Indian food is more than butter chicken, chicken tikka masala, dal makhani, paneer and naan. These are merely the tip of the iceberg compared to the various mouth-watering flavours available in the country. As you move to South India, your sense of taste widens as you experience new flavours. The dishes here are mostly cooked in coconut or coconut oil. The staples include rice, lentils, tamarind, curry leaves, and coconut. We are sure that by now, your taste buds must have been ignited to try some famous South Indian dishes. Before you grab a hotel booking offer and flight ticket offer on HappyEasyGo to taste the feathery-light and delicious food of South India, check out the dishes you do not want to miss during your trip.
Popular Dishes to Try in South India
The famed Hyderabadi Biryani is a preparation of basmati rice mixed with vegetables or meat, onions, whole spices, lemon and saffron. Hyderabadi biryani has a lip-smacking flavour compared to other biryanis found in other parts of India. The spices and way of cooking used provide a unique taste to the dish.
Perhaps the most well-known dish on this South Indian food list, Masala dosa is found in several varieties and is similar to crepes. Rice and black gram are soaked overnight to make a fermented batter to prepare dosa. The batter is then put on a hot ‘tawa,’ and thin and crispy dosas are served steaming hot with sambar, a spicy soup for dipping. Sambhar is accompanied by an assortment of chutneys (coconut, tomato and mint). These dosas are either plain or stuffed with fried onion and potato.
Amusingly called the dosa’s fat cousin, Uttapam is made from the same type of batter as dosa but with an added mix of onion, tomato and coriander. One of the widely loved dishes in South Indian cuisine, this is thicker than the traditional dosa and resembles a savoury pancake.
Another dish you will definitely find in the South Indian thali is idli. These are small round cakes made by steaming the batter of fermented black lentils and rice. Semolina can also be used instead of rice and lentils. Idli is usually complimented with sambar and coconut chutney.
Among the delicious South Indian snacks, vada is India’s answer to a doughnut. Several lip-smacking varieties of vada, savoury and sweet, can be found here. This mouth-watering dish is prepared from the grounded batter of legumes soaked in water overnight and then seasoned with cumin, onion, chillies and curry leaves. The mixture is given a doughnut shape and deep fried to make them crisp from the outside and fluffy and soft from inside.
Upma is a famous South Indian food often had during breakfast and sometimes as dinner. It is a thick porridge prepared from roasted semolina or dry, coarse rice flour. To make its different varieties, spices, vegetables, spices, curry leaves and groundnuts are added to it.
A staple among the South Indian dishes name, Appam is a bowl-shaped pancake made in Kerala. The dish is prepared from fermented rice batter and served with delicious coconut milk or korma (curry), cooked with vegetables and yoghurt.
Rasam tops the South Indian menu list as it is served in every household and restaurant in the South Indian states. Served piping hot, this dish is a popular remedy for sore throats and cold. This delectable spicy soup is prepared from vegetables and spices, including tamarind, tomato and black pepper.
Served with almost every South Indian dish, such as idli, dosa, rice and many more, sambar is a boiled stew made with lentils, vegetable broth mixed with okra, radish or eggplant and tamarind.
Among the most delectable South Indian sweets, payasam is a creamy, delicious, rice and milk pudding topped with cashews and raisins. A mouth-watering dessert, paal payasam is the southern version of the North Indian kheer. This dish is made at several festivals like Onam and other celebratory occasions. It is a simple recipe having the richness of nuts and goodness of milk.
Originated in Hotel Buhari in Chennai, this popular spicy chicken recipe is a favourite South Indian dish. This local dish is made by marinating, coating chicken bites with flour and then deep-frying with curry leaves, red chilli and spices. You can try variations of this dish at different local restaurants.
One of the famous breakfast South Indian recipes, filter coffee, is prepared using a coffee filter. Hot, boiled milk and sugar are added to it to enrich the taste. An amazing froth is formed by mixing the coffee with sugar and milk between a bowl and stainless steel tumbler.
Kerala Prawn Curry
This Malabar curry is made from the best of the juicy prawns of South India. Knock your senses with this yummy coconut curry served with steaming hot rice.
A preferred light meal at lunch time, this popular delicacy from Tamil Nadu is a perfect blend of steamed rice, onions, red chillies, tomatoes, lemon juice and curry leaf. The rice is then infused with turmeric and served with chutney to give it a distinguished taste.
South Indian Thali
What makes this South Indian thali unique is the variety of delicious dishes served on a single plate. You will feel like you have been served a buffet set on a single tray. A South Indian inspired thali has different varieties of the best South Indian dishes on the plate. This delicious thali is the best way to try these specialities on a single platter. This special thali usually consists of veggie dishes, rice, chicken or lamb curry, curd, chutneys (tomato, coconut or mint) and local deserts.
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