The cuisine of South India is extremely diverse and is well-known for its light, low-calorie appetizing meals. South Indian cuisine is vastly different – steamed, spiced, and coconut-flavored. South Indian meal is incomplete without rice. Rice in some or other form – either boiled rice or rice batter. Daals (lentils) are also a part of most meals.
Coconut is one of the main ingredients of South Indian food as coconut oil is most commonly used for cooking and frying. Dried coconut is used in many dishes and coconut milk is also used in a variety of dishes. Curry leaves, mustard, asafetida, pepper and peppercorns, tamarind, chilies, and fenugreek seeds are the spices that are mostly used in south Indian cuisine. Huli Pudi (also known as sambar powder) is also used to spice and flavor dishes.
The South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka each have their own variants of common dishes as well as regional specialties. There are typically vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes for all five states. Additionally, all regions have typical main dishes, snacks, light meals, desserts, and drinks that are well-known in their respective region.
South India has a tradition of eating food on the banana leaf. They had a belief that it cures the disease and controls the wrongdoing. But scientifically it is told that banana leaf contains large amounts of polyphenols that are natural antioxidants that absorb the polyphenols which are said to prevent many lifestyle diseases.
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Some of the popular south Indian cuisine which are famous all over the world and it is available on every street of India which we will discuss here
• Dosa:- Dosa is a crispy thin crepe. It is made of fermented rice batter. It’s accompanied by sambar(a hot lentil soup) and coconut chutney. Masala dosas are stuffed with a spicy mash of potato and onion.
• Idli:- Soft, fluffy, and ivory color idlis are what many South Indian families eat for breakfast. A fermented lentil-and rice-batter is steamed in little circular molds, and the resulting spherical rice cakes are served with sambar and chutneys.
• Uttpam:- It is made from fermented rice and lentils batter. Chopped tomato, onion, chilies, carrot, coconut, and other toppings are then sprinkled on. The result is a fluffy, porous, delicious uttapam, softer than a dosa, and tastes great with chutneys or without.
• Appam:- Appams are like thin crepes, made from a batter of fermented rice flour and coconut milk. Soft, light, and fluffy, they go best with ishtu – a fresh coconut milk-infused stew of veggies, shallots, mild spices, and meat of your choice. Mutton, chicken and vegetable stews are common options.
• Sambhar:- Sambar is a delicious curry with softly boiled and mashed lentil and vegetables. It is a vegetable stew made from pumpkin, beans, brinjal, and drumsticks. To give the tangy flavor it has tamarind which enhances the flavor. It is a traditional South Indian dish served with rice.
• Rasam:- Rasam means juice in Tamil and Telugu. It is a healthy, flavorful, and light soup with spices, tamarind, garlic, and tomato. It is prepared using kokum and tamarind juice as a base. It serves at the end of a heavy meal that helps digestion.
• Pysam:- It is the traditional sweet dish of South Indian cuisine. It is a milk treat made during all auspicious occasions. Traditional payasam includes ingredients like jaggery and coconut milk over sugar and dairy milk.
• Mysore Pak:- The royal sweet, even today it is considered as the ‘king’ of sweets in the South. It is made with ghee, sugar, gram flour, and fragrant cardamom. The texture of this sweet is similar to a buttery and dense cookie.