Kerala's spice plantations, coconut-palm groves and long coastline shape the local cuisine, with deliciously delicate dishes such as fish molee or the spicy Malabar chicken biryani. Fresh seafood, such as pomfret, kingfish and prawns, can be bought from fishing boats, markets and restaurants along the coast.
Delicious South Indian breakfast dishes include puttu (steamed rice powder and coconut), idlis (spongy, round, fermented rice cakes), sambar (fragrant vegetable dhal), and dosas with coconut chutney.
For main meals, rice is invariably served with a variety of sweet and sour curries spiced with chilli, pepper, cardamom, ginger and cumin among others. Sadya is a traditional Keralan vegetarian banquet served on a banana leaf.
For dessert, payasam is made of brown molasses, coconut milk and spices, garnished with cashew nuts and raisins.