This category has been viewed 1066975 times

 Cuisine > Indian Veg Recipes > 
980

South Indian recipes


Last Updated : Jul 10,2018



दक्षिण भारतीय व्यंजन - हिन्दी में पढ़ें
દક્ષિણ ભારતીય વ્યંજન - ગુજરાતી માં વાંચો

South Indian Recipes

South Indian Cuisine – Awesome, Awe-Inspiring Variety

An acquaintance had this irksome habit of referring to all South Indians as “Madrasis”. And one fine day she stopped saying so. In an attempt to quell my curiosity I asked – and got to know that after a tour of South India she realised there is so much diversity down South that it is just not fair to generalise – the best example being South Indian cuisine. South Indian cuisine and food habits are so varied that it is common for a person to feel lost in the menu of a neighbouring state. Say, when a person from Tamil Nadu attends a wedding in Andhra Pradesh, it is a common trick to keep an eye on the next person’s plate or banana leaf, to figure out what order and in what combinations the food is to be consumed!
 

Tiffin - Much more than idlis and dosas

When one mentions South Indian food, idli, dosa and vada are the first dishes that come to one’s mind – and it’s fair enough because these dishes are popular in all the South Indian states. It is a daring risk to venture into the question of which state they originated in – so we will not touch upon that, but the fact remains that these are much-loved foods all over South India. Served with the quintessential Sambhar and Chutney, this “tiffin” platter is enjoyed any time of the day – for breakfast, evening snacks or dinner.

A word that the British introduced us to, tiffin refers to snacks that are neither too light nor too heavy, and can be relished at any time of the day! When it comes to tiffin, there is a lot of similarity amongst the South Indian states, and we find many common favourites like idli, dosa, vada, uttapam, upma and pongal. Apart from these, each state has its unique offerings too – like the paniyaram and adai of Tamil Nadu, the aapam, puttu, avial and kadala curry of Kerala, neer dosa, kadubu, benne dosa and rava idli of Karnataka and pesarattu of Andhra. Apart from Sambhar, tiffin is usually served with chutneys like coconut chutney, coriander chutney, tomato chutney, etc., or dry chutney powders like the idli milagai podi or curry leaves powder.
 

Lunch – rice is special for South Indians

Rice holds a special position in the South Indian kitchen. More than a mere ingredient, rice or annam is given a divine connotation and treated with respect. In all South Indian states, rice is the staple grain served during lunch time. Some prefer to use raw rice, while others opt for parboiled or boiled varieties. Rice lovers that they are, South Indians can often tell the difference between rice grown in various regions and different river beds! At lunch time, the rice is freshly steamed and served hot with a spread of dal-based curries and vegetables. There is a lot of difference in the items served during lunch time, and the order in which they are served.
 

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

Lunch is dominated by rice, which is served with dollops of ghee and a range of curries and dals. Depending on whether it’s a normal day or a special occasion, the number of items served may vary. When you see the word ‘pappu’ in a dish’s name, you can understand that it comprises dal. It may be plain or combined with veggies. Usually, a meal begins with rice mixed with pappu and enjoyed with a spicy oorgaya (pickle). Other main course dishes are koora (dry or semi-dry subzi), pulusu (sour and tangy gravy made of tamarind, tomatoes, sour curd or raw mangoes), pachadi (a spicy and saucy accompaniment), charu or rasam (a thin, soupy dish that is mixed with rice), curds, and so on. Pulihore, a peppy rice preparation with tamarind and spices, is much-loved by the Telugu folks and everyone who tastes it!
 

Karnataka

A regular meal consists of vegetable preparations, a dal based preparation like sambhar, and saaru or rasam, ending with majjige (buttermilk). Kannadigas also love gojju, a featuring a unique blend of sweet, spicy and tangy notes. There are also one-dish meals like the Bisi Bele Bath, a hot and spicy rice preparation, made of rice, dal and veggies flavoured with a special masala and tamarind pulp. Karnataka within itself has several sub-cuisines like Udupi, Mangalore and Mysore, and a discerning diner can easily tell the difference between these.
 

Kerala

Don’t be fooled by the simple food that the Keralites have on a normal day – visit them on a festive occasion to experience the mind-boggling variety of the state’s cuisine. Kerala food is rich in all things coconuty! From coconut milk to grated coconut and coconut-based spice pastes, it is used in every possible form to make vegetable and curd-based curries. Yellow banana and jackfruit are also used abundantly in the region to make crispies, curries and desserts.
 

