The Trenchermen

We eat other people’s food.

Keralan Cuisine (Allepey, India)

with 2 comments

kerala1While in India in February 2009, we took a trip down South to Kerala (the “Hawaii of India”) for some rest and relaxation and to sleep on a houseboat in the famed backwaters.  It was much calmer than the rest of India and more beautiful (especially as the sun set over the backwaters), although the bugs were pretty nasty at night.

Kerala is known for its spicy seafood, so we were naturally excited to eat.  And we were not disappointed.  Some of the best food of our entire trip was the “home-cooked” food prepared on the houseboat by the chef who travelled with us.

For lunch on the first day of our houseboat stay, we had a fantastic assortment of mixed vegetables and a delicious spicy fried fish, a Keralan staple known as Meen Varuthathu.


Later the same day, we ate some greasy fried plantains, which went nicely with the lukewarm Royal Challenge beer we had brought onto the boat with us.


In the mid-afternoon, we stopped at a waterside shop to pick up some enormous jumbo prawns.  I had never seen anything like them — with their legs, they were several feet long and their shells were a deep blue color.  For dinner, our chef prepared them in a spicy Keralan sauce and they were (unsurprisingly) fantastic.



The next morning, we ate fresh and very sweet pineapple and a bucket full of idli, a savory cake made of black lentils and rice that seemed to be available for breakfast throughout India.  As usual, we covered our idli in sambar, a pea or lentil-based stew with vegetables.  Not a bad way to start the day.



Man, I kind of miss this food.  Especially the fried fish and the vegetables.


Written by trencherman

May 15, 2009 at 11:42 am

2 Responses

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  1. Hummmmmm!!! This food really looks wonderful, and I bet it tastes even better. The giant prawns are probably Macrobrachium rosenbergii (, which are quite common in the Indo-pacific region.

    Euclydes (


    May 15, 2009 at 3:38 pm

  2. Another great posting finally released from the chamber. Idli and sambar…what a great breakfast. I’ll post the menus I grabbed next week. Either Paul or Ravi had photos from our last meal in Mumbai, which was a delight.


    May 17, 2009 at 10:31 pm

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