When visiting a new destination, the trip is incomplete without trying out the local cuisine of that area. Calicut, also known as Kozhikode, was an important commercial center for trade in spices since the 15th century. The port was visited by merchants who ranged from Portuguese, Arabs, Romans, Chinese, Dutch, British, etc. They all left an impact in one way or the other on the culture and heritage of Calicut, with some even staying behind and marrying the indigenous people.
It was the Arabs however who left an indelible impact on the cuisine of this area. The impact is obvious in the non-veg dishes here which are slow-cooked to bring out the perfect fusion of spicy flavors. The delightful ‘mandhi’ dishes which can be prepared with meat, chicken or even prawns are a must-try out when visiting Calicut. Calicut cuisine also has a strong Malabar influence with the rice-based Malabar ‘Biriyani’ being simply unforgettable in its awesome flavors.
‘Pathiri’ and chicken curry is another local gourmet dish that takes gourmet food to the next level. The pathiri is a paper-thin soft bread that goes well with the Malabari chicken curry. The curry can be substituted with Malabari mutton curry too. Another hearty dish that you will savor here is the ‘Alisa’. It’s made of husked wheat and chicken and full of unforgettable flavor.
For the vegetarians, there is the lavish ‘Sadya’ meal to try out. It’s usually served on a banana dish and can consist of small amounts of 18-24 dishes. This feast includes un-ending amounts of rice, ‘sambhar’, rasam, a variety of vegetable side dishes, ‘pappads’, pickles, curd, a banana and 1-3 different type of heavenly ‘payasm’ desserts. Rest assured you will never forget a ‘Sadya’ feast once you have tried it!
Calicut is also famous for it’s The ‘Kozhikode aluva’ or ‘Calicut aluva’. The original version has a rich dark brown color and a thick, rubbery and translucent consistency. Every shop, supermarket or bakery here sells this ubiquitous, unforgettable Calicut aluva which has such a delightful, earthy taste. It’s made from white flour, palm jaggery and sugar and cooked slowly over a long period of time. Don’t forget to try out the savory, wafer-thin banana chips either. The ones fried in coconut oil taste the best!
If you are staying over at the Raviz Calicut hotel, then you are in luck. This business and luxury hotel offers all these irresistible dishes in its four restaurants; Keraleeyam, Mavoor, Zirkon and Pergola. The hotel is ideally located 3km from the railway station and 29km from the airport.