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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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Bonda, Urad Dal Bonda
Recipe# 32654
20 Aug 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A scrumptious snack made with a batter of urad spiked up with pepper and curry leaves, Bonda is an evergreen favourite across South India. It can be served as an evening snack with
Idli
Recipe# 1652
10 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Fluffy as cotton balls, white as the moon’ - every South Indian remembers those fond descriptions of Idli that mom used to convince them to eat breakfast when they were kids. Indeed, that is how the perfect Idli must be too. Grinding of batter and the pr ....
Kerala Parota, Flaky Kerala Paratha
Recipe# 40869
21 Sep 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 ....
Baked Ribbon Sev, South Indian Jar Snack
Recipe# 41971
09 Mar 19

 
 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 ....
Palak Rava Idli Recipe
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 ....
Coriander Upma
Recipe# 39001
26 Nov 13

 
 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.
Quick Vegetable Appe
Recipe# 39446
12 Aug 14

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
This quick snack gets full marks in all aspects – taste, health, and satisfaction for moms and kids! Made easily with readymade idli batter, chopped spinach and grated veggies, the Quick Vegetable Appe is not only nutritious but also yummy and handy for kids to hold, dunk and gobble up. No fuss, no ....
Masala Appe, Masala Paniyaram,  Made From Idli Batter
Recipe# 42039
28 Feb 19

  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 ....
Palak Paneer Dosa
Recipe# 33407
20 Aug 13

 
 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 ....
Medu Vada ( South Indian Recipe)
Recipe# 32683
10 Apr 19

  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 ....
Spicy Tava Idlis
Recipe# 1669
15 Oct 15

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Watch your leftover idlis transform into a scrumptious delight as you toss them with crunchy onions, tangy tomatoes and peppy spice powders. The master stroke in this Spicy Tava Idli recipe is the use of pav bhaji masala, a very popular flavour that is loved by young and old alike! Try t ....
Upma,  Quick Upma Recipe, Breakfast Upma
Recipe# 38658
14 Dec 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Upma is one of the most common Breakfast items, all over India. It is a quick preparation using common ingredients, and so it can be made without much ado. Plus, you can also make it healthier by adding a lot of boiled veggies like carrots, beans, potato ....
Ribbon Sev
Recipe# 41058
01 Sep 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Ribbon Sev, also known as Ribbon Pakoda, Ola Pakoda or Ottu Pakoda in South India is a broad, ribbon-shaped sev that is super crisp because of the perfect proportioning of rice flour, besan and butter. The dough for this deep-fried snack is flavoured aptly with chilli powder and asafoetida, which gi ....
Kadubu
Recipe# 42567
29 May 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
A tasty snack from the kitchens of Karnataka, Kadubu can be enjoyed for breakfast or as an evening snacks. There are numerous types of Kadubu made in Karnataka. ....
Tomato Gojju, Karnataka Spicy Tomato Curry
Recipe# 42563
21 May 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
A quick and easy accompaniment from the Karnataka repertoire, the Tomato Gojju is a spicy tomato curry with shades of tanginess and sweetness too. The tomato is sautéed and flavoured with a traditional tempering, a little jaggery ....
Kesari Bhaat
Recipe# 42564
12 Jul 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Kesari Bhaat, the South Indian counter-part of the sheera, is an ever-popular sweet treat for young and old alike! Perhaps due to this reason, you will find the Kesari Bhaat is a part of most breakfast or lunch combos at South Indian restaurants. It ....
Chow Chow Bhaat
Recipe# 42566
14 Aug 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Chow Chow Bhaat is one of the most unique dishes of Karnataka. This timeless treasure can be enjoyed for breakfast, evening snack or dinner, but is mostly had for breakfast. It is basically a combination of two dishes – a savoury rava bhaat and a sweet kesari bhaat, both made with semolina. The ....
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 ....
Masala Sweet Corn Vada
Recipe# 42580
16 Mar 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A droolworthy snack that’s absolutely easy to make, the Masala Sweet Corn Vada is just perfect to have with a cup of tea on a rainy day. It has a very unique taste and exciting mouth-feel, thanks to the combination of crushed corn with onions, capsicum and garlic paste. A touch of chaat masa ....
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 ....
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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