Tamil Nadu

Different regions of Tamil Nadu have different styles of cooking, the popular strains being Tanjore, Tirunelveli, North Arcot and Chettinad. However, a three-course lunch broadly consists of rice served with sambhar and/ or mor kuzhambu, then rasam and finally curd, accompanied by a range of vegetable dishes. If lunch is had out of a dabba, people often opt for what is colloquially known as ‘mixed rice’ or ‘variety rice’. Tomato Rice, Tamarind Rice, Sambhar Rice, Curd Rice and Peanut Rice are some of the common options. On special days, vada, kheer and pachadi (raita) are also served with lunch.
 

Sweets and savouries for South Indians

Like the rest of the country, South India also loves sweets and snacks! From the Ela Ada and Unni Appam of Kerala to the Kajjikaylu of Andhra Pradesh, the Jangiri and Chakkarai Pongal of Tamil Nadu, and the Obbuttu and Mysore Pak of Karnataka, each sweet delight has a culinary anecdote to tell with distinct flavours, native ingredients and exclusive cooking techniques.

Snacks are also an integral part of the South Indian food scene – they are enjoyed at practically any time of the day but mostly in the evening with a cup of hot coffee or tea. It is amazing how they never tire of having a steaming hot cuppa however sweltering the weather might be! But then, nothing can complement a Masala Vada, Mysore Bonda or Plantain Bajji as well as a cup of South Indian filter coffee or Chukku Kaapi (a tea of dried ginger and spices). Keralites enjoy snacking on steamed yellow bananas and Kattan Chaai (black tea).

Every kitchen in South India is also well-stocked with pickles, dry chutney powders, vadams and papads (that can be roasted or deep-fried), which are served in perfect combos to make a simple meal seem like a special treat!
 

The magic of the tempering

If you are going to experiment with South Indian cooking, your kitchen needs to be stocked with rice, tamarind (or kokum), sambhar powder and rasam powder, ghee and cooking oils like groundnut, coconut or sesame oils. More importantly, you need to get your masala box or ‘anjarai petti’ (literally five-compartment box, although the modern ones have seven) equipped with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, red chillies, broken urad dal and chana dal, as these are frequently used in South Indian cooking. These ingredients in different combinations are used to make masalas for South Indian curries. Sometimes, they are ground raw, while sometimes they are roasted and ground. The method and proportions give each dish a distinctly different flavour even when the same ingredients are used. That said, the final master stroke in most South Indian dishes is the zesty tempering of mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves, which gives the food a trademark South Indian seal!
 

More food stories to tell from each nook and corner

Each nook and corner of Tamil Nadu has a different food story to tell, and we realise now that it’s a mistake to try and cover it all in one article, so we urge you to read more about each of these cuisines (Andhra and Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka) and recreate the magic in your own kitchen using our authentic recipes. In India there is so much variety in each cuisine that it is difficult for an individual to entirely master their own cuisine. Just when you think you know all your native foods, someone busts the misconception and widens your horizon by sharing yet another treasure! While we focus on our own cuisines, we should also try and set aside at least a day every week to try the culinary gems from other Indian regions, so that we grow to appreciate the unity in diversity.

Try Our Other South Indian Recipes…
119 South Indian Breakfast Recipes
45 South Indian Chutney Recipes
168 South Indian Curries, Subzis Recipes
117 South Indian Dosa Recipes
172 South Indian Idlis Recipes
53 South Indian Rasam Recipes
78 South Indian Rice Recipes
49 South Indian Sambar Recipes
90 South Indian Sweets Recipes
34 South Indian Vada Recipes
Happy Cooking!

 


Show only recipe names containing:
  



