Kerala offers several gastronomic opportunities. Spices that flavour the local cuisine give it a sharp pungency that is heightened with the use of tamarind, while coconut gives it its richness absorbing some of the tongue-teasing, pepper-hot flavours. As in much of South India, there is a tendency towards vegetarian restaurants. However there is a good deal of sea food available, and the prawn recipe in coconut gravy are exceptionally good. Curries are eaten usually with plain steamed rice. Small, steamed rice cakes called Idalis and this crepe-like pancakes called Dosas served with chutney and sambar are the usual menu for a typical Kerala breakfast. Other delicacies include Appam a puffy variation of dosa (fermented coconut-water or Toddy is mixed for making appams) and can be had either with egg masala, chicken curry or vegetable or matton stew.
The hotels in the larger towns serve international cuisines too, and these include Chinese as well as selected Continental delicacies.
Sadya / Feast
The traditional feast of Kerala - called sadya - is dished up readily during Onam. Exotically served on a clean fresh banana leaf, this multi-course extravaganza comprises mainly of rice and countless curries and dishes. All delectably vegetarian. Most of the items are coconut-based. Various tongue-tingling pickles add a touch of spice. Large helpings of Payasams-a sweet milky porridge are served with dried fruits and nuts as dessert.