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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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Tomato Pachadi, How To Make Tomato Pachadi
Recipe# 32868
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The tanginess of tomato and the blandness of fresh curds combine well to cast a soothing spell on the diner. Take care to use fresh, thick curds for this recipe as the pachadi is likely to become watery otherwise, as the juice of the tomatoes also mixes in with it. Also do try other pachadi r ....
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
20 Aug 13

  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 zing, add a little grated ginger to this dish.
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 ....
Bajra, Carrot and Onion Uttapa
Recipe# 1439
17 Jan 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
With humble origins as a simple, homely breakfast in South India, the uttappa has now become famous all over the world, because it lends itself to so much innovation. Here is yet another variant, made with whole bajra and its flour. Vegetables like carrots and onions lend a nice crunch to this sumpt ....
Hyderabadi Baghara Baingan
Recipe# 4353
16 May 13

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
A flavour-packed treat for your palate, the Hyderabadi Baghara Baingan is loaded with the dynamic flavours of several seeds and spices. Slit brinjals are cooked with an aromatic and spicy tempering of seeds, curry leaves and green chillies, and a rich paste that contains a large gamut of flavour ....
Chitranna Rice ( South Indian Recipes )
Recipe# 32892
20 Aug 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Chitranna is a very popular South Indian recipe, which is considered very auspicious and made on festival days as an offering to God. People don’t mind standing in long queues to get their share of Chitranna prasad at temples. Owing to the ease of making it and the convenience of being a one-dish me ....
Rasam Dal Vada, South Indian Snack
Recipe# 42210
24 Oct 17

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Crispy dal vadas dunked in hot rasam, this snack is sure to shake you awake! The tangy, spicy flavour of the rasam complements the texture as well as the taste of the chana dal vadas very well, resulting in a wholly satisfying experience! Here, we show you how to make chana dal vadas as well as ....
Double ka Meetha, Hyderabadi Dessert
Recipe# 42202
04 May 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
A festive sweet from the rich Hyderabadi repertoire, the Double ka Meetha is a little on the sweeter side as the name suggests, but it is meant to be like that – rich and pampering, so go for it! Made with a unique mix of ingredients like bread, mava and ....
Spicy Lehsuni Vada
Recipe# 42225
30 Sep 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
The strong flavour of garlic transforms the soft and soothing potato into an exciting snack! Here, a mixture of potatoes and garlic is coated with a besan batter and deep fried, to get a Spicy Lehsuni Vada, which tastes great when served independently or between a pair of pav buns! It can be ....
Tomato Upma, South Indian Tomato Upma
Recipe# 41543
19 Apr 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
This is a quick and easy breakfast , with an appetizing aroma and the tangy flavour of tomatoes. The Tomato Upma is made with everyday ingredients and is absolutely no-fuss. Yet, it tastes so awesome because of the traditional tempering and th ....
Pesarattu
Recipe# 1688
15 Oct 15

 
 by Tarla Dalal
When you are in Andhra Pradesh, you must try their famous whole green moong dosas, known as Pesarattu. On the other hand, you can try it right away in your own kitchen! These delicious green gram dosas include a little bit of rice for crispness, as well as green chillies and ginger for an eleg ....
Quick Tomato Rasam, Low Salt Recipe
Recipe# 42030
13 Dec 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Quick Tomato Rasam is a quick, low-salt version of the ever-popular South Indian Rasam, made suitable for those with high blood pressure. A vibrant masala that combines everyday spices in apt proportions gives the tomato-based rasam an appetizing flavour and irresistible aroma. Garlic is kno ....
Coconut Thuvayal, Coconut Thogayal, South Indian Coconut Chutney
Recipe# 42171
07 Apr 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
A classic South Indian accompaniment, the Coconut Thuvayal is a slightly spicier coconut chutney made by blending coconut with roasted dals and spices. A dash of asafoetida boosts the aroma of this chutney while tamarind gives it an appetizing tang. The ....
Omapodi Recipe, South Indian Plain Sev Diwali Snack
Recipe# 42176
13 Oct 17

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Omapodi is an all-time favourite jar snack in Tamil Nadu. It has withstood the test of time and continues to delight generations of South Indians! It draws a parallel with the North Indian sev, but the flavour of ajwain sets the Omapodi apart from regular sev. In fact, ‘omam’ means ajwain in Tam ....
Cheese Burst Dosa, Snack
Recipe# 42167
11 Oct 17

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
If the name makes you assume it is another one of those cheese stuffed dosas, you are in for a surprise as this is a notch higher. Lined with cheese and drowned in a milky cheese mixture, it is cheesier than you can imagine. Add to this a scrumptious Schezuan style stuffing and you get an absolu ....
Dal and Rice Dosa
Recipe# 1695
15 Oct 15

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Quite different from the usual dosa in appearance and flavour, the Dal and Rice Dosa has a dominance of dal flavour, which combines beautifully with sambhar and chutney. As a more flavourful and aromatic variant, you can add finely chopped methi leaves or drumstick leaves to the batter before ....
Instant Bread Idli, No Fermenting Required
Recipe# 42095
15 Sep 17

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Feel like having a breakfast of idli and sambhar but don’t have batter on hand? Worry not, you can still entertain your whims with this Instant Bread Idli. Made with an innovative batter of bread crumbs and idli rawa, this Instant Bread Idli is soft, fluffy and tasty. A dash of curds gives the i ....
Ginger Chutney
Recipe# 32898
20 Aug 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Has the appearance and aroma of a chutney ever tempted you to dip your finger into the bowl and lick it? Well, this Ginger Chutney is sure to trigger such passion in you! The pungent notes of ginger combined with garlic, red chillies, tamarind, jaggery and spices, topped with a traditional tempering ....
Brown Rice Dosa, Healthy Dosa Recipe
Recipe# 42105
05 Apr 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Brown Rice Dosa is a delightfully crispy, golden brown dosa that tastes awesome! On the other hand, it is amazingly healthy as we have used a combination of unpolished brown rice and two dals to make this dosa. Make sure you use unpolished rice and not the regular Basmati; otherwise you will los ....
Brown Rice Neer Dosa, Without Fermentation
Recipe# 42109
07 Jun 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Neer Dosa is a special, indigenous recipe from Karnataka, which has a wonderful taste and unique texture despite being made of a plain rice batter! Yes, it might be hard to believe but the batter for these soft, thin, homely pancakes is made of just rice and salt. This gives the Neer Dosa a very ....
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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