The cuisine of the Great Backwaters is distinct in terms of aromas, colours and flavours and has been influenced by Kerala’s ancient trade ties.

Pearl Spot

Pearl Spot (Karimeen) enjoys pride of place in the backwater cuisine of Kerala. This famous local delicacy is made by marinating the fish in a mixture of red chilies, pepper, turmeric etc., after which it is deep-fried until crisp and golden brown. Best enjoyed with steamed tapioca, Karimeen is easily available in the many quaint eateries that dot the backwaters.

Fish moilee in coconut milk, prawn and scampi preparations, duck roast and curry, and Kerala fish curry with kudampuli (gambogee) are other backwater specialities.


The backwaters is also the best place to enjoy Kerala’s renowned breakfast spread, lauded by Travel and Leisure as one of the best in the world. This includes puttu, kadala curry, appam, chicken stew, idiappam and vegetable stew, to mention a few.


The backwaters is famous for its small kallu shaaps. They serve the local palm toddy known as kallu, made from the sap of the coconut tree flower before it blooms. The kallu shaaps are popular for the amazing food it serves - Njandu curry (Crab curry), Kakka erachi (Mussels fry), Karimeen porichathu (Fried Pearl Spot), to name a few.