food and cuisine
Kerala cuisine is a blend of indigenous dishes and foreign dishes adapted to Kerala tastes. It is linked to the culture of the land. Coconuts grow in abundance here and so coconut kernel, coconut cream and coconut milk are widely used in dishes for thickening and flavoring. Kerala's numerous rivers, backwater networks and strong fishing industry have contributed to many sea and river food based dishes. Rice and Tapioca form the staple food of Kerala. All main dishes are made and served along with side dishes which may be made from vegetables, meat, fish or a mix of all of them. The main dish for lunch and dinner is boiled rice. The Kerala breakfast shows the richest variety in all of India, the main dishes for which are made from rice flour, or fresh or dried tapioca.
Kerala cuisine is richly spicy and the main spices used are chilly, black pepper, cardamom, green and red peppers, garlic, coriander, turmeric, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Few fresh herbs are used, and mainly consist of the commonly used curry leaf, and the occasional use of fresh coriander and mint. While Tamarind and lime are used to make sauces sour, sweet and sour dishes are however rare.