Recipe Image
Recipe# 32881
19 Jul 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Oh, how versatile the humble lemon is, lending itself as beautifully to pickling candying, seasoning as to a variety of other uses. Interestingly, most restaurants down south serve lime pickle along with the 'meals', as the lemon is easy to procure and pickle, as well as liked by almost everybod ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 40869
19 Jul 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Kerala Parota or Malabar Parota is a unique dish from Malayalam cuisine, which is not to be confused with North Indian parathas. The Kerala Parota is made of a plain flour dough, rolled in a special way using a lot of oil for greasing. This gives it a characteristic texture that is flaky and slightl ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 41971
16 Jul 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Ribbon sev, made of rice flour and besan is one of the most popular jar snacks in South India. We bring you this famous snack, albeit in a healthier form. Made from a dough of besan and whole wheat flour spruced up with a dash of spices, this Baked Ribbon Sev is so healthy and equally tasty! You ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 1653
16 Jul 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
The Coconut Chutney has a well-rounded flavour that goes well with most variants of Idlis , Dosas , Appe , be it plain, veggie-topped, or more exotic options like Rava Idli or
Recipe Image
Recipe# 4665
05 Apr 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Rice and Moong Dal Idli is a variant of the most popular South Indian snack, Idli, which is traditionally made with rice and urad dal. The well-tested proportions of rice and green moong dal used in this recipe result in a pleasant texture, taste and colour, which will be loved by all your family me ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 4971
05 Jul 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The moment a South Indian buys a cup of tea , he would also buy a plate of Chana Dal Vada to accompany it! That is how popular this tasty South Indian Chana Dal Vada is. And not without reason. With loads ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 40159
30 Jun 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A unique dosa that is made with a fermented batter of soaked and ground urad combined with the right proportions of four readymade flours, the 4 Flour Dosa is super tasty and notably satiating! Rather than using high glycemic index rice, this sumptuous pancake is made with fibre-rich flours li ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 42500
19 Mar 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
An instant idli recipe that requires no soaking and grinding, the Palak Rava Idli is a nice variant of the regular rava idli. It is made with a batter of semolina and curds, perked up with an aromatic tempering, and reinforced with a vibrant spinach paste. A pinch of fruit salt helps to give the ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 39001
30 Mar 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Nice green colour and flavour. Roast the semolina and prepare the coriander chutney the previous evening and toss up this upma quickly in the morning. Once you have this upma, you will not like plain regular upma.
Recipe Image
Recipe# 42039
25 Jun 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Quick and easy snack made with idli batter, the Masala Appe is worth calling as Magic Appe, because it’s superb texture and amazing flavour make it a great hit with everybody. Something that combines convenience and taste is always a welcome addition to our knowledge bank! All you need to do is ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 33407
23 Jun 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Mumbai’s roadside food is always in tune with people’s preferences, and offers some dishes that are unique to the Mumbai food scene and much-loved by the people there. These dishes are so tasty that visitors to the city carry fond memories of these, and want to try them in their own kitchens all ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 32683
10 Jul 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Most South Indians consider breakfast incomplete without Medu Vada. Whether they have idli, dosa, pongal or upma, they like to add a crispy, tasty and protein-rich urad dal vada to the platter. In fact, when you have breakfast in a South Indian restaurant, even in the remote villages, you will be fa ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 42028
21 Jun 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A couple of readily-available, everyday ingredients come together to make a quick and easy dosa. The Instant Oats Dosa, as the name suggests, does not require you to grind and ferment a batter. Just mix together oats and a couple of other ingredients with curds, throw in some onions, green chilli ....
Recipe Image
Recipe# 32927
11 Jul 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Dosa is as popular in South Indian cuisine as Idli is! Crisp and thin pancakes made of a rice and urad dal batter, dosas are even more exciting than idlis. In fact, while idlis are considered to be an easy, comfortable steamed food, ....
Subscribe to the free food mailer

Baby Corn

Missed out on our mailers?
Our mailers are now online!

View Mailer Archive

Privacy Policy: We never give away your email

REGISTER NOW If you are a new user.
Or Sign In here, if you are an existing member.

Login Name
Password

Forgot Login / Passowrd?Click here

If your Gmail or Facebook email id is registered with Tarladalal.com, the accounts will be merged. If the respective id is not registered, a new Tarladalal.com account will be created.

Click OK to sign out from tarladalal.
For security reasons (specially on shared computers), proceed to Google and sign out from your Google account.

Are you sure you want to delete this review ?

South Indian
5
 on 11 Jul 18 04:54 PM


Thanks for your big collection of South Indian recipes. So true about your statement of rice holds a special position in the South Indian kitchen. Have tried your 4 flour dosa which our entire family loves.
| Hide Replies
Tarla Dalal    Hi Sheetal, Thank you for your kind words. Happy to know you loved the information we shared. Do try more and more recipes and share with us your feedback.
Reply
12 Jul 18 08:58 AM
South Indian
5
 on 11 Jul 18 11:07 AM


Our office is providing evening snacks for all staff everyday in which 2 days is for South Indian snacks in a week i.e. idli & some day dosa. My colleague has given Tarla Madam idlis & Dosas recipe printouts to our office maid. Now she is referring to different variety of Tarla Dalals idlis & Dosas recipes. She enjoys making it because of simplicity & perfection of each recipe and we all enjoys eating fresh, hygienic and tasty snacks. Their are lots of Tarla dalal''s delicious south Indian dishes that are made at my home. I loved that tadka aroma of curries, chillies and many other spices used while making spicy & savory dishes. Sweets pongal, Paal Payasam, rice pancakes is NO.1, which we make it at home and all liked them very much.
| Hide Replies
Tarla Dalal    Hi Krutika, That is amazing! Thank you for your kind words. Happy to know you loved the information we shared.
Reply
12 Jul 18 08:47 AM
//