You are here


Malabar food is the native food of Kerala situated along the South Western border of India. The northern part of Kerala is where Malabar food is cooked commonly.

Historical and Cultural Influences on Malabari Cuisine

Not much is actually known about the cuisine and its origin. Kerala was a very prominent stop for traders when they traveled on the ancient Spice Routes. As a result, Arab, Chinese, Portuguese, and even Italian traders visited the state even in ancient times. The fiery curries of the locals were adapted to the foreign tastes resulting in Malabar cuisine or Mopilla or Mopla cuisine as its known now. The major influence was from the Arabs who stayed over and established their religion along with the cuisine in the state. As a result, vegetables fish, meat and chicken were all cooked in milder spices and coconut gravies to form the local Mopla or Malabar cuisine. Malabar food is not similar to Moghlai food at all. Almost all Malabar food used large quantities of coconut, milder spices, lesser ghee and oil in the dishes. The Arab influence is prominent in the cuisine of the region.

Ingredients Commonly Used in Malabar Cuisine

Rice is the staple of the area and of the cuisine. Local ingredients like mutton, beef, chicken and seafood were used to prepare dishes. Seasonal vegetables were also cooked in coconut gravies. Steamed and fried dosas, rice noodles and pancakes made from rice were eaten all year round.

Traditional Malabar Recipes

Traditional Malabar recipes are only prepared in Kerala Muslim homes and are not well known. The most popular Malabar food includes the following:-

  • Erachi Varatiyathu is a dry beef dish that is prepared with coconut and spices
  • Aadu Porichathu is a very special dish cooked for festive occasions where a goat is stuffed with a chicken which has been filled with eggs
  • Pathiri is a rice flour pancake
  • Meen Pathiri is a rice pancake served with fish curry
  • Adaku Pathiri is a layered special dish
  • Kohzi Curry is a stewed chicken curry
  • Alsa is a very rare Arabian dish made from meat, rice and lots of salt.