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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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Roasted Chana Dal Chutney, Healthy Chutney
Recipe# 42451
28 Jun 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
This South Indian chutney, replete with the nutty flavour of chana dal and the peppy flavour of spices, is sure to add a flavourful dimension to any dish it’s served with. The Roasted Chana Dal chutney gets its pleasant tang from curds, which also contr ....
Paneer Vegetable Idli
Recipe# 42454
20 Feb 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
An off-beat idli that’ll delight every diner. Combining crunchy veggies and succulent paneer into a batter of besan and semolina, the Paneer Vegetable Idli is a tasty and handy addition to your cookbook as it’s made with common ingredients and requires no grinding or fermentation. It is essentia ....
Appam, Appam Without Yeast
Recipe# 41038
20 Jul 16

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
It is a delight to watch an experienced chef swirl the kadhai to make a perfect bowl-shaped Appam! You can master the art too, within a few tries. Appam is a delectable South Indian dish, which is comparable to dosa, but with a special texture and shape. ....
Chettinad Curry ( South Indian Recipes )
Recipe# 32925
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Here's a spicy curry from tamilnadu that tastes best with steamed rice. The chettinad masala for this curry can even be made a week in advance and stored in air-tight bottles.
Schezuan Chopsuey Dosa, Mumbai Roadside Schezwan Dosa  Recipe
Recipe# 33393
09 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Mumbai is a melting point of cultures, and this Schezuan Chopsuey Dosa is a perfect example of that vibrancy! Take the typical potato stuffing out of the Masala Dosa and replace it with a tongue-tickling Schezuan Chopsuey, and there yo ....
Jeera- Pepper Rasam, Milagu Rasam Recipe
Recipe# 32904
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The ideal rasam to serve on a cold winter’s day! Jeera-Pepper Rasam is a good antidote for common cold and feverishness, and many prefer to take a swig of it plain, in a cup, while others prefer to mix it with rice and oodles of ghee.
Farali Dosa, Faral Foods Recipe - How To Make Farali Dosa, Faral Foods
Recipe# 33292
09 Feb 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
There are several forgotten gems from South Indian cuisine, which people are vehemently attempting to bring back to the fore now. This delicious Farali Dosa is an example. While people commonly make regular dosa or quick-fix ones out of wheat flour or semoli ....
Tomato Chutney  (  Idlis and Dosas)
Recipe# 1654
15 Oct 15

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The Tomato Chutney is a tongue-tickling accompaniment that is perfect to have with idlis and dosas. Although it takes a few minutes to prepare, many people prefer to make it often because it is faster than grating a coconut, plus it has a holistic flavour that eliminates the need for sambhar a ....
Ven Pongal, South Indian Breakfast
Recipe# 32896
20 Aug 13

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Ven Pongal is South India’s equivalent of the North Indian khichdi. Cooked rice and moong dal are flavoured with ginger, crushed peppercorns and cumin seeds, and garnished with ghee-roasted cashew nuts and curry leaves. Ven Pongal has a unique flavour and consistency, which are rich yet soothing ....
Sweet Pongal, Sakkarai Pongal, Chakkarai
Recipe# 32888
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
God’s favourite offering, and man’s favourite prasad! Yes, the Sweet Pongal has won this contest hands-down. For generations, South Indians have believed the Sweet Pongal or Sakkarai Pongal to be one of the best offerings to God, as it combines rice and dal with jaggery and spices, all being aus ....
Uttapam Pizza
Recipe# 22654
21 Jan 10

