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South Indian recipes


Last Updated : Mar 11,2024



दक्षिण भारतीय व्यंजन | दक्षिण भारतीय रेसिपी | - हिन्दी में पढ़ें (South Indian recipes in Hindi)
દક્ષિણ ભારતીય વ્યંજન | દક્ષિણ ભારતીય વાનગીઓ | - ગુજરાતી માં વાંચો (South Indian recipes in Gujarati)

South Indian recipes | South Indian dishes, food |

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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Iyengar Bakery Style Eggless Rava Cake
Recipe# 43026
25 Jan 24

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
Iyengar bakery style rava cake | eggless semolina cake | suji cake | with 22 amazing images. Iyengar bakery style rava cake is a basic eggless tea time cake. Learn how to make
Pumpkin Kootu ( Pressure Cooker )
Recipe# 33371
16 Feb 11

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Pumpkin kootu, a ballet of vegetables and dal, this healthy combination cooked along with a coconut paste. Go for any choice of veggies such as white pumpkin, cabbage etc. You can top with tempering of oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves to give a refreshing feel to the kootu.
Milagai Podi, Malgapodi Powder, South Indian Gun Powder Recipe
Recipe# 41383
14 Feb 24

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
milagai podi recipe | malgapodi powder | South Indian gun powder | with 20 amazing images. milagai podi recipe | malgapodi powder | South Indi ....
Drumstick Curry, South Indian Drumstick Potato Sabzi
Recipe# 32919
20 Aug 13

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Here is a sweet and spicy drumstick and potato curry made the South Indian way i. e. Flavoured with coconut and whole spices. This curry has a predominant garlic flavour and tastes great with steamed rice . You can als ....
Cucumber Pachadi, Kerala Style Vellarika Pachadi
Recipe# 32870
26 Sep 22

 
 by Tarla Dalal
cucumber pachadi recipe | Kerala style vellarika pachadi | Indian cucumber pachadi without coconut | with 25 amazing images. cucumber pachadi recipe | Kerala style vella ....
Semiya Upma, Wheat Vermicelli Upma
Recipe# 32680
26 Sep 22

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
semiya upma recipe | wheat vermicelli upma | quick semiya upma with coconut | healthy wheat vermicelli recipe | with 23 amazing images. semiya veg upma recipe | ....
Semiya Vegetable Upma, Vermicelli Veg Upma Low Salt
Recipe# 22307
26 Apr 21

 
 by Tarla Dalal
semiya veg upma recipe | whole wheat vermicelli vegetable upma | healthy semiya upma | low salt semiya upma for hypertension | with 26 amazing images. semiya veg upma re ....
Malabar Paratha, Kerala Parotta
Recipe# 40869
10 Aug 23

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
Malabar paratha recipe | Kerala parotta | Indian Malabar parotta | flaky paratha | with 19 mazing images. Malabar paratha recipe | Kerala paro ....
Cabbage Poriyal
Recipe# 4366
13 Feb 24

 
 by Tarla Dalal
cabbage poriyal recipe | South Indian style patta gobi poriyal | cabbage thoran | with 18 amazing images. cabbage poriyal is a lightly spiced, sauteed and steamed
Instant Rava Set Dosa
Recipe# 42934
02 Jun 23

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
instant rava set dosa | instant sponge dosa | no fermentation sponge dosa | instant suji appam | with 21 amazing images. set dosas are very popular across Karnata ....
Bhindi Mappas,  Bhindi in Coconut Gravy, Kerala Vendakka  Recipe
Recipe# 32908
16 Jan 19

 
 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 ....
Ridge Gourd Upkari
Recipe# 4369
17 Aug 23

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Upkari, prepared almost daily in Konkani households, is a flavourful way of stir-frying veggies, with a traditional tempering and addition of grated coconut. In this recipe, you will discover how to quickly and easily prepare Ridge Gourd Upkari. Ensure that the mustard seeds splutter well when you t ....
Sevaiyan Upma in A Microwave
Recipe# 4881
20 May 23

