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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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Paneer Malabar
Recipe# 39129
23 Jan 14

 
 by Sandipan
No reviews
A wonderful malabari dish which i have learnt from a friend of mine so thought of sharing with everyone. I have made a few minor alternations to it and it taste just great. So please do try it and let me know
Cracked Wheat and Oats Kozhukattai
Recipe# 39826
04 Dec 14

 
 
by Vidya Srinivasan
No reviews
Kozhukattai is a Traditional south Indian breakfast. As a healthy twist I have used oats and broken wheat instead of broken rice.
Recipe# 39185
14 Aug 15

 
 by anikar01
No reviews
Poondu Puli Kulambu, a traditional South Indian recipe like sambhar that is usually had with rice, but tastes equally good with idlis and dosas. It is like a curry of Onions and garlic in tamarind gravy, perked up with a very flavourful tempering. Although a variety of spices are used, the sesame, u ....
Recipe# 39285
17 Apr 14

 
 by Lathiya
No reviews
This is a recipe my Mom used to make for my school lunch.This is simple recipe but still very tasty.Even if u make a bowl full it will disappear in minutes.This will go well with sambar rice,curd rice or any variety rice.
Recipe# 39286
17 Apr 14

 
 by Lathiya
No reviews
This is a recipe I got from Mom. She would make this as a evening snack to have when we return from school. This can also be had as breakfast. You can also add some nuts to make this nutritious.
Tasty Badam Halwa
Recipe# 39377
29 May 14

 
 by JananiKartheck
No reviews
I have never had badam halwa ever in my life. When i was browning through some food blogs i came across this dish. I was very reluctant to make this dish since it involved expensive badams and i never knew in what consistency i should cook them. This week my mother-in-law came and she is the expert ....
Recipe# 39397
11 Jun 14

 
 by Lakshmi P
No reviews
Soya Chunks are rich in fiber and proteins and has a lot of health benefits. It is quick to cook, with a protein content equal to that of meat.
Recipe# 39404
21 Jun 15

 
 by Lathiya
No reviews
Andhra Style Okra Fry is a delicious crispy, crunchy accompaniment to the main course. It can also be enjoyed as a starter or snack. Ensure that you do not add any water or else it might turn soggy instead of crispy.
Sprouts Appam
Recipe# 40402
14 Sep 15

 
 by Foodie #640920
No reviews
Sprouts Appam, a variation of the traditional South Indian appam. The addition of sprouts makes it healthier. Good to serve as an evening snack or for breakfast. Serve with coconut chutney or malagpodi powder.
Recipe# 40418
06 Nov 15

 
 by Foodie #642579
No reviews
Flax Seed Powder, the warm, earthy and subtly nutty flavour of flax seeds combined with garlic and chilli powder make a very healthy and yummy seasoning to enhance everyday cuisines. This can be a part of your everyday healthy diet.
Recipe# 40460
22 Oct 15

 
 by kullabaski
No reviews
Gud ka Kheer, good to serve during the Nav Durga Celeberations. The kheer is made with moong and rice and is sweetened with jaggery instead of sugar.
Recipe# 40550
07 Dec 15

 
 by sush neyveli
No reviews
A usual payasam but with a different taste made with bread. start avoiding usual mixes and try this for a change. u will surely love it
Recipe# 40551
07 Dec 15

 
 by sush neyveli
No reviews
Grilled Brinjal Gravy, a different way of cooking brinjal. Grill the brinjal and prepare the gravy from it. Serve it with hot chapathi, roti or puri.
Recipe# 40500
07 Dec 15

 
 by Laavys Kitchen
No reviews
There are seven cups of ingredients which makes this soft mildly sweet delicacy. It consists of 1 cup each of Besan,milk,coconut,ghee and sugar.You can use 3 cups of sugar for authentic recipe but I wanted to make it lightly sweet so made it with just 2 cups of sugar. This sweet is traditionally ....
Rajma Sundal
Recipe# 40369
09 Sep 15

 
 by Jeena Suraj
No reviews
Rajma Sundal is an easy, healthy and a tasty South Indian dish. Sundals are usually made during festivals as prasad in South India and also made at many houses during festivals and is also liked by kids, so it can be given in their lunch boxes too.
Recipe# 40120
02 May 15

 
 
by Rashi Srivastava
No reviews
Instant Vegetable Appe, as the name says, its really instant and a healthy snack.All the vegetables add taste and nutrition to the dish.You can add any vegetable of your choice.
Recipe# 39533
03 Jul 15

 
 by shalinivenkatesh
No reviews
Kosambari is a festive South Indian salad made with a combination of pulses like moong dal, cucumber, tomatoes, coconut, etc. I have added flax seeds to make it healthier. With a seasoning of mustard seeds, ginger and chillies , this piquant dish is sure to refresh you with its zesty flavour!
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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