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South Indian recipes


Last Updated : Apr 03,2019



दक्षिण भारतीय व्यंजन - हिन्दी में पढ़ें (South Indian recipes in Hindi)
દક્ષિણ ભારતીય વ્યંજન - ગુજરાતી માં વાંચો (South Indian recipes in Gujarati)

South Indian Recipes

South Indian Cuisine – Awesome, Awe-Inspiring Variety

South Indian Recipes, 950 South Indian Dishes, Food Recipes. 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

Idli
Idli

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.

Pongal Kootu
Pongal Kootu

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

Curd RiceCurd Rice

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 Recipes

PesarattuPesarattu

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 Recipes

Tomato GojjuTomato Gojju

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.
 

South Indian Recipes, Kerala

Quick IdiyappamQuick Idiyappam

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.
 

South Indian Recipes, Tamil Nadu

More KuzhambuMore Kuzhambu

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

Ela Ada Recipe
Ela Ada Recipe

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.

Mysore Bonda
Mysore Bonda

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 South Indian tempering

Homemade Rasam PowderHomemade Rasam Powder

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.

Enjoy our South Indian Recipes, 950 South Indian Dishes, Food Recipes and other South Indian Recipe articles below.

30+Karnataka Cuisine
15+Kerala Cuisine
20+Tamil Nadu Cuisine
10+South Indian Appe
125+South Indian Breakfast
45+South Indian Chutney
175+South Indian Curries / Subzis
125+South Indian Dosa
125+South Indian Idlis
10+South Indian Pachadi, Raita
5 South Indian Pickle
10+South Indian Podis
55+South Indian Rasam
50+South Indian Sambar
45+South Indian Snacks
90+South Indian Sweets
15 South Indian Uttapam
35+South Indian Vada


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Oats Adai, Oats Spinach Pancake
Recipe# 42162
Yesterday

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Adai is one of the most popular South Indian snacks. It is a slightly thicker pancake compared to dosas, and is made with a spicy batter of rice and pulses. Here, we have made a modern variant using crushed oats. The Oats Adai is quick and easy to make, ....
Moong Dal and Spinach Idli
Recipe# 38991
12 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Eliminating rice reduces the calorie count of these spinach idlis, making them suitable for diabetics as well. The same moong dal batter can also be used to make healthy pankis and pancakes.
Low Cal Dahi Vada ( Non- Fried Snacks )
Recipe# 33325
11 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Who would have thought you can make the all-time favourite Dahi Vada without deep frying in oil! Here, we have cooked the flavourful vada batter in a non-stick tava greased with minimal oil, and used this to make delectable chutney-laced Dahi Vadas. Soak and squeeze the vadas just before servin ....
Avial ( South Indian Recipes)
Recipe# 32909
09 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Avial is a dish that originated in kerala, but gained an equal fanfare in tamilnadu as well. Rare is the wedding or festive menu that does not include avial! the key to making excellent avial is to pay equal attention to the visual appeal – vegetables with contrasting colours such as carrot, beans, ....
French Beans and Carrot Thoran, Kerala Dry Sabzi
Recipe# 41546
01 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
‘Thoran’ is a traditional vegetable preparation that is popular in Kerala. It is a dry subzi that can be prepared with many different veggies. In this recipe, we have used a colourful combination of French beans and carrot. First, the veggies are sautéed with onions and an aromatic tempering of ....
Tomato Pachadi, How To Make Tomato Pachadi
Recipe# 32868
05 Mar 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The tanginess of tomato and the blandness of fresh curds combine well to cast a soothing spell on the diner. Take care to use fresh, thick curds for this recipe as the pachadi is likely to become watery otherwise, as the juice of the tomatoes also mixes in with it. Also do try other pachadi r ....
Baked Palak Jowar Murukku
Recipe# 42722
27 Mar 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
The sight of delicious murukkus displayed in glass jars in every other teashop lets you know that you have arrived in Tamil Nadu! Murrukku is a crunchy jar snack with timeless appeal in So ....
Appam ( How To Make Appam )
Recipe# 32844
23 Mar 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Appam is a famous dish from the keralite repertoire of south indian cooking. This recipe is an easy-to-make, instant version of the otherwise tough-to-make dish. Since yeast is used, the batter need not be fermented for long unlike the traditional version. Serve appam with slightly-sweetened coconut ....
Spinach and Carrot Pulao with Coconut Curry
Recipe# 748
18 Mar 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Chock-full of nutrients and bubbling with flavour, the Spinach and Carrot Rice with Coconut Curry is a tasteful preparation of spinach and carrot rice perked up with a spicy paste, layered with coconut curry, and baked in an oven so the flavours mingle and cause your taste buds to tingle!
Stuffed Rava Idli Vegetable Sandwich
Recipe# 36281
11 Mar 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
An off-beat dish, which gives you the satisfaction of eating a homely idli as well as a scrumptious sandwich. Yes, the Stuffed Rava Idli Vegetable Sandwich is an innovative recipe in which the rava idli batter is layered with grated veggies and green chutney and then steamed. Each mouthful of ....
Tomato Rasam
Recipe# 32903
28 Feb 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A perfect recipe for you to enjoy the true flavours of home-made south Indian cooking. Rasam is an essential part of every south Indian meal, and is usually served as the second main course following sambhar (or some other kuzhambu).
Kanchipuram Idli
Recipe# 1702
05 Mar 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Kanchipuram is famous for more than silk sarees! In fact, this special savoury idli got its name from that small town in Tamil Nadu. It is offered at the Sri Varadharaja Swamy Temple, and food-lovers are generally prepared to even withstand the hardships of a long queue to buy the prasad of tast ....
Jowar Palak Appe
Recipe# 42675
15 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Irresistibly tempting, the Jowar Palak Appe is a real treat to the palate, while also being a nourishing snack for your body. Rich in iron , fibre and other nutrients, this appe is quite easy to make and super tast ....
Bisi Bele Bhaat, Karnataka Bise Bele Bhat
Recipe# 33336
09 Mar 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Bisi Bele Bhaat, a traditional spicy rice dish from Karnataka is quite addictive – served piping hot topped with lots of ghee and accompanied by fried papads and a cool raita, it is almost impossible to say no to this One Dish Meal. Check out for many more wholesome, quick and easy to prepare, one ....
Quick Rice Dosa
Recipe# 1684
18 Feb 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
As this dosa requires no soaking or fermenting, it can be prepared in a jiffy when you are in need of a quick meal. The addition of cooked rice makes the dosas soft despite not soaking the raw rice. Quick rice dosa should be had immediately with sambhar and chutney.
Adai Recipe, Adai Dosa, Breakfast
Recipe# 534
05 Feb 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Adai is a crisp, golden dosa made using a batter of rice and mixed dals. It has the rich aroma of coconut oil and roasted dals, and a very rustic flavour as well. It is more satiating than regular dosas and makes a great Breakfast . Adai can be enhanced ....
Instant Rava Appe
Recipe# 42602
09 Feb 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A quick and easy batter of semolina and curds fortified with colourful and crunchy veggies, yields mouth-watering appe that’ll appeal to young and old alike. The Instant Rava Appe is a scrumptious South Indian snack, which can be enjoyed with
Masala Karela
Recipe# 7462
29 Mar 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
You will be amazed by how effectively grated cauliflower masks the bitterness of karela, making it a delicacy that even kids would not mind eating. Perked up with onion, coriander and spice powders, Masala Karela is a treat to the taste buds, and a wonder food for your body too, as karela contains a ....
Mini Bajra Onion Uttapa
Recipe# 39894
14 Mar 15

