Friday, October 12, 2007

Kerala Food: Breakfast range

Kerala has one of the largest choices for breakfast in the world. Till a few decades back, many Kerala households had kanji (rice broth) with chutneys and papadam and a couple of dry curries for the first meal of the day. The more westernized families used to have porridge, fried eggs and toast. These two types of breakfast with the exception of eggs and bread are practically extinct now.

The present scenario consists of mainly native items. Iddly, dosa, upmavu, poori and uthappam are common all over South India. If you are a non-veg, try uthappam and fish curry with cocum. Sounds weird? It tastes good though. Another suggestion – cheese dosa. It is simple to make. Cut a sandwich cheese slice into two, place them on the dosa when almost done, and fold over. Wheat flour dosa with an egg flipped in is a quick fix.

Then there are appam and idiyappam. These are found in many areas of South East Asia which had strong Dutch presence in the past. In Kerala these are usually eaten with meat or vegetable stew, but they also go well with egg roast, meat, fish and other curries, as in the case of poori. Well, you can even have an egg fried on the appam when it is almost done. Incidentally, I came across an idiyappam-chicken biriyani at Chennai. That was good.

There is another type of appam, which we call kallappam. It is made by mixing ground coconut, garlic, jeera, and onion paste with rice flour and required quantity of water. Coconut toddy or yeast is added and the dough is left overnight for rising. The kallappams are small, about uthappam thickness and goes best with fish curry.

Then we have puttu, kerala’s own versatile breakfast item. See Something different about puttu, the versatile Kerala food. It has several variations. All of them are good and can be eaten with almost anything. The same goes for roti (oroti). It is made with rice powder mixed with grated coconut. A variation of this is to add chammanthipodi and/or chopped up spinach to the mix.

See A power-pack for breakfast. about boiled bananas. Boiled chena (yam) sliced and eaten with crushed green chili-onion-coconut oil chutney is excellent. So is boiled breadfruit. Kappa can be served in different ways. Details are given in Kerala food: Kappa (cassava or casava, yuca, manioc, Manihot esculenta). Boiled and sauteed raw jackfruit is another good breakfast food.

Obviously an import, a pancake which is almost a crepe suzette without alcohol, is also good for breakfast. The non-sweet ones are to be eaten with honey or preserves or curries. Another method is to stuff the pancake with grated coconut and sugar.

Have I missed out something? May be I would come back with an addenda.


(Note: Acknowledgements to my wife Annie.)

Also see:

Kerala food: Peechappam, a forgotten item?

Gold color chips and a golden hearted Lady

Kerala Cuisine: Manga thera (mango mat) recipe


A Planters Breakfast said...

Start with oates or cornflakes followed by fried eggs Bread butter jam on all days without fail and If it is Putuu Kadala it must be Monday,Poori masala for Tuesday,Idiyappam egg roast for Wednesday,Kallappam with curry on Thursday, Iddily sambar has to be on Friday followed by Dosa Chammanthie and sambar on Saturday for it make sense to grind for both on Thursday evening as the ingredients are the same and finally Palappam stew on Sunday.
Finish off with steamed Banana wash all of it down with Coffee.

Maddy said...

Abe..curiously you will find many of them all through SE asia. Kanji for example in Korea will have bits of pork & other meats..
Idiyappam can be found in many places including Thailand..same with rice cakes - Idli's as far away as Japan.

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

kerala has delicious food, although I haven't gone to a keralalite hotel anywhere in bangalore, the last time I was in Kerala, I loved your food. My college mates have gone to a trip to Kerala Calicut and waynad and I am sure they'll return saying it was one unforgettable trip!

Abraham Tharakan said...

Helo planter, that would be man-sized breakfast. And, 'If it's Tuesday, it must be Belgium'

Abraham Tharakan said...

Thanks for the information, Maddy.

Abraham Tharakan said...

Lakshmi Bharadwaj, hope your friends enjoyed the trip.