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
What a fun way to make use of leftover uttapas ! The Uttapam Pizza is so tasty that your kids will want you to make this every time you make dosa batter. From onions and capsicum, to pizza sauce and cheese, the Uttapam Pizza has all the ....
Pongal Kootu, South Indian Mixed Vegetable Curry
Recipe# 42312
24 Sep 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Pongal Kootu is a tongue-tickling mixed vegetable curry made during Makar Sankaranthi or Pongal in South India. It is made with local vegetables that are in season at the cusp of winter and spring. This curry brings togethe ....
Vegetables in Coconut Curry, Karwar Style Valval Recipe
Recipe# 34564
22 Feb 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Vegetables in Coconut Curry or Valval is a classic mixed vegetable preparation from the Western coastal region, where coconuts grow in plenty and are used abundantly in the cuisine. Here, an assortment of colourful and juicy veggies is flavoured simply with green chillies and cumin seeds and coo ....
Quick Rava Idli ( Tiffin Treats)
Recipe# 37276
24 Feb 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
With its brilliant flavour and nice, flaky texture, Rava Idli is something like upma in idli form, so you get the best of both worlds. Since it is steamed, it is easier to digest than upma, ....
Masala Dosa ( Mumbai Roadside Recipe)
Recipe# 33390
06 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A tried-and-tested recipe that serves as a wholesome answer to the hungry palate! a thin crisp dosa, engulfed in a spicy potato bhaji.
Tender Mangoes In Brine
Recipe# 32880
20 Aug 13

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
No reviews
A simple but tasteful recipe that is extremely popular,espeacially in kerala,tamilnadu and some areas of karnataka,served with curd rice. Remember to choose tender raw mangoes,and leave the stem on, so that the pickle lasts for longer. Thick-skinned,bitter varieties are usually not preferred for thi ....
Doodhi Pachadi / Spicy Doodhi Raita
Recipe# 32869
01 Feb 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Pachadis are the South Indian equivalent of raita, and commonly there are two types of this accompaniment. The ones made with tamarind as the base are usually spicy, while the ones ....
Mysore Bonda, South Indian Snack
Recipe# 42173
06 Mar 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
An awesome snack from the ever-busy kitchens of Mysore, the Mysore Bonda is a deep-fried fritter made of plain flour, rice flour and curds, perked up with a range of appropriate taste givers like ginger and green chillies. This traditional snack, a specialty of Karnataka, has a beautifully reddi ....
Neer Dosa ( How To Make Neer Dosa )
Recipe# 32846
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
A dish made out of rice, unique to the region of dakshin kannada and udipi district. The word 'neer' means water. The dish is named so as the batter is wattery. Serve with chutney or sambhar or for a change with jaggery mixed with grated coconut.
Drumstick Dal, South Indian Style Dal
Recipe# 40886
26 May 16

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Think of this as a more flavourful variant of the everyday Sambhar. A sumptuous mixture of cooked toovar dal, drumstick and vegetables like onions and tomatoes is flavoured with a spicy paste of coconut, onions and spices, and tempered with a traditional mix of mustard seeds and red chillies. ....
Quick Rava Idli ( South Indian Recipes)
Recipe# 32608
25 Feb 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Well, you love Idlis, but what if you have no batter on hand? Here is a quick and equally tasty (in fact, spicier!) version of idlis made with semolina. Since the batter requires no fermentation, this recipe is a quick-fix! For extra ....
Crispy Paper Dosa
Recipe# 1699
15 Oct 15

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Crispy Paper Dosa is a super-star whose fame has carried it from South India to the most famous restaurants all over the world! As the name suggests, this dosa is golden brown, crispy and so thin that a huge dosa can be made with just a ladle or two of batter. In hotels, it is generally ....
Kai Murukku, South Indian Handmade Chakli
Recipe# 42235
01 Sep 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Kai Murukku is one of the most famous South Indian jar snacks, and is like an endorsement of one’s cooking skills! Made with a dough of rice and urad, this chakli like snack is shaped entirely by hand, which requires a bit of practice to master. However, it is completely worth the effort because ....
Poha Idli ( How To Make Poha Idli )
Recipe# 32834
20 Aug 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
The super soft, super fluffy Poha Idli is sure to steal your hearts! You will find that the batter for this idli is pretty easy to make because we have used a combination of rice semolina and poha instead of whole idli rice. So, the rice portion of the batter will be ready in a jiffy. Then, you need ....
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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