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
microwave semiya upma recipe | seviyan upma in microwave | semiya upma in microwave | vermicelli upma in microwave | with 20 amazing images. seviyan upma in microwave
Cabbage Pakoda, Cabbage Pakora
Recipe# 41124
15 Dec 21

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
cabbage pakoda recipe | cabbage pakora South Indian style | Indian patta gobhi ke pakode | quick snack | with 18 amazing images. cabbage pakoda recipe |
Medu Vada ( South Indian Recipe)
Recipe# 32683
11 Jan 23

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
medu vada | south indian medu vada | urad dal vada | garelu vada | uzhunnu vada | with 20 amazing images. To make medu vada, urad dal i ....
Palak Paneer Uttapam
Recipe# 42981
27 Apr 23

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
palak paneer uttapam | spinach uttapam | suji palak uttapam | with 15 amazing images. palak paneer uttapam is a 10 minutes quick breakfast recipe. Learn how to make pala ....
Upvas Masala Dosa, Vrat ka Instant Dosa
Recipe# 42921
01 Mar 23

  This recipe has an associated video
 by Tarla Dalal
upvas masala dosa recipe | instant farali dosa | vrat ka sama dosa | with 28 amazing images. upvas masala dosa recipe | instant farali dosa | ....
Healthy Lemon Rice
Recipe# 3584
11 Jan 23

 
 by Tarla Dalal
healthy lemon rice recipe | quick and easy healthy lemon rice | South Indian style healthy lemon rice | healthy lemon rice side dish | with 15 amazing images. healthy l ....
Nimbu ka Achar, Instant Lemon Pickle
Recipe# 32881
28 Dec 22

 
 by Tarla Dalal
instant lemon pickle recipe | nimbu ka achar | easy lime pickle | traditional South Indian lemon pickle | instant lemon pickle is a spicy pickle made with most au ....
Sooji Idli ( Suji Idli)
Recipe# 1384
22 Aug 23

  This recipe has an associated video
 
by Tarla Dalal
sooji idli | instant rava idli | suji idli | instant suji ki idli | with 16 amazing images. sooji idli requires no fermenting or grinding and hence called
Mangalorean Tendli and Chana Masala
Recipe# 41859
29 Dec 22

 
 by Tarla Dalal
Mangalorean tendli chana masala recipe | chana tondali recipe | ivy gourd and black chana sabzi | with 30 amazing images. A brilliant combination of ivy gourd and black ....
Drumstick Dal, South Indian Style Dal
Recipe# 40886
09 Jan 24

 
 by Tarla Dalal
drumstick dal recipe | South Indian style toor dal with drumsticks | phalli wali dal | with 31 amazing images. South Indian style toor dal with drumsticks is a more flavourful variant of th ....
Turai Chutney, Ridge Gourd Chutney
Recipe# 3407
05 Dec 22

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
turai chutney recipe | ridge gourd chutney | South Indian turai chutney | Andhra style beerakaya chutney | with 23 amazing images. turai chutney recipe |
Green Peppercorns in Brine
Recipe# 3418
05 Dec 22

 
 
by Tarla Dalal
Green peppercorns bottled in brine (i.e. salt solution) are exported from Tamil Nadu to other parts of the world. This delicacy of unripe peppers is available for only for a few weeks in a year i.e. before the monsoons and before the onset of the winters. You will find them at certain specialty veg ....
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South Indian
5
 on 03 Sep 20 09:59 AM


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Tarla Dalal    Ashraf thanks for the feedback !!! keep reviewing recipes, articles you loved.
Reply
03 Sep 20 01:28 PM
South Indian
5
 on 27 Aug 20 12:41 PM


My name is Manik Das. I read your all articles and your food article are so delicious.
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Tarla Dalal    Manik thanks for the feedback !!! keep reviewing recipes, articles you loved.
Reply
27 Aug 20 12:46 PM
South Indian
5
 on 08 Feb 20 06:43 AM


South Indian
5
 on 13 Jun 19 06:26 PM


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Tarla Dalal    Glad you liked the South Indian recipes.
Reply
14 Jun 19 02:41 PM
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