Calicut makes for an excellent platter with its delicious food dipped in just the right amount of culture and history. It is a paradise for food and heritage lovers. Nothing says Calicut more than a nice plate of Chicken Biriyani and a steaming glass of Sulaimani. The love for food resonates in every corner of Calicut city, from Kuluki Sarbath to Erchi Pathiri, the city has every flavor your palate could crave. The Kozhikoden food culture is heavy and vivid, it focuses predominantly on chicken, beef and mutton, though, there are numerous seafood dishes laid out whenever there is a feast. The heritage of Kozhikode’s culinary delight is as a result of the seamen that landed on its coasts, the cuisine is hence a fusion of many food cultures.
The Mappila cooking is something that is believed to have seeped into Kozhikode from the ancestral kitchens of “Thekkepuram” tharavad, their influence on the cooking of Kozhikode’s people is one that is seen to last. The Kozhikoden halwa is a delicacy known to be a favorite of people from different parts of the world. If you are from Kozhikode, you are always on a hunt for a reason to lay out a feast. Many of their festivities therefore revolve around eating especially weddings. ‘Salkaram’ is an occasion where newlyweds are welcomed into the family, during this event a wide variety of dishes are prepared for the bride and groom as well as close family members. Ramadan is also a time when the people of Calicut let their kitchens hit overdrive; there is always more number of snacks being made all over Kozhikode than anyone could possibly eat.
The style of cooking changes quite a bit when you move from one end of Kozhikode to the other, the names change and sometimes the way in which the dish is prepared also changes. The constant favorites of the foodies of Calicut are delicacies such as Unnakaya (spindle shaped plantain filled with coconut and dry fruits), Muttamala (a sweet dished made entirely of egg whisked in sweet syrup), Chattipathiri (layered pastry that is made sweet or with meat) and Kallumakkaya nirachathu (stuffed mussels).
There are many famous restaurants and eateries in Calicut city that offer a wide range of cuisines and delicacies. Some of them include the Paragon restaurant and Rahmath hotel known for their biriyani. Bhaskarettan’s Milk Sarbath outlet near Paragon restaurant is another famous spot in the city. His small shop is crowded all through the day.
Ramadan is the best time to visit Calicut, the city is abuzz after maghrib and many pop up outlets mushroom all around. The dishes served at these outlets are mostly home made and are bought not only by fasting muslims but everyone alike. There are multiple dishes that are must tries in Kozhikode, but no one should leave the city without having Biriyani and some halwa to take back home to loved ones.