South Indian Food

Travelling in India, always the food is fantastic with lots of choice. In in the UK, most Indian food we have is north Indian style, so here is some detail on the most common and traditional south Indian foods to look out for and taste. Starting with a breakfast item, idli


Idli is a steamed rice cake; and similar to dosa, is made from a fermented rice and lentil batter. I find it particularly good for the stomach of a morning as it’s quite light. This is mini or button Idli, with pepper, onion and coriander. Normally it is a larger, roughly small fist sized rice cake served with sambar and chutney.


Next item is the Dosa. A crispy style pancake, which is again made from a rice and lentil fermented batter. These are eaten generally in the morning or evening. Served with sambar and chutney, with a masala dosa coming with a curried potato filling inside.


Next shown above is Paniyaran or Puddu. Perhaps a little less common than idli and dosa, again it is made from a similar batter but comes as snack size balls. These were excellent when I had then made freshly and served with a refreshing chutney.


Often called Thali or just (south indian) meals, this is main meal of the day. The idea behind the Thali is to give a balanced meal of all six traditional ayurvedic indian flavours on one plate. They are sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent (pungent/tangy), and spicy. South indian meals typically include: rice, sambar, rasam, kara kulumbu, poriyal, kootu, popadom, pickle, curd.

Andhra thali

Finally is Uttappam, a thicker rice pancake than dosa, which can have a variety of toppings. This uttappam had a mango chutney topping fried on it, then served with lots of other chutneys to try, including coconut, peanut, chilli flavours.


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