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Uttapa with rice is tasty but common! When you feel like cooking something exotic, try this whole grain uttapa made with bajra and of course some rice and urad dal too. You will thoroughly enjoy the unique flavour and crisp texture of the Mini Bajra Onion Uttapa, while also benefiting from the iron ....
Mini Cabbage Vadas
Recipe# 33096
16 Mar 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The mildly pungent aroma and flavour of cabbage fits very well into vadas. Combined with a dough of soaked urad dal, along with other flavour enhancers, it makes a crispy south Indian treat that will be loved by all. When shaped in a convenient size, the Mini C ....
Rava Dosa, How To Make Rava Dosa
Recipe# 32837
16 Jan 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
An easy to make counterpart of the traditional dosa ! These crisp dosas are made with a batter of semolina and buttermilk. Since the batter does not have to be fermented for long, this is an ideal dish to serve the sudden guest! Also try other
Curd Upma, Breakfast Recipe
Recipe# 42195
18 Dec 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Upma made with semolina is one of the most famous breakfast dishes in India. We have tweaked the traditional recipe slightly, by cooking the roasted rava in a mixture of curds and water instead of just water. This gives a nice consistency and pleasant, rustic tang to the upma. This, in fact, use ....
Ela Ada Recipe, Sweet Rice Pancake
Recipe# 42242
18 Dec 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Ela Ada is a traditional sweet delicacy from Kerala, made by steaming stuffed rice flour pancakes wrapped in a banana leaf. Here, we have shown the Ela Ada with a coconut and jaggery stuffing. On special occasions, it may also be made with a stuffing of sweetened jackfruit pulp. Ela means le ....
Avial, South Indian Curry
Recipe# 22366
11 Dec 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
This mouth-watering South Indian curry is nothing short of a delicacy with its unusual combination of veggies, flavoured aesthetically with a mildly-spiced coconut paste. Do not chop the veggies too finely when making Avial, because the veggies should re ....
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South Indian
5
 on 03 Mar 19 09:04 AM


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.
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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.
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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