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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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Mysore Masala Dosa ( Mumbai Roadside Recipe)
Recipe# 33392
Yesterday

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
This is Mumbai’s own version of Mysore Masala Dosa. While the traditional Mysore Masala Dosa features chutney-smeared dosas with a simple potato masala rolled inside it, Mumbai’s street vendors offer a more exotic version, in which crispy dosas are smeared with a sweet, spicy and tangy Mysore chutne ....
Mysore Sada Dosa ( Mumbai Roadside Recipe)
Recipe# 33391
Yesterday

 
 by Tarla Dalal
No reviews
Hmmm, when you want to have a quick and light meal, but are in too perky a mood for sada dosa, then go for the mysore sada dosa, which is not too heavy on the tummy but still has a nice, semi-spicy flavour, thanks to the mysore chutney!
Rava Dosa, Onion Rava Dosa
Recipe# 169
Yesterday

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Rava dosa is a delectably crispy dosa that can be prepared instantly, without the need for any fermentation. A traditional tempering and quick mix-in of chopped onions, coriander and green chillies add excellent flavour to a batter made of ready flours and semolina. This dosa is indeed a ....
Oats Adai, Oats Spinach Pancake
Recipe# 42162
Yesterday

  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, ....
Recipe# 38179
15 Apr 19

 
 by BETHICA DAS
No reviews
This is a very popular dish from kerala. It is yam and raw plantain curry cooked with coconut and other wonderful spices.
Jowar Palak Appe
Recipe# 42675
15 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Irresistibly tempting, the Jowar Palak Appe is a real treat to the palate, while also being a nourishing snack for your body. Rich in iron , fibre and other nutrients, this appe is quite easy to make and super tast ....
Sprouts and Palak Idli
Recipe# 42674
15 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
No reviews
But for the fact that it is steamed in an idli mould, the Sprouts and Palak Idli has nothing else in common with the traditional rice and urad idli, because it has an excitingly different taste and mouth-feel. Very soft and spongy, the Sprouts and Palak Idli is addictively delicious. The batter of m ....
Moong Dal and Spinach Idli
Recipe# 38991
12 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Eliminating rice reduces the calorie count of these spinach idlis, making them suitable for diabetics as well. The same moong dal batter can also be used to make healthy pankis and pancakes.
Low Cal Dahi Vada ( Non- Fried Snacks )
Recipe# 33325
11 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Who would have thought you can make the all-time favourite Dahi Vada without deep frying in oil! Here, we have cooked the flavourful vada batter in a non-stick tava greased with minimal oil, and used this to make delectable chutney-laced Dahi Vadas. Soak and squeeze the vadas just before servin ....
Dosa (  South Indian Recipe)
Recipe# 32927
10 Apr 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Dosa is as popular in South Indian cuisine as Idli is! Crisp and thin pancakes made of a rice and urad dal batter, dosas are even more exciting than idlis. In fact, while idlis are considered to be an easy, comfortable steamed food, ....
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 ....
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 ....
Avial ( South Indian Recipes)
Recipe# 32909
09 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Avial is a dish that originated in kerala, but gained an equal fanfare in tamilnadu as well. Rare is the wedding or festive menu that does not include avial! the key to making excellent avial is to pay equal attention to the visual appeal – vegetables with contrasting colours such as carrot, beans, ....
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 ....
Coconut Pachadi / Coconut Raita
Recipe# 32871
08 Apr 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Well, if you like dips and raitas, check out their South Indian equivalent – the refreshing raitas! Made by combining thick curds with veggies or other ingredients, the highlight of any pachadi is the traditional tempering, which adds an irresistible aroma t ....
Buckwheat Dosa
Recipe# 36424
08 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Um, you feel like having dosa today but no fermented batter on hand? Not to worry! Here is an easy and instant dosa prepared with buckwheat and urad dal. The twist here is that the ingredients are powdered, tempered and then mixed into a batter, which can be cooked immediately into yummy dosas. Serv ....
Nachni Dosa
Recipe# 1694
08 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The batter to make this nutritious and tasty Nachni Dosa is easier to make than regular dosas because we have used nachni flour. So, you just need to grind the urad dal. Allow the batter to ferment well, so you get really crisp dosas. Serve it hot with chutney and sambhar for a satiating break ....
Moong Sprouts and Bajra Pessaruttu
Recipe# 42538
08 Apr 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
No reviews
Pesarattu is a South Indian specialty, especially famous in Andhra Pradesh. While it is traditionally made of moong and rice, we have made an awesome version with two iron-rich ingredients –
Bajra, Carrot and Onion Uttapa
Recipe# 1439
08 Apr 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 ....
Idli ( Mumbai Roadside Recipes)
Recipe# 33388
06 Apr 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
No reviews
An ideal breakfast option for the busy-bee! served piping hot, usually in portions of three idlis per plate, who can say no to these healthy, steamed idlis that are accompanied by delectable sambhar and two chutneys too?
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.
Spring Dosa ( Mumbai Roadside Recipes)
Recipe# 33396
06 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
What does spring mean to you? A bounty of veggies, a splash of colours, fresh flavours? Well, experience all the vibrant joys of spring, wrapped inside this scrumptious Spring Dosa. A tasty stuffing of crunchy veggies, boiled noodles and peppy sauces is the highlight of this delicious butter-cooked ....
Paneer Chilly Dosa, Mumbai Roadside Recipe
Recipe# 33398
06 Apr 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
This dosa is sure to set your tongue on fire! We have cast some Chinese magic on dosa, the ever-popular South Indian snack, to make a unique and exciting dish. You can think of this as a Chinese co ....
Sada Dosa ( Mumbai Roadside Recipe)
Recipe# 33389
06 Apr 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Fzzzzzzzzzzzzzkkkk! your ear wakes up your gastronomic juices as soon as it hears the vendor sprinkling water on the hot tava before pouring the batter and spreading it into a thin, crisp dosa, which is then rolled up and served along with sambhar and other chutneys.
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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