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South Indian recipes


Last Updated : Jan 08,2019



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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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Maddur Vada
Recipe# 42570
19 May 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Jazz up your tea-time with this awesomely crunchy snack that hails from Karnataka. Very famous in the Mysore region, the Maddur Vada is a classic evening snack made by deep-frying a dough o ....
Manglorean Drumstick Curry
Recipe# 4362
16 May 13

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
The Mangalorean Drumstick Curry is traditional fare that reflects the rich and vibrant flavours of Indian cuisine. Thanks to the abundance of coconuts along the Kerala and Konkan coast, these cuisines use coconut generously in the masalas and garnishes. Here, in this preparation, drumstick and potat ....
How To Make A Perfect Dosa Batter
Recipe# 40481
17 May 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Perfect dosas are a matter of pride, and this requires the perfect dosa batter! Two things are important when making the batter. One is the proportion of rice to urad and the other is the consistency of the batter. In this procedure, we use a combination of raw rice and par-boiled rice to get cr ....
Corn Upma
Recipe# 42574
16 May 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Upma, the all-time favourite breakfast dish, comes to your table with a totally unexpected twist! This is an innovative version of the classic dish, made with crushed sweet corn kernels and beaten rice. The richness of corn is ....
Rasam Idli,  Idli Rasam
Recipe# 40389
15 Oct 15

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
While most people think of serving idlis with sambhar and chutney, the fact is that there are many more exciting serving options for this versatile South Indian snack. And, one such idea is to combine it with the homely South Indian rasam. Although sambh ....
Rice Appe ( How To Make Rice Appe )
Recipe# 32847
20 Aug 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Rice Appe is a simply awesome snack, which can be had as a tea-time treat or served along with idli, pongal, dosa or khichdi to add more josh to your breakfast. Made by cooking a fermented batter of rice and urad dal in an appe mould, the appe are crisp outside but soft and spongy inside. A temperin ....
Oats Rava Idli
Recipe# 39009
26 Nov 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Idlis are a breakfast favourite even outside South India. Fibre rich oats and rava combine to make delicious instant idlis that you can enjoy fresh off the steamer with sambhar and
Capsicum Chutney
Recipe# 42364
24 May 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Here’s a chutney that will tickle your taste buds and perk up any dish it is served with. An apt accompaniment for idli, dosa and hot steamed rice, the Capsicum Chutney combines the pungent, mildly spicy flavour of capsicum with the comforting taste of roasted dal, the tanginess of tamarind, the ....
Curd Rice, South Indian Curd Rice Recipe
Recipe# 32893
20 Aug 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
In South India, the Kheer and mithai are served at the start of a meal. It is the Curd Rice that comes at the end, as a flavourful and soothing finish to a traditional spread. At the same time, it is also a comforting one-d ....
Sambhar Rice, Sambar Sadam
Recipe# 42181
24 Sep 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
A traditional one-dish meal from the kitchens of Tamil Nadu, the Sambhar Rice is enjoyed so much by them that it is made on special occasions as well as lazy weekends! They need no reason or occasion to make Sambhar Rice – if they feel like it, ....
Drumstick Vegetable Curry
Recipe# 38899
23 Sep 13

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Only Indian cuisine can boast of such a variety! Take any vegetable and there will be hundreds of ways in which it can be prepared. Here is an irresistible recipe featuring aromatic and flavourful drumstick together with besan in a tomato-based curry flavoured and tempered with traditional spices an ....
Moru Moru Dosa
Recipe# 1685
15 Oct 15

 
 by Tarla Dalal
When children come home after school in South India and peek into the kitchen to see what is waiting for them, the answer they yearn for is “Moru Moru Dosa” or crisp dosa! This recipe shows you a quick-fix fermented dosa recipe, which tastes even better than the regular fermented batter dosa ....
Rava Bonda Recipe
Recipe# 42439
09 Oct 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Eager to make bonda but in no mood to soak the stuff, grind the batter, and all? Go for this yummy Rava Bonda, which has a fabulously crispy texture and a peppy flavour, all achieved without any complex or time-consuming procedures. The rava is soaked in curds, perked up with ingredients like on ....
Jowar and Pear Appam, Healthy South Indian Snack
Recipe# 41964
04 Jan 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The all-time favourite South Indian snack appam features here with a healthy twist. We have combined two wholesome flours with grated pear to make a naturally-sweet batter. Laced with cardamom and honey and cooked with ghee in an appe mould, the Jowar an ....
Puttu, Kerala Homemade Rice Puttu for Breakfast
Recipe# 41331
24 Sep 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
A timeless culinary treasure from the kitchens of Kerala, Puttu is one of the healthiest breakfasts you can think of! Made of steamed rice flour and grated coconut, Puttu has a unique taste and texture, which comes from the special container that it is steamed in. Traditionally, Puttu was steame ....
Cooked Rice Idli
Recipe# 1708
15 Oct 15

 
 by Tarla Dalal
These super-soft idlis are made with a combination of readymade idli rava and cooked rice along with fluffy, wet-ground urad dal. It is easier to prepare this idli compared to the traditional one, as you need to soak wet-grind only the urad dal. It is also a relatively foolproof method that is ....
Oats Mutter Dosa ( Fibre Rich Recipe )
Recipe# 35079
18 Oct 10

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
This instant dosa batter is packed with protein and fibre. Oats must be consumed daily for its high content of soluble fibre ‘beta-glucan’, a potent blood sugar and cholesterol-lowering agent. The addition of urad dal and carrots make the dosas rich in protein and vitamin a too. Prepare this instant ....
Instant Oats and Whole Wheat Uttapam
Recipe# 42495
17 Oct 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Uttapam ready in a jiffy without having to soak, grind or ferment the batter! Yes, this is an instant variety that uses a perfect mix of oats flour and whole wheat flour fortified with a good dose of veggies too. It has a scrumptious mouth-feel and absolutely awesome flavour that is sure to kick ....
Oats Adai, Oats Spinach Pancake
Recipe# 42162
26 Jul 18

  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, ....
Uppu Urundai, Steamed South Indian Breakfast Recipe
Recipe# 42486
09 Oct 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Uppu Urundai is a quick and easy steamed South Indian breakfast recipe that is made with minimal ingredients. This no-fuss recipe can be made on any day without too much advance planning, though you need to have an hour to soak the rice. If you do not ha ....
Sambhar
Recipe# 3578
26 Nov 12

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The aromatic flavours of this traditional South Indian dish are truly irresistible. The speciality of this sambhar is that it is made with minimal oil and loads of vegetables which enhance its nutritive value. When served hot with Nutritious Stuffed Idlis, it makes a meal that is very hard to resi ....
South Indian Peanut Rice, Verkadalai Sadam Recipe
Recipe# 42481
19 Apr 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Here’s a zesty rice preparation dominated by the crunch and nutty flavour of peanuts, highlighted by notes of red chilli. Though used in a small quantity, the warm aroma and flavour of sesame seeds is quite notable in the South Indian Peanut Rice. With a mix of awesome flavours, this rice dish i ....
Ghee Roast Dosa, Crispy Dosa with Milagai Powder
Recipe# 42270
24 Jan 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Ghee Roast Dosa is one of the most popular varieties of dosa in South Indian restaurants. It has the rich aroma of ghee and a wonderful texture that is crisp and golden coloured on the outer side and slightly softer inside. A sprinkling of malgapodi give ....
Sambar Recipe, South Indian Homemade Sambar Recipe
Recipe# 1557
23 Sep 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Sambhar is a definite part of South Indian meals. Sometimes, they make it even more than once a day – for breakfast and later for lunch or
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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