Kannur has always been Kerala’s top destination for gastronomical indulgence. The culinary cornucopia of this land of looms and lore is as diverse and distinguished as its cultural legacy.Be it Onam, Vishu or Eid, Kannur cannot do away without meat and fish. Apparently, Hindu weddings are the only events in which strictly vegetarian food is served.
The Kannur cuisine has been shaped by centuries of seasonings and food traditions from across of the world, including Arabian, Persian and European: all by tradesmen who thronged this place in the foregone era, importing their culinary specialties.
So, if you are planning to be in Kannur for the 57th Kerala School Kalolsavam, don't forget to try these eight dishes.
Thalassery chicken biryani
Thalassery biryani is simply the king of all biryanis in Kerala. It is a must-have for all those who visit Kannur. If you are hoping for a regular white rice biryani with a layer of masala lying underneath while ordering this one, you will be disappointed. Rice, chicken and spices are cooked together in a pot to make Thalassery biryani, which is ultimately a heavenly mishmash of white rice and golden brown masala.
The one sweetmeat that found fans across the state, Unnakkaya is a snack that you can find in every Kannur tea shop. The dish is so famous that it has almost become synonymous with Malabar. Unnakkaya is something that you cannot afford to miss on a Kannur trip.
Also known as Kadukka, kallumakkaya or mussels is the one seafood that can play as the brand icon for Northern Kerala cuisine. This one dish, unique to the region, can be found on almost every nook and corner of Kannur. It takes some effort to make the perfect mussels as it is hard to clean and process them. But it’s worth the effort. Nothing can beat these chewy and fleshy seafood when blended with the right spices.
Thalassery mussels biryani
Thalassery biryani itself is one of a kind. So, when it is made with marinated mussels, it’s just heavenly. Dig into this sumptuous layers of rice, condiments and masala from restaurants in and around Kannur and devour the rich and diverse flavors.
Malabar beef roast
Malabar beef roast is a spicier and tangier version of the popular Kerala beef roast recipe. Cleaned beef pieces are marinated with chili powder, turmeric powder and ginger garlic paste before it is cooked in a pot or pressure cooker. The gravy from cooking beef pieces are sautéd after adding more masala and tomato sauce. The beef pieces are then roasted in it. Served with rice, appam, porotta and puttu, this yummy beef recipe is the best thing you can have for dinner and lunch.
Neypathiri or neypathal is a type of deep fried rice roti, commonly made in traditional Muslim households of Malabar during the time of Ramadan. Although, it is eaten with a non-veg curry for dinner, you can have it plain as a snack too. These golden discs can be found in the wooden shelves of small tea shops around the town.
Chatti pathiri is a sweet and crunchy layered pastry snack exclusive to the North Kerala. These crepes are layered with 'muttamala', another sweet which is made of eggs and sugar. Muttamala has great similarities with Portuguese dish fios de ovos. They are garnished with sugar syrup, sliced and served. However, this is a seasonal favorite, which is mostly available during the Ramadan month and hence, you might not find it in local tea shops. But if you are diligent enough, scout for some old and humble spots that serve authentic Malabar cuisine.
This coconut flavored curry has been a breakfast favorite for the Thalassery region. Paired with appams, rotis or parathas, this delicious curry is the best thing you can have to kick start your day during the festival.