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Kerala cuisine is a culinary style originating in the Kerala, a region in the south of India. Kerala cuisine offers a multitude of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes prepared using fish, poultry and red meat with rice a typical accompaniment. Chillies, curry leaves, coconut, mustard seeds, turmeric, tamarind, and asafoetida are all frequently used.
Historical and cultural influences
In addition to historical diversity, cultural influences, particularly the large introduction of Muslims and Christians, have also added unique dishes and styles to Kerala cuisine, especially non-vegetarian dishes. The meat-eating habits of the people were historically limited by religious taboos. Brahmins avoid non-vegetarian items.
However, most modern-day Hindus do not observe any dietary taboos, except a few of those belonging to upper castes who do not consume beef or pork. Most Muslims do not eat pork and other items forbidden by Islamic law. Alcohol is available in Kerala in many hotels and over a thousand bars and liquor stores.
One of the traditional Kerala dishes is vegetarian and is called the Kerala sadhya, which is an elaborate banquet prepared for festivals and ceremonies. A full-course sadhya, which consists of rice with about 20 different accompaniments and desserts, is the ceremonial meal of Kerala eaten usually on celebratory occasions including marriages, Onam and Vishu. It is served on a plantain leaf.
Because of its rich trading heritage, over time, various indigenous Kerala dishes have been blended with foreign dishes to adapt them to local tastes. Coconuts grow in abundance in Kerala, so grated coconut and coconut milk are commonly used for thickening and flavouring.
Kerala's long coastline and numerous rivers have led to a strong fishing industry in the region, making seafood a common part of meals. Rice is grown in abundance along with tapioca. It is the main starch ingredient used in Kerala's food.
Having been a major production area of spices for thousands of years, the region makes frequent use of black pepper, cardamom, clove, ginger, and cinnamon. Kerala also has a variety of breakfast dishes like idli, dosa, appam, idiyappam, puttu, and pathiri.
Muslim cuisine or Mappila cuisine is a blend of traditional Kerala, Persian, Yemenese and Arab food culture. This confluence of culinary cultures is best seen in the preparation of most dishes. Kallummakkaya (mussels) curry, irachi puttu (irachi meaning meat), parottas (soft flatbread), Pathiri (a type of rice pancake) and ghee rice are some of the other specialties. The characteristic use of spices is the hallmark of Mappila cuisine—black pepper, cardamom and clove are used profusely.
The Malabar version of biryani, popularly known as kuzhi mandi in Malayalam is another popular item, which has an influence from Yemen. Malabar biriyani is known as Thalassery biriyani which uses kaima rice for preperation and is called as dum biriyani. Malabar biriyani originated from Thalassery and spreaded to other places.  
The snacks include unnakkaya (deep-fried, boiled ripe banana paste covering a mixture of cashew, raisins and sugar), pazham nirachathu (ripe banana filled with coconut grating, molasses or sugar), muttamala made of eggs, chatti pathiri, a dessert made of flour, like a baked, layered chapati with rich filling, arikkadukka, and more.
Christians of Kerala—especially Mar Thoma Nasranis (St Thomas Christians)—have their own cuisine which is a blend of Indian, Middle Eastern, Syrian, Jewish and Western styles and flavours of cooking. Particularly well-developed are the snacks and savouries of Christians such as achappam, kozhukkatta, kuzhalappam, avalose (rice flour and coconut), churuttu, vattayappam, kumbilappam, neyyappam and unniyappam.
A favourite dish of Kerala Christians is mappas, or chicken stew. For this dish, chicken, potatoes and onions are simmered gently in a creamy white sauce flavoured with black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, green chillies, lime juice, shallots and coconut milk. In Central Kerala this is made only with beef or lamb, the usage of chicken in stew is very rare. Lamb and duck can replace chicken in the stew recipe.
Pidi is another dish made mainly by Syrian Christians from Central Kerala (Ernakulam and Thrissur), consisting of dumplings made from rice powder boiled in a mixture of coconut, rice powder, cumin seeds and garlic.
Other dishes include piralen (chicken stir-fried), meat thoran (dry curry with shredded coconut), seafood and duck curries, and meen molee (spicy stewed fish). This is eaten with appam. Meen mulakittathu or meen vevichathu (fish in fiery red chilli sauce) is another favourite item.
Latin christians in Kerala follow the Portuguese heritage and lifestyle. Bread and stew are served after cake and wine at the banquet, followed by a meal with fish, cutlets, salads, pork, vindaloo, fish moli, duck roast and mustad (mustard and coriander skins fried in vinegar) are important in the diet.[clarification needed]
In addition to chicken and fish, Christians along with a section of Hindus and all Muslims in Kerala eat red meat. Irachi ularthiathu is a beef dish cooked with spices.
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