Top 20 South Indian Foods


If one wants to see the combination of traditional as well as modern cooking then they should look for South Indian cuisine because people over there create magic with their spices and one can surely believe that their food is ultimately different from the rest of India. Although their staple food is rice they are so experimental that they have created a tremendous menu using rice only. The five states includingAndhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana represent the South Indian cuisine very pleasantly. All the five cuisines much have something common but they do differ primarily in the tanginess and the spiciness of the food. So let’s check out what they are up to.

1. Dosa

This crowd- pleasing South Indian diet is ruling the Indian Subcontinent with its zesty and crispy flavor. It is served hot with Sambar and Coconut Chutney. It has many variations like Rava Dosa, Masala Dosa, Butter Dosa, Paneer Dosa, and Mushroom Dosa. Tamil Naidu gifted us this dynamic dish, prepared with the help of rice and black gram. The batter is all set with rice and black gram, which has to be fermented to make thinner and crispier.


2. Idly

Idly is a savory traditional breakfast of South India. We can call it White Cake or Rice Cake as a batter of rice is steamed to prepare it. And not even in India, it is famous in Sri-Lanka as well. This wholesome diet is from Karnataka. And especially children love it because of the mild flavor which is complete in itself. It can be served with Sambar or Chutney. Even Fried Idly is also liked by all which has all the South Indian spices for giving it a mind blowing taste.


3. Upma

Upma is a thick porridge, prepared from dry roasted semolina. Different seasoning and vegetables can also be added as per the choice and it can be easily prepared at home. It can be more savory when served with Chutney. It is Tamil’s favorite breakfast as well as adored by Maharashtrians and Sri-Lankans. Again it is liked by kids. In Karnataka, it is served with a local sweet dish and in Andhra Pradesh, flattered rice is used instead of Semolina.


4. Uttapum

Uttapam is a Dosa like preparations, prepared from rice, pulses and fenugreek seeds. The Little amount of vegetables and seasoning can also be added on top of it, for making light and scrummy Uttapam. Along with this, we can have Coconut Chutney flavored with red chilies and mustard seeds. Two spices are used in most of the South Indian foods.


5. Appam

This food is from the state of Kerala and is popular in Tamil Nadu and Sri-Lanka. We have again a by-product of the staple food but this time with Coconut Milk. People have it during breakfast and enjoy it with Chutney or Curry. This pancake is so fluffy, thin as well as light. Appam has many variations like Appam with no added ingredients, Pal Appam, Kallappam, and many.


6. Payasam

In a more easy term to understand it, we can call it Kheer which is known as Payasam in South India. This pudding is prepared from rice or Vermicelli with milk sugar and dry fruits. We all enjoy sweets after a meal but in Tamil Naidu there is a tradition to serve Payasam after the meal like in Rajasthan Papad is served towards the end of the food. Instead of sugar, jaggery is added to give some twist which is also a sheer delight.


7. Vada

Vadas are fried fritters, have many forms and fall under the category of savory snacks in India. They have many names that include Wada, Vade, Vadai, Wadeh and Bara. Although, it is consumed all over India history says, it was popular among Tamils. It is enjoyed with seasoned curd or Tamarind Chutney.


8. Sambhar

Who doesn’t love this tangy, zesty and spicy vegetable soup? And I don’t think anything can be healthier and tastier than this because we can add as many vegetables as we like along with tamarind to give it a tangy touch. People have it with Dosa, Idly and rice. Some people enjoy a day old Sambhar with rice as it becomes more zesty by getting a day older. It belongs to Tamil cuisine and loved by all in India as well as in Sri-Lanka. This is one of the oldest delicacies as it originated during the second emperor of Maratha Empire.


9. Hyderabadi Biryani

For a complete meal in one bowl then it has to be Biryani in their bowl. Imagine if all your craving and hunger can be satisfied in one bowl of the meal, then definitely, you would run for it. And when it comes to Hyderabadi Biryani, then it has to be special because it’s a legendary dish from the time of Nizam’s. The ingredients include Basmati rice, goat or chicken meat, curd, lemon, saffron, onion and there can be more as much as one think of to cherish the flavor of this Biryani which is royal.


10. Gongura Mamsum

It’s a meet curry flavored with Gongura leaves which are a mind blowing lentil found in South India. The unique thing about South Indian food is that you can feel the taste of every spice in your food. They know how and when to put all the spices to make any diet incredible and while eating people get lost in the flavors so much that they can’t resist themselves to another serving. And this curry is infused with cinnamon, cardamom, garlic, chilies, onion and some chopped coriander.


11. Chicken Cheddinad

Chicken Chettinad is full of flavors that it is going to give your guests a nostalgic feeling for sure. Here also the melange of curry leaves and red chili is used with coconut paste to create a magical dish. Other masalas include cinnamon, cardamom sticks, cloves, cumin seeds.chicken-chettinad

12. Kootu

Kootu is a combination of pulses and vegetables; it has many variations and is one of the common foods of South Indian home. We can call it an Indian Rosette. People try it with different vegetables and they get to enjoy different flavors. The key common ingredients are curry leaves, mustard seeds, red chili and of course coconut oil.


13. Aviyal

It’s ethnic vegetable cooked dry with yogurt and ground coconut. It’s a traditional dish of Kerala and enjoyed during Onam. It consists of raw banana, drumsticks, ash gourd, yam and coconut. We can say it’s a thick mixture of vegetables.


14. Royally Kura

This is from Andhra Pradesh and is a treat for all the Prawn lovers. It would be a great party starter. These Prawns are pretty small in size and full of flavors although they use minimal ingredients. It can be enjoyed with rice as well as Roti.


15. Akki Roti

This is a unique breakfast from Karnataka. The bread is prepared with powdered rice in which some sliced onion, carrot, cumin seeds, sesame seeds are added when kneading the dough. This is either enjoyed with Coconut Chutney or with curry.


16. Mysore Pak

Mysore Pak is a famous dish in Mysore in South India. It is a soulful delight prepared with ghee, sugar, flour, and cardamom. It contains so much of ghee that it is perpetually dripping with ghee and is usually in yellow color. This recipe came from the kitchen of Mysore Palace. This sweet is very dominant in South Indian wedding, festivals as well as in a baby shower.


17. Sarva Pindi

This is from Telangana. It is a light snack prepared from rice and peanuts batter. It is circular in shape and again we call it as a savoury pancake which is light as well as delicious. It is one of the ethnic diets from Telangana cuisine. It was once called as rustic and pungent cuisine but is now getting recognition it deserves.


18. Talayka Kura

Telugu cuisine is known for its tangy, hot and spicy taste. It is actually a goat head meat stew and people have to book it in advance with the butcher. It has smoggy taste also as it is roasted over charcoal or it can be done in open fire, after that the butcher cut it into pieces.


19. The Olan

It is White pumpkin simmered with beans in coconut milk. It is one of the dishes from Sadya which is an elaborated banquet prepared during festivals. A Sadya can has 24-28 dishes served in a single course and is usually served for lunch as it is the quite heavy on the stomach.


20. Corgi Panda Curry

This pork curry is very spicy and the spices include fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, pepper, curry leaves and some other Corgi Masalas which are very strong in flavours. We can make it more delightful with chopped coriander leaves or mint leaves with sliced onion.