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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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4 Flour Dosa
Recipe# 40159
17 Jan 19

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A unique dosa that is made with a fermented batter of soaked and ground urad combined with the right proportions of four readymade flours, the 4 Flour Dosa is super tasty and notably satiating! Rather than using high glycemic index rice, this sumptuous pancake is made with fibre-rich flours li ....
Akki Roti, Karnataka Rice Flour Roti
Recipe# 41991
24 Sep 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Akki Roti is an all-time favourite snack in traditional Kannada households, where it is made for breakfast or evening tiffin. It is a quick and easy recipe, which does not require grinding or fermenting any batters. A soft dough of rice flour, perked up with veggies, ginger, green chillies and c ....
Almond Payasam
Recipe# 32885
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Any dish made using almonds is unfailingly rich, quite befitting royalty! keep the spices such as cardamom to a minimum in this recipe, so as to highlight the creamy, soothing texture and flavour of almonds. Authentic ‘badam kheer’ made the south indian way omits cardamoms and nutmeg and uses a pinc ....
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. ....
Recipe# 15141
16 Aug 11

 
 by kamalacute
Avial stands out as an amazing south indian vegetable preparation with the medley of healthy seasonal vegetables cooked together in coconut, curd and spice powders.
Avial ( South Indian Recipes)
Recipe# 32909
16 Jan 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, ....
Avial, South Indian Curry
Recipe# 22366
11 Dec 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
This mouth-watering South Indian curry is nothing short of a delicacy with its unusual combination of veggies, flavoured aesthetically with a mildly-spiced coconut paste. Do not chop the veggies too finely when making Avial, because the veggies should re ....
Baked Ribbon Sev, South Indian Jar Snack
Recipe# 41971
16 Jul 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Ribbon sev, made of rice flour and besan is one of the most popular jar snacks in South India. We bring you this famous snack, albeit in a healthier form. Made from a dough of besan and whole wheat flour spruced up with a dash of spices, this Baked Ribbon Sev is so healthy and equally tasty! You ....
Banana Pongal, Sweet South Indian Banana Porridge
Recipe# 32897
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Here is a traditional South Indian treat, which is prepared during most religious functions, especially during the harvest festival of Sankrant . Of a consistency similar to khichdi, the Sw ....
Banana Uttapa, Banana Uttapam
Recipe# 245
23 Jul 18

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Spongy and succulent uttapas, with the pleasant flavour and mild sweetness of bananas! This is a delicious snack that will be loved by all, especially kids. Like most uttapas, this one also uses a batter of rice and ....
Barley Idli
Recipe# 22254
Yesterday

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Idli is the first dish that comes to mind when one thinks of South Indian cuisine. Not without reason – this easy-to-digest and wholesome dish is perfect to have at any time of the day, for breakfast, evening snacks or dinner. Barley Idli is a modifie ....
Beetroot and Coconut Sabzi, South Indian Sabzi
Recipe# 41484
15 Feb 17

 
 by Tarla Dalal
An easy and tasty South Indian recipe, which features grated beetroot, flavoured with a traditional tempering and a scrumptious mixture of coconut, garlic and spice powders. Since the beetroot is grated, it cooks very fast, so you can make this Beetroot ....
Benne Dosa, Dosa Using Puffed Rice
Recipe# 42087
14 Sep 17

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Benne Dosa is an evergreen specialty of Karnataka, very famous in the heritage eateries of cities like Bangalore. Till date, you can walk into quaint, century-old eateries in the city where you will be greeted by dhoti-clad men carrying 20-30 Benne Dosas stacked along one arm, to serve to long queue ....
Bhindi Onion Stir-fry , Kerala-style Ularthu
Recipe# 41477
19 Apr 18

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Bhindi coupled with everyday ingredients like onions, green chillies and garlic gives you a tasty and healthy subzi that you can make any day. It is really simple but tastes awesome. Try other healthy subzis like Baingan Methi ki Subzi and
Bisi Bele Bhaat
Recipe# 32894
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
This 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! improvise by adding field beans, peas, kidney beans or other legumes along with the vegetables, for ....
Recipe# 14204
17 Aug 11

 
 by anithajagadeesh
A tasty and popular rice recipe in south indian households, bisibele baath can now be prepared at your home with this easy and quick bisibelle bhaat recipe.
Bonda, Urad Dal Bonda
Recipe# 32654
20 Aug 13

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
A scrumptious snack made with a batter of urad spiked up with pepper and curry leaves, Bonda is an evergreen favourite across South India. It can be served as an evening snack with
Bread Dosa, Instant Bread Dosa Recipe
Recipe# 41953
31 Aug 17

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
An off-beat dosa that everybody will enjoy, even hardcore dosa fans! Made with bread, rice flour and semolina, this Bread Dosa can be made without much pre-planning because you don’t need to ferment the batter. Just mix the ingredients, soak them in curd and blend quickly to get the dosa batter. ....
Bread Uttapam Recipe, Instant Breakfast
Recipe# 42122
07 Dec 17

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Sometimes we crave for a snack but realise that alas, we have not prepared for it earlier! When you feel such a strong desire to have a hot and fluffy uttapam but do not have the batter on hand, go for this instant version, made with a batter of bread and semolina! It tastes and feels just as go ....
Broken Wheat Upma, Healthy Breakfast Recipe
Recipe# 4650
17 Jan 19

  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 ....
Brown Rice and Moong Dal Pongal, Low Salt Recipe
Recipe# 41655
05 Apr 17

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Next to idli and dosa, one can confidently say that Pongal is the next most popular South Indian breakfast. It is a tasty and filling dish with a rustic flavour marked by cumin seeds and ginger. Although it is traditionally made with white rice and moong dal, nowadays people are aware of the ben ....
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