7 Iconic Dishes You Must Eat From the Famous Thattukadas in Kerala

According to Samosapedia, a thattukada is described as 'Covered carts on the roadsides which sell the street food of Kerala. There is a common belief that Kerala is all about curry, coast and coconut. However, that is not completely true. Even when it comes to food, Kerala lives up to the title ‘God’s Own Country’. The land of spices offers a blend of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies that takes you on a gastronomical journey. This beautiful state offers countless food options to its perpetually hungry visitors. From seafood to chicken, mutton to pork, the list is endless.

But the most enticing part of Kerala food scenes is the thattukadas. These are the roadside eateries that serve the local delish with a tantalizing taste. Some of them stay open the entire day while others operate from dusk till midnight. Interestingly thattukadas play an integral part of Kerala's food culture and cannot be found anywhere else in the country. Here is a list of Kerala’s classic street food items that will tickle your taste buds and you would find them at the thattukadas.

1. Pazham Pori

Pazham Pori, A look into Kerala’s famous roadside eateries and the scrumptious one-of-a-kind food
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Pazham Pori, also known as Ethakka Appam are actually banana fritters that are served with tea. It is an all-time favourite snack of the Keralites that they mostly have for breakfast. These are ripened bananas coated with all-purpose flour, turmeric powder and salt. Then they are deep-fried until golden brown. Some of the thattukadas also serve this delicacy with beef.

2. Kappa Biriyani

Kappa Biriyani, A look into Kerala’s famous roadside eateries and the scrumptious one-of-a-kind food
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Kappa Biriyani is a thattukada speciality that is mainly served as a main course. This is a regional dish with tapioca/kappa as the main ingredient and often combined with masterfully marinated chicken, pork, lamb or beef. There is also a vegetarian version with chickpeas and grams but the non-vegetarian version will leave you asking for seconds. The starchy tapiocas along with meat give an exotic flavour and taste to this regionally distinct recipe.

3. Classic Omelette and Bread

Classic Omelette and Bread
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Bread and Omelette is a common dish that is served all over the country but the one served in the thattukadas has a unique presentation style. The egg is mixed with several other ingredients and the batter is transferred on a hot Tawa. It is very easy to prepare and is also light on the pocket. No wonder, classic Omelette and Bread is one of the go-to dishes of the Malayalis.

4. Porotta

Porotta, A look into Kerala’s famous roadside eateries and the scrumptious one-of-a-kind food
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When you think about Porotta, your mind will sway to the roadside thattukadas in Kerala. Nothing can beat the taste of sumptuous Porotta served with chicken or beef curry. These are layered flatbreads with a soft texture and prepared from all-purpose flour (maida). The unique thing about Kerala Porotta is that they do not have any stuffing like traditional parathas that is available in other parts of India. Satiate your craving with some Porotta dipped in tempting non-vegetarian curry and you are good to go.

5. Kappa and Meen Curry

Kappa and Meen Curry, A look into Kerala’s famous roadside eateries and the scrumptious one-of-a-kind food
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Kappa and Meen Curry is comfort food that will spice up the plate. It is an absolutely alluring delicacy prepared with succulent fish and boiled tapioca/kappa. The kappa is cooked in coconut gravy containing green chillies, onions and curry leaves. Thus, many people swear by the Kerala style fish with the unique combination of tapioca/kappa. Do I need to say more?

6. Parippu Vada

Parippu Vada, A look into Kerala’s famous roadside eateries and the scrumptious one-of-a-kind food
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Parippu Vada is an iconic street food that is found in the thattukadas. These snacks are best served with a steaming hot cup of tea. Lentils or dal is ground and made into a smooth batter and then mixed with onion, curry leaves and chillies. It is then deep-fried in hot oil. Munch on those Parippu Vadas on a rainy evening with some tea and every rain would remind you of this sumptuous and mouth-watering snack.

7. Ela Ada

Ela Ada, A look into Kerala’s famous roadside eateries and the scrumptious one-of-a-kind food
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Ela Ada, is a traditional sweet delicacy of Kerala that you can get in the street side thattukadas. The jaggery and coconut filling is stuffed in dough made from rice flour and steamed in banana leaf.  The captivating aroma and intense burst of flavours make this recipe one of the favourites for people of all age groups. No wonder, Ela Ada is truly an indulgent feast.

In case you are feeling hungry as I am, it is the time for you to book the tickets to ‘God’s Own Country’ and gorge on the soul-soothing dishes at the legendary thattukadas.

This post was published by Atreyee Dutta

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