Why Kerala Is a Vegetarian’s Paradise

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Kerala is one of India’s most enchanting regions. Shaped by global influences and the geography of its waterways, Kerala’s vegetarian cuisine is no exception. While meat dishes have grown in popularity and are now common, vegetarian (and pescatarian) options are not only more traditional, but will ease you into the sometimes rich and always memorable flavours Kerala is known for.


Idiyappam are rice flour noodle cakes.

Looks like vermicelli. Tastes like heaven. Also known as noolappam, these rice flour noodle cakes are made for dipping in your favourite curry. For non-vegans, egg curry is the most traditional accompaniment, but idiyappam goes well with just about any variety.

Idli Sambar

A combo of fluffy rice cakes and delicious curry.

Packed with different vegetables, idli sambar is cooked with fermented rice cakes and aromatic curry. It’s one of the tastiest and healthiest dishes you can have in Kerala.

Roasted Dosa Ghee with Sambar

Dosa is arguably the quintessential dish of Kerala.

If you try only one dish on this list, make it this one! A delicious dosa is cooked in ghee, then roasted to crispy perfection, ready for dipping in flavoursome sambar.


If you visit during the Onam harvest festival, expect to eat a lot of erissery.

A hearty pumpkin and lentil curry made from yams or plantains, erissery is a staple of the Onam harvest festival, combining an exciting blend of spices. But it makes a hearty comfort food at any time of year.

Meen curry

Meen curry is a great pescatarian option.

Learn this recipe, and you’ll have a new dad joke about how you make a ‘meen’ curry. Boiled kappa (cassava) is mashed and eaten with this tasty blend of tamarind, coconut, and fish.

Prawn curry 

A simple, but crowd-pleasing dish.

If you try one curry in Kerala…. So simple, you’ll wonder where all those magnificent flavours come from. There’s simply no other curry quite like it.

Chatti Pathiri

“Dessert lasagne” sounds pretty good, right?

Halfway between pancakes and ‘dessert lasagne’ lies this layered stack of sweet bread interspersed with fruit, nuts, cardamom, and other fillings.

This article was originally published in Vol. 29 of Globetrotting Magazine.

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Christian Baines
Christian Baines

Globetrotting Contributing Editor -
Christian’s first globetrotting adventure saw him get lost exploring the streets of Saigon. Following his nose to Asia’s best coffee, two lifelong addictions were born. A freelance writer and novelist, Christian’s travels have since taken him around his native Australia, Asia, Europe, and much of North America. His favourite trips have been through Japan, Spain, and Brazil, though with a love of off-beat, artsy cities, he’ll seize any opportunity to return to Paris, New York, or Berlin.

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