South India’s diverse cuisine is a big part of what makes it a great place to visit. The cuisine of South India is influenced by five southern states: Kerala, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, making it a vegetarian paradise.
Rice, lentils, chiles, and coconut are staples in South Indian cuisine, are as diverse as the nation itself. In South India, tamarind is widely used in the form of sambar powder and dried curry leaves. Espresso is also a must-have for every southern meal.
There is no doubting that South Indian cuisine is a feast for the senses. The perfume of crisp Vadas, the sound of mustard seeds sputtering, the taste of piping-hot sambar cooked with fresh tamarind, and the touch of feather-light, delicious idlis will enchant you.
- 1 What to Eat in Kerala
- 2 What to Eat in Telangana
- 3 What to Eat in Tamil Nadu
- 4 What to Eat in Andhra Pradesh
- 5 What to Eat in Karnataka
What to Eat in Kerala
Backwaters are the first thing that comes to mind when we think about Kerala, the state of South India. People enjoy this location because of the variety of dishes that the state gives to travelers and explorers. Furthermore, what you should know about the place before organizing a family trip is that the meal is not limited to simply dosa and idli, nor is it limited to seafood.
Never, ever compare this fantastic dish to any average fish curry. Do not think of it as just another fish curry. With origins in the days of Portuguese in India, this is a significant lunch dish in Kerala.
Fish Molee, one of Kerala’s most popular lunch meals, is cooked with coconut milk, dried fish, and other native spices that give it a spicy flavor. This wonderful fish stew, best served with Appam, may have originated during the days of the Portuguese in India.
Puttu and Kadala Curry
Puttu with Kadala Curry is a popular breakfast meal in Kerala. Puttu is made of rice and is cylindrical. It is made more delightful by adding grated coconut and ripe bananas. The crinkly taste of Puttu combined with the tangy flavor of Kadala Curry makes this every Malayali’s favorite breakfast not only in a few regions but in practically every portion of the state.
Kerala Prawn Curry
The best way to describe this zesty delicacy directly from Kerala’s cuisine is by the signature dish of Kerala. Kerala Prawn Curry is a Malabar area cuisine seasoned with pepper, salt, chili, traditional spices, and a generous amount of coconut milk. Acidic, sour, and spicy flavors come from the marinated prawns, raw mangoes, and drumsticks. It results in an outstanding evening dish that works well with toast, idli, appam, and rice.
This simple Keralite meal is well-known in many parts of South India, especially in Kerala. Puttu consists of ground rice and coconut, along with spices specific to each location. A significant part of what distinguishes Puttu is its presentation, not only its taste or ingredients. Serving a Puttu on a plate without shattering it is nearly impossible, but Keralites manage it daily.
This true sweet rice kheer, made with rice, milk, ghee, and sugar, has a more crumbly flavor when topped with dry fruits and chopped coconut. A delectable Payasam is what gives an elaborate Sadya (traditional feast) the satisfying conclusion it deserves.
What to Eat in Telangana
Telangana’s flavors aren’t all that distinct from those of other southern states. The state is well-known for the significant usage of tamarind, chilies, sesame seeds, and asafoetida in many of the region’s delights. Despite being the newest state, Telangana is one of South India’s gastronomic hotspots.
Hyderabadi Biryani, one of India’s hidden gems of traditional South Indian dishes, has gained international acclaim. This flavorful dish, which combines Iranian and Mughlai flavors, is considered the best dish suited for the Nizams. It is prepared in a large handi in which marinated meat is placed in layers of rice to cook. It has a tangy flavor due to the use of traditional spices.
For those who prefer to eat a nutritious breakfast and adhere to a food pyramid diet, this meal will appeal to you because it is prepared with at least one staple from each tier. This savory pancake, also known as Ganju Pindi, is cooked in a deep pan with rice flour, peanuts, chili, and chana dal as the main components.
Mirchi Ka Salan
One of the best evening dishes in Telangana would be Mirchi Ka Salan. This original regional dinner meal is spicy in flavor and best served with chapati and rice. Cooked in spices and long green chilies, this dish has a bursting flavor to enjoy. On top of it, roasted peanuts lend a grainy touch.
Double Ka Meetha
Double Ka Meetha is a richly filled second dish of dry fruits, bread, and condensed milk. This bread pudding dish is comparable to Awadhi Cuisine’s Shahi Tukda. Milk-soaked fried loaves of bread are blended with cardamom and saffron for a syrupy sweet taste. During the week, though, it is available in a variety of places.
Golichina Mamsam is a non-vegetarian dish. This recipe combines juicy chunks of mutton with a rich sauce packed with locally cultivated spices. It is simmered over low heat for hours, allowing the meat to absorb the curry’s flavor. It comes with chapatis, rice, or dosa in most cases.
What to Eat in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu has far too many attractions to offer. Food is one of those attractive items in the state that might keep you here for an extended period. Let us now give you an idea of what you may eat in Tamil Nadu to have the finest food tour.
Lemon Rice is one of the best dishes in Tamil Nadu for those who enjoy a light lunch. It is bursting with zesty flavors. This traditional Tamil Nadu meal combines rice, tomatoes, onions, red chili, lemon juice, and curry leaf. When paired with chutney, the infusion of turmeric with lemon into rice adds a distinguished flavor to this wonderful dish.
