Kerala as a place has always fascinated me. Their tourism marketing line, ‘god’s own country’, according to me fits perfectly. Kerala is blessed with ever stretching back waters, lush green coconut groves across the horizon, rich wild life and great natural resources. It is probably one state that is highly educated, has almost equal percentages of Hindu, Muslim and Christian population. This state has retained its cultural heritage intact. The zest with which Keralites celebrate their festivals is quite contagious. The floral decorations of Onam are world famous. Onam sadya is yet another craze.
Kerala also has some amazing sweets, snacks and savories. Even in these days of wide spread order food online as a culture, Kerala sweets enjoy a special place. The banana chips are unquestionably delicious. Deep fried in coconut oil, these chips are flavorful and super healthy. Though the banana chips have been there forever, there are a variety of chips available from god’s own country these days. Jackfruit chips are one such. They are slightly different in texture compared to that of banana but are equally delicious and healthy.
Keralites have been able to put Jackfruit to amazing uses. They make some yummy desserts with it. The jackfruit itself is an interesting fruit/vegetable based on when it is plucked. It is probably the biggest tree borne fruit known to mankind. A full grown ripe Jackfruit can weigh up to a hundred pounds. This particular fruit is used for different kinds of dessert as well as curry preparations in its ripe and raw stages. Ripe jackfruit kernels are cooked along with jiggery, milk and cardamom into a syrupy consistency. It is akin to the Qubani ka meetha of Hyderabad and can go extremely well with vanilla ice cream. It is tasty and exotic enough. I wouldn’t be surprised if one fine day, this preparation finds its way into the world of order desserts online.
Kerala is also home for some amazing payasams. A payasam is basically a milk based dessert. There is sugar or jiggery along with ghee and cardamom that generally goes into making a delicious payasam. Ada or rice is one of the key ingredients. Together all of them are cooked on a low flame for a fairly long time or until the whole thing simmers to attain a soupy creamy thickness and texture. This is then garnished with ghee roasted cashews, raisins, almonds and the like. No Kerala celebration is complete without the payasam. That is how important it is.
There are other desserts from Kerala that are extremely yummy like the paniyaram, unni appam, chatty pathiri, paripu payasam, palada payasam and so on. Mutta maala of Kerala is a very special and unique sweet. This is made from egg whites. Egg whites are separated from the yolk. The yolk is then beaten to a fine consistency. A mixture of sugar and water is brought to a boil simultaneously. The yolk is poured into this boiling sugary water through sieve like equipment. This sweet looks like extremely thin spaghetti. It is light, fluffy and is a great example of Kerala desserts that can meet global cuisine expectations.