Tribal Food - Taste The Unknown



Tribal Food - Taste The Unknown

By Woods team

The food is an interesting part of the culture of each community in Wayanad. Your trip to this beautiful place is totally incomplete if you are not experiencing its traditional tribal cuisine. Be it comfort food or spicy delicacy, they have it all covered. The best part of this cuisine is it is made using locally available and chemical-free ingredients. It is found that more than 300 plants are used by certain types of tribes for preparing their ethnic food making their cuisines very special.


The tribal food is something different from normal cuisine and experiencing the taste of cuisine will be a one-of-a-kind experience for you. The traditional preparation of earthen pots and pans with locally available ingredients makes it high in nutritional value.

Rice is widely grown in this region and it is seen that most of the dishes consist of rice as the main dish. Tapioca is popular in Wayanad and is frequently eaten with fish curry or coconut-based “Chammanthy”.


The Kuruma or Mullu Kurumba tribe of Wayanad are mostly vegetarian lovers and use a lot of greens and leaves in their preparations. Boiled wild tubers in honey, fried mushrooms, ‘muddha ada’, ‘muddha vada’, coconut rice, ‘kallu puttu’, ‘Pollayappam’ are a few of their special foods. Gandhakasala’ rice, a scented rice variety of Wayanad, is the main ingredient of these items. The Bamboo rice payasam of Kuruma tribe is a must-try!

The Kurichiya tribe of Kannur and Wayanad regions (who are also known as Hill Brahmins) are engaged in agriculture and hunting of birds and wild animals. They cook together in a common kitchen for several families living nearby.


“If you try our charcoal-grilled chicken, you will never go back to your urban style chicken dishes” ~ Radha, a kurichiya cook.

Grilled Chicken

The chicken is prepared in a unique manner. There are no fancy grills, stands, or any modern style equipment used for making this mouth-watering charcoal-grilled chicken. The raw chicken is washed, cut into small pieces and basic spices like turmeric, chili, pepper, coriander are used to marinate the chicken. It is tightly held inside the plantain cover making the chicken juicier. It is then placed on hot charcoal and cooked to perfection. It’s a complete aromatic and juicy tribal chunk of goodness. Already tempting isn’t it?

Crab Fry and Gravy

The rock crabs are usually collected from the cracks of rocks in the nearby rivers. It is called ‘Njandu’ in Malayalam. ‘Njandu Varattiyathu’ is a remarkable dish of the tribe. Freshly caught crabs are washed and steamed first, then hand grounded spices are coated on these crabs and allowed to cook in an earthen wide vessel. A little water is added and cooked on the wooden lit fire until all the water evaporates. The smell is divine and you will crave for more!

A Wayanad tribal tour gives you an opportunity to taste the real Wayanad cuisine. Resorts around the tribal settlements like The Woods Resorts, a great option for you to experience this old cuisine of Kerala.