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South Indian recipes


Last Updated : Apr 23,2019



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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Recipe# 15229
26 Jul 11

 
 by tiwari_anuja
No reviews
South indian biryani presents the authentic blend of south indian flavours and the taste of aromatic rice blended with deep flavours and great taste.
Recipe# 15233
22 May 02

 
 by setseeani
No reviews
Stuffed idlis is truly an unique recipe which adds taste and variation to the steamed idli recipe. The aloo mixture is coated with idli batter and is then steamed in steamer. The stuffed soft and spongy idlis are amazing when served as snack or breakfast with chutney.
Recipe# 15246
27 Aug 11

 
 by sailu13
No reviews
Curd idli is a variation to the staple rice and lentil based idli batter as it has sour curd added to the rice and black gram batter along with green chillies, cooking soda and pepper powder. The idlis are steamed after the batter is fermented and then is relished piping hot with coconut chutney.
Recipe# 15253
06 Jun 03

 
 by nadiamakharia
No reviews
Presenting the hot , soft and low calorie Stuffed chutney idli recipe . the idlis are prepared with the idli batter dropped in the steamer and topped with a delectable green chutney before steaming. The stuffed chutney idli recipe brings a nice twist to the plain idli recipe and is best enjoyed hot ....
Recipe# 15270
24 Jan 04

 
 by rujutag
No reviews
Rasam is a popular tangy and spicy South Indian lentil recipe cooked in a typical South Indian style. Enjoy hot rasam with steamed rice or as soup with breads of choice.
Recipe# 15327
27 Jan 02

 
 by apoorva23
No reviews
An easy Upma recipe with leftover idlis, the Idli Upma is an innovative recipe and can be enjoyed as breakfast or snack. The crumbled steamed idlis are tempered delectably and served hot with chopped coriander leaves and lime juice as garnish.
Recipe# 15338
29 Sep 18

 
 by deepayo
No reviews
Podi is a spicy side dish recipe prepared from raw bananas. The podi is typically served in South Indian households with steamed rice and ghee.
Recipe# 15344
23 Sep 11

 
 by anushintre
No reviews
Jowar is one of the most healthy cereals and this innovative jowar idli recipe brings forth the goodness of jowar in a popular idli recipe. The jowar flour based steamed idlis are enjoyed hot with coconut chutney.
Recipe# 15384
17 Aug 11

 
 by tiwari_anuja
No reviews
Baghare baingan is a traditional eggplant or stuffed brinjal recipe with the brinjals slit and then filled with a paste comprising of sesame seeds, peanuts, masalas and nuts. These baigans are then stir fried in hot oil and served hot with rotis garnished with coriander leaves and a dash of limejui ....
Recipe# 15394
22 May 02

 
 by setseeani
No reviews
A crispy and spicy Maddhur vada is prepared from a mixture comprising of rice flour, rava, all purpose flour and chopped onions, chillies, ginger and grated coconut. Enjoy these crunchy vadas with curd or green chutney and make your evening time an exciting one.
Recipe# 15409
07 May 04

 
 by ramya112
No reviews
Sweet idlis are a nice sweet idli recipe with the rice and lentil based batter mixed with jaggery and dill and then steamed till soft and done. Enjoy this healthy idli recipe as breakfast or sweet dash after meals.
Recipe# 15425
11 Oct 11

 
 by Geetha venkatesan
No reviews
Navadhanya idlis is truly an innovative idli recipe prepared from a healthy batter comprising of rice, lentils, wheat flour sesame seeds, til oil and seasonings. The idlis are browinsh in color and best paired with coconut chutney.
Recipe# 15447
26 Sep 11

 
 
by Mathivanan Devadoss
No reviews
Keep the aromatic kalyana rasam powder prepared from roasted spice powders like hing, turmeric and chillies in air tight containers and use as desired to prepare traditional rasam or any lentil curries.
Recipe# 15454
27 Aug 04

 
 
by kavihareni
No reviews
The delectable combination of roasted semiyan or vemicelli and thickened milk in this Semiya payasam recipe is sure to entice all. Thee simple and handy ingredients makes ths payasam or kheer recipe an easy and quick dessert recipe.
Recipe# 15457
22 Oct 00

 
 by meenakshi
No reviews
Add extra nutrition in the traditional idli recipe with this Spinachsoya idli dish. The spinach leaves are chopped and then mixed with rice and soya flour which are steamed to create delectably appealing and healthful low cal spinach soya idlis.
Recipe# 15484
09 Dec 03

 
 by Hpatel7
No reviews
Prepare the sambar masala with the correct combiantion and proportion of spice powders and the use it as desired to prepare lentil dishes, sambhar or rasam for your family,.
Recipe# 15526
07 Oct 04

 
 by geethasridharan
No reviews
Get ready to relish the soft and spongy Soya idli, preapred from a batter consisting of soyabeans and rawa.Enjoy as breakfast with coconut chutney and perk up your protein content by default.
Recipe# 15527
18 Dec 03

 
 by sanya53
No reviews
Tofu morkuzhambu is a typical traditional South Indian vegetable recipe with the tofu cooked with coconut, tamarind pulp and select seasonings. Temper the morkuzhambu with mustrad seeds, curry leaves and chillies and enjoy with appam or rice.
Recipe# 15548
26 Sep 04

 
 by usmishra
No reviews
Prepare the soft and delicious Soya idlis for breakfast and bring a variation to the staple bread butter breakfast menu. The soya idlis are low fat, healthy and packded with proteins and other vital nutrients.
Recipe# 15586
11 Oct 11

 
 by usmishra
No reviews
Neer dosa is a special kind of dosa prepared in a traditional way from rice flour and water. A soft and delicious neer dosa is best paired with sambhar or fish curry.
Recipe# 15590
27 Oct 04

 
 by krupu
No reviews
Idli vadas are simply amazing and melt in the mouth when served with coconut or green chutney. The chutney filled idli vadas are crunchy crispy and make for a delicious snack or breakfast item.
Recipe# 15592
28 Feb 04

 
 by Pearlie
No reviews
Thakkali (tomato) sambar is an unique variation to the lentil based traditional sambhar recipe. This thakkali or tomato sambhar has the tomato puree seasoned with mustard seeds, chillies and curry leaves and is best paired with steamed rice.
Recipe# 15594
28 Feb 04

 
 by Pearlie
No reviews
The potato podimas are a savory potato based side dish which is commonly prepared in Southern states of India. The boiled potatoes are mashed and then seasoned aptly.
Recipe# 15614
17 Aug 11

 
 by usmishra
No reviews
Bread idli is an innovative recipe with the bread slices topped with mashed potatoes and then steamed. Enjoy this delicious snack item with coconut chutney.
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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