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Delicious Snacks of Kerala – Malabar Cuisine

Sujith Narayanan March 01, 2019
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Travelling to North Kerala is travelling back to delicious memories… Memories about Snacks of Kerala fill not only your stomach but also the heart! 

North Kerala better known as the Malabar have foodie people who make the best dishes one could taste in Kerala. Malabar Cuisine is full of delicious food that has spellbinding flavours and lip-smacking taste! Most of these dishes like Thalassery Food and other Snacks of Malabar use robust ingredients and are unique to the region. With mobility and tourism growing fast, the Snacks of Kerala, especially Snacks of Malabar are gaining more acclamation than ever before!

The process involved behind the preparation of Snacks of Kerala exhibits a vibrancy. It often gets difficult to look beyond the star preparations offered by the Malabar Cuisine – from crispy Calicut Chips, sweet meat Calicut Halwa, Thalassery Food like Thalasssery Biryani and spicy roast meat curries to the famous Kerala Cuisine of Pollichathu dishes, and a load of the variety of seafood delicacies special to Kerala Cuisine. As a foodie, if you travel deeper into the heartlands of North Kerala, it shows up to be a treasure trove for any food lover – showing up newer delights treasured for centuries by Malabar Cuisine!

For the time being, we shall talk about five of our most favourite snacks of Kerala picked as favourites from snacks of Malabar. Every snack of Malabar has its own unique taste – making a list of this would prove to be a never-ending task! These snacks are entirely worth exploring and shall definitely make your taste buds happy.

1. Pazham Nirachathu or The Stuffed Banana Snack

Pazham Nirachathu is a sweet dish and is regarded as one of the feel-good Snacks of Kerala! The dish is more of a celebrity amongst the Malabar snacks and is made of ripe and sweet bananas stuffed with coconut filling mixed with sugar.

The delicious Pazham Nirachathu

The delicious Pazham Nirachathu

This dish can be made sticking to a simple recipe that uses common to Kerala ingredients like Sweet-ripe Bananas, Fresh Coconut, Sugar, Fresh Ghee and Raisins. Snacks of Kerala like Pazham Nirachathu can be served hot to kids for evening tea – it is safe and has no adulterations compared to the bakery dishes.

Pazham Nirachathu is often referred to as the elder brother of ‘Unnakaya’ – another local delicacy of Malabar Cuisine. Both dishes are similar from the outside, but the preparations and taste are different.

2. Elanchi – The Sweet Roll

Looking for another sweet item from the Snacks of Kerala list? Then, Elanchi would be a good option! The Malabar Elanchi is a sweet roll, yellow in colour made of flour and filled with sweet and coconut fillings.

Elanchi - The Sweet Roll

Elanchi – The Sweet Roll

Elanchi is also a dish which is prepared from the ingredients common to Kerala and has a recipe that’s quite easy to make. Elanchi is one among the Snacks of Kerala that has its place on the evening coffee table of North Keralites.

These wonderful coconut stuffed rolls are in fact a simple pancake made from egg and flour. The filling is made with coconut, sugar, raisins, cashew nuts, and cardamom etc. In fact, it is the use of cardamom that gives Elanchi its unique name and the flavour – different from the usual snacks of Kerala!

3. Unnakaya – The Stuffed Plantain Fry

Unnakaya – the stuffed plantain fry is another local delight that is made from the ripe plantains. Unnakaya itself has its own slight differences in preparation depending on the region of Malabar wherein they are prepared.

Unnakaya - The Stuffed Plantain

Unnakaya – The Stuffed Plantain

Unnakaya is often mentioned as the younger brother of the Pazham Nirachathu. Pazham Nirachathu, as discussed earlier is made using ripe banana filled with coconut and sugar fillings. Interestingly, most snacks of Kerala are prepared with Ripe Banana or Plantain, egg and coconut.

Unnakaya takes its name from the shape of the snack that resembles the fruit of a local tree. The snack has a spindle shape. It is a sweet dish which has a slight crunchiness outside and the tenderness of the banana inside with a sweet filling prepared from bits of cashew nuts, raisins and fresh coconut that make the dish feel like heaven!

4. Malabar Kaipola – The Steamed Plantain Cake

Another influence of the Bananas in the Snacks of Kerala – the Malabar Kaipola made of steamed plantains. Kaipola translates to Banana Cake or Steamed plantain cake in the local language.

Kaipola - The Plantain Cake

Kaipola – The Plantain Cake

Predominantly an authentic dish of Malabar Cuisine, the Kaipola is often one of the most sort-out dishes when it comes to the Snacks of Kerala.

The Muslim community of North Kerala prepare Kaipola especially during the holy month of Ramadan during the evening breaking of the day-long fasting to be served at the Ifthar parties. The main reason for this is regarded as the health aspects of Kaipola.

This Kerala snack is not only delicious but also extremely nutritious helping the stomach during the days of fasting. The dish is ideal to be served for breakfast or with evening tea.

Kaipola is also prepared using a recipe that majorly uses Banana and Egg. Again, all the ingredients are common to Kerala. As for the preparation, ripe bananas are shallow fried with fresh ghee, cashew nuts, raisins etc. and mixed with egg and sugar.

5. Thengamuri – the Dry Coconut Shaped Dish

Thengamuri or Kottathenga – the dish has the shape of a broken dry coconut. It is one of the few snacks of Kerala made from mashed potato and eggs. It is the shape of this deep-fried dish resembling the exact half of the Kottathenga or the dry coconut that gives its name.

Thengamuri - The Half Coconut Dish

Thengamuri – The Half Coconut Dish

In fact, the state of Kerala itself has its name connected with the Coconuts. Such is the relation that Keralites have with this wonderful tree!

Thengamuri is a special dish that gives a different taste to this list of Snacks of Kerala Dishes. Made from egg and potato, the dish is believed to have its origin from the households of Thalassery. Thus, it is also referred to as the ‘Thalassery Thengamuri’. Thalassery, just like Calicut, is a heaven for foodies!


To Experience the amazing world of Kerala Cuisine, book Tyndis Kerala Food Tours. Discover the various Snacks of Kerala, Thalassery Food, Malabar Cuisine and more! Get in Touch with us for more details.


Click on the links to know more about Calicut Biryani and Thalassery Biryani.

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