
Made from rice powder or banana or green gram or coconut, the ingredients are easily available and easy to blend to bake out some of the best snacks you can relish. Interestingly some of these recipes have never changed for so many years and continue to delight every time we have them.
A walk into any traditional, modest tea stall in Kerala will give you a mouth-watering view of popular snacks racked neatly. I have chosen the recipes of the easiest and most popular snacks from Kerala to share with you.
Parippu Vada (Dal Vada)
It is a very common snack available in all parts of Kerala; very traditional, very tasty and very easy snack with an evening tea/coffee.
Socked and later drained toor dal or channa dal is the basic ingredient. It is then semi-nicely ground with dry red chillies and fennel seeds. Other ingredients are shallots, ginger, green chilli, curry leaves and salt. The well-blended mixture is flattened and deep-fried in heated oil. You are sure to relish the taste and aroma. Wish for a spell of rains too to better the ambience.
Ela Ada (Steamed Rice Pancakes)
The English translation need not sound as cool as the actual snack. These cakes are not just popular snacks from Kerala but healthy food supplement too. With a completely different texture and flavour, and with no oil needed to cook, it is sure to entice even the health conscious lot.
A sweet delicacy, ada is made of rice powder wrapped in ela (leaf), hence the name ela ada. Rice powder, coconut, cardamom, jaggery, salt, water and banana leaves are all you need.
Before the rice powder dough is wrapped in a leaf, it is filled with the grated coconut-jaggery-cardamom mixture. It is then steam cooked until ready. Since coconut, cardamom and jaggery mixture is boiled in water to a thick paste before filling – you can add ghee for more taste – each bite will explode sweet, the aromatic flavour in your mouth.
Don’t you think you need to give it a try?
Another rice powder-jaggery combination, yet it gives a completely different flavour. I must confess, I haven’t been able to find a proper English translation for this popular Kerala snack. The small cake could be a rough translation. But I assure you, once you taste it, you wouldn’t bother to find its name but relish the taste more. It is small, sweet, tasty and easy to cook snack.
Again, the ingredients like rice powder, jaggery, banana, coconut, cardamom, sesame seeds are easy to get. Well, one major exemption could be the custom made mould which is used to deep fry the sweet balls in oil.
If you are not much bothered about the shape of the snack, try it with the wok available. Obviously it is one of the popular snacks among kids in Kerala and a must-have at homes during festivals and family gatherings.
A traditional, sweet snack from Kerala that you can easily try at home. The main ingredients like green gram, jaggery, cooking oil and maida are available everywhere.
Cooked green gram, mixed well with jaggery paste, grated coconut, cardamom and ghee makes the core. It is then given proper coating with the pre-made maida-rice powder batter. It is time to fry-brown them in heated oil and once cooked well, serve them hot.
Vattayappam (Steamed rice cake)
It is one of the more common evening-tea time snacks from most households in Kerala. The easy availability of rice powder and coconut, and the ease to bake it makes it the go-to snack for most mothers when the children return from school.
The batter is a well-blended and fermented mixture of rice powder, grated coconut, sugar, cumin seeds and cardamom.
Before you steam cook, if you add nicely sliced ripened banana and raisin, children will be more enticed.
Pazham Pori (Banana fritter)
List of popular snacks from Kerala cannot be complete without the premium item, Pazham Pori. Yet, I listed it at the bottom despite it being the most sought-after and easily available snack in Kerala, because the banana used to fritter is not very common outside Kerala.
The best part apart from the taste is the easiness of its preparation. Sliced Nendra Pazham (which is the banana used) dipped in the flour of maida/gram that’s well blended with sugar, a dash of salt, sesame seeds, turmeric powder is deep fried in cooking oil.
Soft and crispy at the same time, these fritters are real treat to delight in as a perfect snack with your tea or coffee.
When today’s children are fond of fast-food, the nostalgia of adults from Kerala has flavours of Neyyappam, Unnakai, Churuttu, Pappadavada, bonda, kozhikatta, the above items and many more.
All these are the easiest and most popular snacks from Kerala because of the easy availability of all the ingredients required and the easiness with which they can be made. They are less time consuming, tasty and filling.
Quarantine memories could be intertwined with these aromas and flavours.
Featured Image Courtesy : https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/06/Ela_Ada.jpg/1024px-Ela_Ada.jpg
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers