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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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Appam ( How To Make Appam )
Recipe# 32844
Today

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Appam is a famous dish from the keralite repertoire of south indian cooking. This recipe is an easy-to-make, instant version of the otherwise tough-to-make dish. Since yeast is used, the batter need not be fermented for long unlike the traditional version. Serve appam with slightly-sweetened coconut ....
Rava Dosa, How To Make Rava Dosa
Recipe# 32837
Today

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
An easy to make counterpart of the traditional dosa ! These crisp dosas are made with a batter of semolina and buttermilk. Since the batter does not have to be fermented for long, this is an ideal dish to serve the sudden guest! Also try other
Avial ( South Indian Recipes)
Recipe# 32909
Today

  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, ....
Bisi Bele Bhaat, Karnataka Bise Bele Bhat
Recipe# 33336
Today

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Bisi Bele Bhaat, a traditional spicy rice dish from Karnataka is quite addictive – served piping hot topped with lots of ghee and accompanied by fried papads and a cool raita, it is almost impossible to say no to this One Dish Meal. Check out for many more wholesome, quick and easy to prepare, one ....
Bhindi Mappas,  Bhindi in Coconut Gravy, Kerala Vendakka  Recipe
Recipe# 32908
Today

 
 by Tarla Dalal
An evergreen favourite of the Syrian Christians in Kerala, Bhindi Mappas features sautéed bhindi in aromatic coconut milk gravy. Although the bhindi does take some time to cook, this recipe is otherwise quite easy as it makes use of everyday ingredients and simple cooking methods. An assortm ....
Kanchipuram Idli
Recipe# 1702
Yesterday

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Kanchipuram is famous for more than silk sarees! In fact, this special savoury idli got its name from that small town in Tamil Nadu. It is offered at the Sri Varadharaja Swamy Temple, and food-lovers are generally prepared to even withstand the hardships of a long queue to buy the prasad of tast ....
Broken Wheat Upma, Healthy Breakfast Recipe
Recipe# 4650
Yesterday

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Broken Wheat Upma, as the name suggests is a nutrient-rich wheat based upma. While the broken wheat brings in loads of dietary fibre and energy, carrot and green peas bring along a wealth of nutrients, especially vitamin A. The veggies also add crunch to an otherwise soft upma. You may also add ....
Methi Leaves Sambhar
Recipe# 5708
14 Jan 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Sambhar is a dish that is synonymous with South Indian cooking. As it is, sambhar is very nutritious as it combines toovar dal with an assortment of vegetables. While vegetables like red pumpkin, drumsticks and bottle gourd all contribute to the nutrient content of this recipe, the bumper iron top-u ....
French Bean and Chana Dal Stir-fry
Recipe# 7448
14 Jan 19

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
A typical South Indian way of preparing French beans, perked up with soaked chana dal and flavoured with a traditional tempering. The chana dal helps provide crunch and volume to the stir-fry, as a low glycemic index alternative to other supplementary ingredients like coconut. While most vegetables ....
Buckwheat Dosa
Recipe# 36424
14 Jan 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 ....
Mini Cabbage Vadas
Recipe# 33096
14 Jan 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The mildly pungent aroma and flavour of cabbage fits very well into vadas. Combined with a dough of soaked urad dal, along with other flavour enhancers, it makes a crispy south Indian treat that will be loved by all. When shaped in a convenient size, the Mini C ....
Hyderabadi Baingan Subzi
Recipe# 5291
04 Jan 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
No reviews
Grated cauliflower replaces coconut to create a healthier and heart-friendly version of the traditional Hyderabadi Baghara Baingan. Although most people will not think of pressure-cooking brinjals, here we have opted for that method so as to retain the nutrients and reduce the oil required. As a res ....
Instant Whole Wheat Vegetable Dosa, Atte ka Chila
Recipe# 41367
04 Jan 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
If you are used to hurried mornings, then this recipe will soon become your best friend! No need to grind, no need to ferment, but these delicious dosas will be on the table in minutes! A quick batter of whole wheat flour, loaded with miscellaneous veggies, green chillies for spice and coriander ....
Jowar and Pear Appam, Healthy South Indian Snack
Recipe# 41964
04 Jan 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
The all-time favourite South Indian snack appam features here with a healthy twist. We have combined two wholesome flours with grated pear to make a naturally-sweet batter. Laced with cardamom and honey and cooked with ghee in an appe mould, the Jowar an ....
Bajra, Carrot and Onion Uttapa
Recipe# 1439
03 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 ....
Dal and Vegetable Idli
Recipe# 1706
02 Jan 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
A perfect breakfast option that combines a variety of pulses and vegetables, dal and vegetable idli is slightly heavier than the regular idlis. The batter can be used to make delectable pancakes too.
Bulgur Wheat Pongal, Low Salt Recipe
Recipe# 42008
02 Jan 19

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Next only to Idli and Dosa, Pongal is amongst the most popular breakfast recipes in South India. Usually made of rice and moong dal, cooked and spiced up with pepper and cumin seeds, Pongal is quite sumptuous and ensures that you don’t get hungry till lunch time! We have made this popular re ....
Poha Yellow Moong Dal Dosa
Recipe# 42455
02 Jan 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Just like rotis made of different flours have different flavours, dosas made of varied batters also have varied flavours. Not only the taste but the aroma and texture of the dosa also varies according to the ingredients used in the batter. Some batters need to be fermented while some do not. The ....
Rasam, South India Rasam, Home Made Rasam
Recipe# 3575
19 Dec 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
There is no place like home, and nothing as soothing as homemade food! In short, a south Indian would say, “Ah, Rasam!” The homeliest of South Indian recipes, Rasam is a thin lentil soup perked up with tamarind pulp and chopped tomatoes, a traditional spice ....
Mysore Chutney, South Indian Mysore Chutney
Recipe# 1657
19 Dec 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Kannada cuisine is generally marked by the moderate use of coconut and jaggery in almost all accompaniments. Here in the Mysore Chutney, these ingredients come together with a combination of dals, tamarind and spices. This chutney can be spread on the inner side of
Gongura Pulihora Recipe, Andhra Style Pulao
Recipe# 41977
19 Dec 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
No reviews
Gojjus or pastes are a popular component of Andhra cuisine. These spicy pastes, made with a combination of greens, veggies and spices are sautéed with rice to make a quick, pulao like dish. It is part of their everyday cuisine. This particular Gongura Pulihora is made of rice mixed with a spicy ....
Dal Vada, South Indian Chana Dal Vada, Masala Vada
Recipe# 40197
19 Dec 18

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
You will love the exciting crispness of these delectable Dal Vadas. Made with a coarse paste of soaked chana dal perked up with onions, ginger paste and the whole traditional team of flavour enhancers, these vadas have a unique, rustic texture and warm, hearty flavour that will strike a chord with m ....
Curd Upma, Breakfast Recipe
Recipe# 42195
18 Dec 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Upma made with semolina is one of the most famous breakfast dishes in India. We have tweaked the traditional recipe slightly, by cooking the roasted rava in a mixture of curds and water instead of just water. This gives a nice consistency and pleasant, rustic tang to the upma. This, in fact, use ....
Ela Ada Recipe, Sweet Rice Pancake
Recipe# 42242
18 Dec 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Ela Ada is a traditional sweet delicacy from Kerala, made by steaming stuffed rice flour pancakes wrapped in a banana leaf. Here, we have shown the Ela Ada with a coconut and jaggery stuffing. On special occasions, it may also be made with a stuffing of sweetened jackfruit pulp. Ela means le ....
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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