The Southern Flavours: 20 South-Indian Breakfast Dishes

20 South-Indian Breakfast Dishes

So, what makes a perfect breakfast? Let me guess – bacon, toast, pancakes, eggs. Yes, these are delicious options to start your first meal of the day, but Indians have varieties to count. Every region of India has a diverse set of breakfast. South India has a lot to offer in this arena, and it’s more than the usual Dosa and Idli. South Indian breakfast meals are healthy, flavoursome and very easy to make.

1. Paniyaram

“Paniyaram” is a traditional South Indian breakfast snack, made from lentils and rice using a paniyaram mold. Kuzhi paniyarams are either sweet or spicy. It is popular among kids. It is very nutritious, as it only requires Idli batter, coconut, and jaggery for preparation.


2. Puttu

“Puttu” is the stapled breakfast dish of Kerala made with coconut and rice flour. Puttu is served with either “kadal curry or with “pazham”. Puttu is a very delicious dish either way. Puttu often cooked in a puttu kutti vessel with dual sections. The lower section contains water, and the upper section comprises the puttu — where the mixture of rice is laid with a stratum of grated coconut. Filtered lids separate the sections to allow the passage of steam between the two sections.


3. Besan Ka Chilla

“Besan ka Chilla” is popularly known as the vegan omelette. It can be prepared very quickly with very few ingredients, but the only thing about this dish is, it should be eaten hot.


4. Pancharatna Dal Adai

“Pancharatna Dal Adai” is a very healthy dish comprising of five variety of rice and pulses. It is easy to cook and filling the stomach.



Upma Kozhukattai

“Upma Kozhukattai” also known as steamed rice balls is a favourite among every South Indian family. It can be served with sambar chutney, but is delicious when eaten with eggplant gotsu.


6. Ven Pongal

“Ven Pongal” is a very famous breakfast of Tamil Nadu, prepared during the festive season of Pongal. It is an easy recipe made with steamed rice, which tastes great with coconut chutney and arachuvitta sambar and is often served on a banana leaf plate.


7. Sabudana Thalipeeth

“Sabudana Thalipeeth” is a traditional fasting dish made with sabudana, potatoes, and crushed peanuts. The recipe is less oily and very delicious and wholesome.


8. Aval Ven Ponga Pohal

“Aval Ven Ponga Pohal” is a simple festive breakfast dish cooked with beaten rice and needs very less additional ingredients and can be prepared very quickly within 15-20 minutes.


9. Poha Pulihora

“Poha Pulihora” is a simple recipe to make in a jiffy. Made with flattened rice, turmeric paste, and tamarind sauce, this breakfast dish is wholesome and can be easily digested. It tastes even better when garnished with salted nuts.


10. Pesarattu

“Pesarattu” is very easy to make and it is indeed a healthy meal as green gram are used to make this dosa. This breakfast delicacy of Andhra Pradesh is usually consumed with upma or coconut chutney or jaggery.


11. Polenta

“Polenta” is originally an Italian dish prepared by boiling cornmeal into a congealed porridge. The South Indian style polenta upma is cut into squares and fried or baked with butter and has a huge addition of seasonal vegetables and spices to make it delicious and filling.


12. Payaru Kanji

“Payaru Kanji” is rice and green gram porridge. It is a satiating comfort food for the Malayalis. Along with rice and the green grams, crushed coconut, dried spices are also added to increase the flavours.


13.  Keppai Koozh

“Keppai Koozh” is a ragi or a finger millet porridge, which is healthy and rich in protein. Firstly, the ragi flour is mixed with water to create a thin batter and fermented for some hours and then fried within the buttermilk and sugar and finally eaten along with onions, pickles or ripe mangoes.


14.  Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram

“Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram” is an experimental breakfast recipe. These soft and fluffy paniyarams are cooked with three types of millet flours and taste delicious with red chutney and the perfect seasoning of coriander, pepper, ginger, and chilies.


15.  Kaima idlis

If bored with the plain Idlis, then try the leftovers and make “kaima idlis”. The kaima idli is cut into pieces and fried with tomatoes, coriander chutneys, and ginger paste to give it a tangy twist of taste. This experimented meal is delicious and quick to prepare.


16. Adai

“Adai” is cooked with pulses and rice and often made for breakfast and is a nutritious substitute to dosa. It is rich in iron and simple to prepare. It tastes good with chutney, jaggery, and butter. One can add ground chickpeas along with rice and a handful of drumstick leaves and carrots to make it healthier.


17. Appam

“Appam” has a boastful reputation of being Kerala’s best breakfast delicacy. It is very healthy, as it requires a very less usage of oil. The appam batter prepared with soaked raw and boiled rice and fenugreek seeds is fermented first, and then crushed and mixed with coconut milk, and appam soda and then finally light fried. The soft and spongy appams taste great with vegetable stew or coconut chutney.


18.   Red Rice Dosa

“Red Rice Dosa” is another experimented dish for breakfast. Red rice dosa is prepared in the same way as the traditional dosa, with a soaking mixture of rice and urad dal batter and fried with sesame oil. However, this dosa has an unusual nutty flavor, and therefore it tastes best with mint chutney or any tangy flavoured stew or sauce to overcome the nutty flavour.


19.  Uttapam

“Uttapam” is South India’s version of pancakes. However, in these pancakes, the maple syrup or fruit toppings are replaced with spices, roasted onions, and other vegetable toppings. The uttapam batter is similar to the dosa batter, but it is more thick and consistent. Uttapam is delicious when served with sambar or coconut chutney. One can also make fusion uttapams with a sugary taste.


20.  Schezwan Dosa

The typical South Indian can sometimes be boring to the taste buds; there more fusion elements are added. The “Schezwan Dosa” is one such result of the fusion experiments of Sino-Indian flavours. The recipe needs the fried dosa batter filled with the stuffing of stir-fried vegetables and schezwan sauce.