This breakfast/snack food from Tamil Nadu is described as crisp on the outside and fleecy on the inside. Medu Vada is a doughnut-like snack made from white ground urad dal batter and deep-fried in oil till golden brown. It goes perfectly with coconut chutney and sometimes even sambar.
Rasam, best defined as a soupy dish with lots of sour flavors, is everyone’s favorite in Tamil Nadu. It is the perfect complement to rice. It combines the flavors of tomatoes, black peppers, curry leaves, chili, garlic, and traditional spices. Thus create an extremely wonderful taste that is also helpful for a sore throat.
Lauki Ka Halwa
This traditional delicacy, cooked in condensed milk and decorated with dry fruits, becomes practically everyone’s favorite once they try it. Lauki is a key element in producing this heart-warming second course. Bottle Gourd is cooked in condensed milk, which imparts a deep caramelized flavor with the addition of sugar and other seasonings. It usually comes with a dry fruit garnish.
Pongal and Sweet Pongal
Foods in Tamil Nadu are frequently connected with specific festivals. Pongal is one of the oldest and most significant Tamil holidays, commemorated by families making the traditional sweet Pongal meal together. This sweet is one of Tamil Nadu’s most beloved sweets, and it has a lot of ceremonial importance. Pongal is a sweet dish prepared traditionally with jaggery, rice, lentils, and ghee.
What to Eat in Andhra Pradesh
Other than the famed Idli and Dosa, have you ever tried the fine cuisine of Andhra Pradesh? The next time you visit Andhra Pradesh, don’t simply stick to idli and dosa; instead, try some of our recommended specialties.
Punugulu is best as a snack, but it’s also good for breakfast. Punugulu is a type of salty, crispy puffs (pakora). This deep-fried crispy snack is made using the same batter as for Idli. This mouthwatering possible morning dish comes with coconut chutney and tea/coffee.
Chepa Pulusu, an authentic fish curry, is one of Andhra’s hot foods, best eaten with rice around midday. It is created with fish soaked in tamarind sauce, employing traditional herbs, spices, and other common elements that together force a startled scent in this peppery dish.
Qubani Ka Meetha
Qubani Ka Meetha is an Andhra Pradesh sweet dish prepared with dried apricots. This second course is a popular wedding and special treat meal in Andhra Pradesh. This crumbly dessert, sprinkled with almonds and garnished with milk cream, custard, or ice cream, is just what you need to cap off a delicious meal or supper.
Curd rice is a popular meal in Andhra Pradesh. After eating hot and tangy foods all day, your dinner should be something delicious as well as toothsome, which is why Curd Rice is adored by everyone who tries it.
Curd Rice has a tangy-salty flavor and is cooked with rice and unsweetened curd and adding salt to add flavor. To make it a healthy dinner, folks also add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and Urad Dal Tadka. If you are experiencing stomach difficulties, curd rice is the best bet.
Pulihora is also known as tamarind rice, Puliyodarai, Puliyogare, Pulinchoru, and Kokum rice. Pulihora, or tamarind rice with green chilies, is Andhra Pradesh’s most popular meal. Koora is a vegetarian meal that comprises numerous vegetables cooked in various ways. In Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu, this rice preparation is widespread.
What to Eat in Karnataka
It is not simply the state of Karnataka’s stunning beauty, sandalwood goods, and historic temples that make it a popular tourist destination in India. Another big draw in this attractive tourist destination in South India is Mangalorean cuisine.
Akki Roti is a popular breakfast option in the state for both fitness enthusiasts and food lovers. This appetizing delicacy contains rice flour and onions, curry leaves, carrots, cumin seeds, and sesame seeds, which offer a healthy touch and a delicious flavor. It usually comes with dal or coconut chutney. It is also known as Rice Bread in the original language.
Udupi Sambar is hotter and a little sweeter in flavor, which makes it exceptional from others. Coriander seeds, red chilies, asafoetida, cumin seeds, coconut, and fenugreek seeds, as well as urad and chana dal, provide a distinct texture to this spicy supper dish.
This delicacy is self-explanatory. Kori Gassi, a superb accompaniment to rice, is a lifeline for all non-vegetarians in Karnataka. Chicken pieces are cooked with chilies, garlic, cumin seeds, black pepper, turmeric, and other traditional spices for this delectable midday Mangalorean recipe. The regal flavor and flaky texture of each spice are enough to satisfy your appetite.
Rava Kesari – a delicious sweet dish consisting of semolina with a topping of saffron and dry fruits – is the best way to satisfy your hunger in Karnataka. This delectable second dish is available in many flavors, while the most popular is banana and pineapple.
Masala Dosa is created using fermented rice and black gram batter. Thin and crispy dosas are served fresh with a variety of chutneys (sauces) made from coconut, tomato, and mint, as well as Sambar, a mildly spicy soup excellent for dipping. The Masala Dosa, filled with fried onion and potato, is a popular choice.
South Indian cuisine has grown in popularity not only in India but across the world. They are versatile in terms of flavor, taste, nutrition, and variety. Try around with these classic dishes, and you will find an easy way to shake up your usual dinner platter.