The cuisine of Kerala suggests strong historical and cultural influences Pre-independence Kerala was split into the princely states of Travancore and Kochi in the south and the Malabar district in the north. The erstwhile split is reflected in the cuisines of each area. Malabar has an array of non-vegetarian dishes such as Pathiri (rice based pancake), Porotta (layered flatbread) and the Kerala variant of the popular biryani. In contrast, traditional Travancore cuisine consists of a variety of vegetarian dishes using many vegetables and fruits that are not commonly used in curries elsewhere in India including plantains, bitter gourd, taro, colocasia, ash gourd, etc. In addition to historical diversity, the cultural influences, particularly the large percentages of Muslims and Syrian Christians have also contributed unique dishes and styles to Kerala cuisine. Many of Kerala's Hindus are vegetarian by religion, while the large minorities of Muslims and Christians are mostly non-vegetarian.apart from the usual connections to demography and geography. Kerala cooking uses coconut oil almost exclusively.

Traditionally, Kumbalangi food is served on a banana leaf and is known for being spicy and hot. Coconuts grow in abundance in Kerala and grated coconut and coconut milk are liberally used in the curries. The pungency is heightened with the use of tamarind, while coconut gives it richness and absorbs some of the tongue-teasing, pepper-hot flavours.

The staple food of Kerala is rice. Many people in Kerala prefer parboiled rice (rice made nutritious by boiling it with rice husk). Accompaniments with rice may include Upperis (dry curries), Rasam (lentil-based soup), buttermilk, etc. Crisp chips of banana, jackfruit and tapioca are often served accompanying the main meal.

Most popular breakfast fare includes Puttu (a cylindrical dish made of rice powder and grated coconut) and Kadala (a curry made of chick peas), Idli (fluffy rice pancakes), Idiyappam (string hoppers) and Paalappam, etc. Idiyappam and Paalappam are accompanied by mutton, chicken or vegetable stew of a curry or beef or Fish Moli (the most common dish is black pomfret in a coconut based sauce).

Vegetarian dinners usually consist of multiple courses, each involving rice, one main dish (Sambar, Rasam or Pulicherri) and one or more side dishes. Popular vegetarian dishes include Sambar, Aviyal, Kaalan, Theeyal, Thoran, Pulicherri, Olan, etc. Kanji, a kind of rice porridge, is also popular. Tapioca is popular in central Kerala and in the highlands.

Desserts in Kerala could form a meal in themselves. They are made of rice, milk, sugar, coconut, jaggery, cardamom, etc. Tender coconut water is a refreshing and nutritious thirst quencher.

Fairs & Festivals:Due to the cultural mix, the festival calendar promises all-year-through activity. Christmas and Easter, and Ramzan and Bakr-Id are celebrated with great gusto. Onam is the main regional festival that falls in August-September to celebrate the harvest as well as the return of the mythical king Mahabali. Village folk decorate the front facades with flowers as a symbolic gesture to welcome Mahabali. Celebrations continue for up to ten days across Kerala.
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