While the Malabar Muslims speak the same language as the other Malayalis, their cuisine demonstrates some unique features, which is a combination of the Kerala and Arabic cuisines. The Kerala influences on the cuisine are seen by abundant usage of coconut, both in fresh and dried form, while the Arabic influences are seen in the dishes like Biryani and Stuffed Chicken and by the use of dried fruits. Another unique preparation of this community is also one of its staple foods. It is a bread called Podi Pathiri (Rice Roti), which is unlike any other bread, both in the texture and in its preparation. The dough is actually a batter to begin with, which is then cooked and made into a dough. This dough is then used for making the ‘Pathiri’. Some say that ‘Pathiri’ is imported from Arabia and the original word is ‘Fatheer’. What ever it may be, Pathiri makes a good combination with meat curry, also prepared in the Malabari way. It is a revised edition of their Arabic counterpart to suit the demands of the local appetite. Other staple foods include rice, which is generally eaten steamed and porridge, made from wheat or rice.
The cuisine of the Malabar Muslims really comes into its own during festivals and important social occasions. The most important of these is the Nikah or the Wedding Ceremony, which is a very simple ceremony, preceded and followed by a great deal of festivities. Ghee rice or Neichoru is served on the eve of the wedding, when henna is applied on the brides hand and feet. Biryani is served on the wedding night. The day after the wedding the groom and his friends are treated to an elaborate breakfast, which includes many Malabar Muslim delicacies. Ramadhan is another important religious event, when the Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and break their fast with water and dry dates. The food which is eaten after their prayers is rich and nourishing, to provide them with enough sustenance for the following day.