We wouldn’t be wrong if we said South Indian cuisine is one of the most loved cuisines amongst people in the country.
Blame it on the aromatic spices, the warm flavors or simply the idea of food coming from the most humble part of the nation, Southern Indian cuisine has proudly made its way to big cities up the map.
Be it a quick healthy fix of Idlis or a laid back Sunday morning of Dosas, South Indian food has always been a comforter. So today we thought, why not bring you our Southern favorites, that are easy to make and undoubtedly sumptuous in taste!
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Rawa Upma (Semolina)
A traditional South Indian breakfast option, Upma means the mixture of semolina and vegetables, cooked together, lightly tempered with spices and served with an spicy pickle or chutney.
What gives it brownie points is the fact it is also a major part of many healthy diets, thus making is absolutely guilt free!
Our tip: Ensure you add a generous dose of mustard and curry leaves for that authentic South Indian taste.
(image source: vegrecipesofindia.com)
Appam (Rice & Coconut Pancakes)
Born in Kerala and travelled all the way to Sri Lanka, this southern favorite can be savored at any time of the day, be it your breakfast or dinner.
Made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk, they go scrumptiously well with a vegetable curry or a meat stew.
Our tip: To know if your Appam is made to perfection- ensure it is soft and fluffy in the center and paper thin crispy in the edges.
(image source: yummyoyummy.com)
Idli (Lentils & Rice Steamed Cakes)
It isn’t justice if we speak of Southern India and we fail to mention the most popular savory dish that has its heart in many Indians across the nation!
A great source of carbohydrates, proteins and fiber, Idlis are usually made with a batter consisting of fermented black lentils and rice, which is steamed in a mold to get the perfect shape. They are best served with a Coconut Chutney or a hearty bowl of piping hot Sambar.
Now days to accommodate the crunch of time, people have started using Semolina as a substitute to dal and rice, thus making it an altogether faster process. You can also give these classics a twist by introducing any healthy ingredients such as Oats or Vegetables into them.
Did you know? This people’s favorite also has a day dedicated to it known as the ‘World Idli Day’, celebrated on March 30th.
Our tip: Try adding Fenugreek seeds to the batter for a unique flavor.
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Medhu Vada (Lentil Donuts)
Imagine the monsoon, a cup of ginger tea and a plate of crispy Urad Dal (Black gram) Vadas by your side…Would you still wish for me? At least not us!
According to many tales, it is said that this dish was first prepared in the Maddur town in Karnataka. It later on gained popularity in parts of Maharashtra and today is a popular favorite all over India.
Crispy on the outside and extremely soft on the inside, these little wonders can be served as a side dish, a snack or even as a main course. Back in the southern lands, it is almost a necessary item in every feast.
Our tip: Add a spoon of Semolina to your batter to achieve crispiness in your Vadas.
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Dosa (Rice & Lentil Crepes)
If a dish that is more than 2000 years old and still manages to win over people with a 100 on 100, you know it has to be among the best.
Considered to be one of the most mind blowing combinations of nutrition and taste, Dosas have their own versatile interpretation among different states of India. If you’re in Tamil Nadu you might be eating a ‘Dosai’, if you’re enjoying a meal in Andhra, the Ural Dal will be substituted with Green Gram thus making a delicious plate of ‘Pesarattu’ and if you happen to be in Odisha, do ask for a ‘Chakuli Pitha’.
This fermented batter is similar to the one for an Idli but is cooked in the form of a crepe and best served with a spicy potato mash and variety of chutneys such as mint, coconut and tomatoes.
Our tip: Add a little Chana Dal to the batter for a great texture and taste.
(image source: pinterest.com)
Uttapam ((Rice & Lentil Pancakes)
Bringing a beautiful twist to the Dosa, Southern India has also given a unique delicacy, the Uttapam. While for a Dosa we only cook the batter in the form of a crepe, but for an Uttapam, the batter is spread on a pan like a pancake and topped with a variety of vegetables such as onions, carrots, bell peppers and more.
They are known to be a favorite amongst little ones as they appear to be like an Indianized version of a Pizza yet are filled with nutritional values.
Did you know? Uttapam translates to ‘poured appam’ in Tamil.
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Happy Indulging! 🙂