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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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Recipe# 15621
16 Nov 04

 
 by sapnil
No reviews
Subz Biryani is a tempting vegetable or subz Biryani recipe with assorted vegetables chopped and stir fried with cooked rice, whole spices and relished garnished with coriander leaves and roasted cashews.
Recipe# 15665
03 Jan 05

 
 
by arsims
No reviews
Rava idli with tamarind chutney is an unique combination of enjoying the spongy rava idlis with a tangy tamarind chutney. Serve as quick breakfasts or healthy tiffin options.
Recipe# 15669
13 Jan 02

 
 by kdeepa14
No reviews
Sambhar sadam is a traditional way of preparing the South Indian lentil recipe, sambhar. The sambhar powder, red chilli powder is added to the boiled tur dal and then cooked with tamarind pulp and a tempering of curry leaves, mustard seeds and chillies.
Recipe# 14228
29 Oct 02

 
 by chundurushaila
No reviews
Powered with the goodness of soybeans, the Soya rasam brings a lovely healthy twist to the basic lentil based rasam recipe. The cooked soybeans are blended and then simmered in tamarind water along with rasam powder. Enjoy as soup or with steamed rice.
Recipe# 14264
09 Jun 02

 
 by kalsvaidya
No reviews
A simple, quick and authentic recipe to prepare the South Indian staple, Sambhar. The lentil based tangy sambhar is best served with rice or idlis.
Recipe# 14301
22 Oct 18

 
 by hemarangaswamy
No reviews
Mustard rice is quite a different rice recipe with coconut and mustard paste added to the boiled rice. Traditionally a part of south indian cuisine, the mustard rice is flavourful and typically enjoyed with garlic podi or rasam.
Recipe# 14305
02 Jan 03

 
 by Santhy56
No reviews
Unniappam is a South Indian delicacy recipe with rice ground with bananas and sugar. These appam batter is then spread on apan and relished crispy hot with fried coconut pieces as filling and jeera powder as garnish.
Recipe# 14349
27 Sep 11

 
 by ratnamadhuri
No reviews
Kattu pongal is a south indian rice and lentil based recipe. The rice is cooked with green gram along with coconut and tamarind water and then tempered with mustard seeds,chillies and curry leaves. A breakfast item, pongal can also be served as a meal with your favorite podi or chutney.
Recipe# 14374
13 Oct 11

 
 by gpsundaram1
No reviews
Plantain laccha subzi brings forth an interesting vegetable recipe with cooked raw plantains or bananas. The plantain is cut into thin strips or lacchhas and then cooked with onions, spice powders and urad dal powder.
Recipe# 14444
23 Aug 11

 
 by sonia_thamman
No reviews
Chilled idli presents an innovative snack or chaat recipe with the idlis topped with beaten curd and chilled. The chilled idlis with curd are then topped with fried chillies, grated carrots and chopped coriander leaves. A cool snack to beat the summer heat.
Recipe# 14474
09 Apr 01

 
 by vsucharitha
No reviews
Mysore rasam brings of a spicy and delicious spicy variation to the traditionally tangy rasam recipe. The choice of herbs, a paste comprising of coconut, red chillies and pepper corns and tamarind pulp makes this Mysore rasam a zesty recipe. Relish a soup pr with steamed rice.
Recipe# 14521
12 Nov 01

 
 by pink_key711
No reviews
An amazing traditional Bengali sweet recipe, Ranga alur puli has ranga alu or sweet potatoes mashed and then mixed with flour to make a dough. This sweet dough is then filled with a coconut filling and then simmered in sugar syrup after sealing the edges. A festival special puli recipe, the ranga al ....
Recipe# 14535
11 Aug 11

 
 by devindra
No reviews
An adai is a steamed rice pancake recipe which is traditionally prepared in south indian households as breakfast with tuar dal, chana dal and rice as ingredient. The rice batter is mixed with chopped chillies, onions and hing and then spread on a hot pan with little oil. A crispy and delicious adai ....
Recipe# 14568
13 Oct 11

 
 by padmajabellam
No reviews
Pappulusu is a south indian lentil curry with tuar dal, tomatoes, tamarind, coconut and red chilli paste. Enjoy this spicy and tangy lentil dish with steamed rice.
Recipe# 14603
17 Nov 01

 
 by devindra
No reviews
A traditional steamed rice pancake recipe with rice and semolina or rava batter is spread just like Dosa on a hot pan and then served crispy hot as breakfast with coconut chutney.
Recipe# 14647
24 Jan 02

 
 by shubaraj
No reviews
Thattai seedai is a special Tamil snack which is relished during festivals and is made up of rice and urad dal flour. The rice and lentil based snack recipe is deep fried and then enjoyed hot and crispy with coconut chutney or tomato paste.
Recipe# 14652
24 Jan 02

 
 by shubaraj
No reviews
Pulikaichal is basically tamarind paste recipe which forms the base for the South Indian delicacies like tamarind rice and tamarind chutneys.
Recipe# 14730
30 Aug 11

 
 
by rekhapalnitkar
No reviews
Garlic rasam brings a nice garlic flavour to the other wise tangy rasam recipe. The garlic paste adds to the zing of this tomato based lentil soup recipe and is best enjoyed as soup or with steamer rice.
Recipe# 14752
15 Feb 02

 
 by jugnu72
No reviews
Stir-fry mini idlis is a simple way of preparing the idlis instantly in mini idli maker. The idli batter is steamed in small sizes and then served tempered with mustard seeds, green chillies and grated coconut .
Recipe# 14774
09 Nov 01

 
 by sumukha
No reviews
Add nutrition and taste in your breakfast fare by preparing the soft and spongy Soy idly. The Soyabeans are great source of proteins and phytoestrogens and this recipe is an easy way of adding soya into your diet.
Recipe# 14778
24 Mar 02

 
 by melisa
No reviews
A spicy and slightly bitter tasting Karela gojju can be enjoyed as a side dish with any meal. The South Indian style prepared karela gojju is high on nutritive value and is also quite easy to prepare wit bitter gourds or karelas.
Recipe# 14794
19 Aug 11

 
 
by Pearlie
No reviews
Brinjal sambhar is a traditional south indian recipe with roasted or boiled brinjals mashed and then cooked with onion, tamarind pulp and ground coconut paste.
Recipe# 14798
28 Feb 04

 
 by pearlie
No reviews
Thick dhal kootu is a lentil curry with a traditional South Indian style of cooking. The dals are cooked with vegetables, tamarind pulp and ground coconut and relished with rice or appams as main course meal option.
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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