Comforting coconut curries and stews, gunpowder, fermented, steamed rice cakes, a tinge of tamarind and a tadka of curry leaves with mustard seeds…. Did we hit your soft spot yet? A breakfast daily for many, and comfort food for others, South Indian food is quite a favourite among Indians. While you may not be aware of Bisi Bele Bhaath, Idli Sambhar may still be your go-to dish.
South India is immensely diverse when it comes to food. It’s safe to say that South Indian flavours have gained tremendous popularity not only in India but across the globe. However, there’s so much more to South Indian cuisine beyond idli and dosa. From lip-smacking rasams and sambhars of Udupi, to the flavoursome appam and Ishtu of Kerala, South Indian cuisine has something in-store for all kinds of foodies. You know what’s better? You can enjoy these flavours at our homes, too.
Chettinad, The Not-So-Fiery One
Stocked with culinary treasures, Tamil Nadu has always been loved by gastronomers. No matter where you travel, you are bound to be greeted with a delicious spread. Apart from the regulars, Tamil Nadu has one such cuisine, which will please your tummy and satiate your soul — the Chettinad Cuisine.
Known for its complex flavours, Chettinad cuisine is an experience by itself. However, it’s a myth that Chettinad cuisine is spicy and greasy. As a matter of fact, the authentic cuisine is quite mild as it typically uses more coriander seeds than chilli seeds in its dishes.
Imagine the sweet and savoury Kozhukattai (rice flour dumplings), soft and succulent Chicken Chettinad, freshly made Idiyappam served with either sweet coconut milk or spicy stew… sounds heavenly right?
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Carnatic, The Mellow One
Considered to be one of the oldest surviving south Indian food, Karnataka cuisine – or Carnatic, as we’d call it – is not just about Mysore Masala Dosas and the Mysore Paks (Pssst! For most of us, it is!). The more you explore this cuisine, you will realise that every region in Karnataka has its speciality. From the famous Neer Dosa and Kori Rotti of Mangalorean cuisine, to the scrumptious fish curries of Malnad, spicy Meat Curries of Kodagu cuisine and the Oh-So-Famous Udupi Rasam, you will literally need a timetable to devour Carnatic cuisine to your heart’s content. Fun fact: Rava Idli, a twist to the regular Idli was invented during World War II due to the scarcity of rice.
The Coconut-ty One
Kerala, a true-blue tropical paradise, has a simple yet delicious food platter. And because of its diverse and simple flavours, you might end up going gaga over its cuisine. Besides, with an amazing blend of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, you will never be out of options. Do you know why Kerala is called the land of coconuts? Well, the name Kerala is derived from the Malayalam word ‘Keram’, which means ‘coconut tree’. That’s how the place came to be known as ‘Kerelam’ (land of coconuts). So, the next time you relish those delicious curries, you know why it is infused with coconut milk!
Some of the must-try Kerala cuisines include Puttu and Kadala Curry, Appam with Ishtu, Dosa Ghee Roast, Kerala-style Prawn Curry, Nadan Kozhi Varuthathu (Spicy Chicken Fry), Naadan Beef Fry (Kerala Style Beef Fry), Mappila Biryani, etc. Also, don’t forget to try Ela Sadya—the king of all the Kerala food, which is prepared on special occasions.
If these cuisines have got your tummy growling, it’s time you plan your vacation to South India. And, if you still need some more motivation, trust our southern homes to do the trick for you.