Top 20 Underrated South Indian Dishes

Top 20 Underrated South Indian Dishes

There are several underrated South Indian dishes that people don’t know about. However, everybody is accustomed to the regular dosa, idly, or even sambar for their go-to meals. In such cases, a little bit of knowledge and interesting facts about the underrated South Indian dishes won’t do any harm. Many of the authentic dishes are mouth-watering recipes and can be easily made at home.


Pongal is one of the popular rice dishes which is extremely famous in South India. It is also famous in Sri Lanka. It’s a high-calorie dish that involves cooked rice in boiling milk. The preparation of the dish is the main custom of the festival which is also associated with the pongal festival. Generally, this is also had as breakfast food.


2.Mysore Masala Dosa

The regular dosa and Mysore masala dosa are completely different. This can be understood by the very taste that it offers to food enthusiasts. It is a crisp and soft dosa that involves spiced bread chutney which is usually served with a mashed potato dish. The coconut chutney is a must. The recipe is also mostly served in Bangalore and Mysore restaurants.


3.Chicken 65

Although Chicken 65 is a well-known and popular dish on a lot of menus all over the country, it is most likely famous in South India. It is a spicy and deep-fried recipe that originates from Chennai. This can also be had as a quick snack and the flavor of the dish is attributed mainly to the red chilies and the marinated chicken.



Pulihora is known by a lot of other different names in different parts of South India. It is simply a bowl of tamarind rice which is a common traditional dish in Andhra Pradesh. The main ingredients of this recipe for rice, kokum, and tamarind. It is usually served in temples and offered to the devotees as the Prasad. Therefore, pulihora can also be considered one of the most delicious and flavourful dishes in South India.



Appam is one of the most regular yet lesser known by people all over the country. It is a thin pancake that specifically originates in South India and is also famous in Sri Lanka. The pancakes are made out of fermented rice batter and coconut milk which adds flavor to the dish and is cooked in a deep pan. Usually, this is served with regular coconut chutney or even other types of chutneys.


6.Hyderabadi Biriyani

Biryani is loved by everyone all over the country. However, a special distinction remains for the Hyderabadi biryani itself. It is easy to make yet involves a special technique or the touch of a hand which makes it more distinctive than other dishes. The meat that is used is marinated in different spices and the rice is made-up with basmati rice. There are good nutritional values present in the dish as well as involves the original taste of Mughlai cuisine. This is one of the key dishes in Hyderabadi cuisine and is extremely famous.


7.Malabar Parotta With Kerala-style Beef

The Malabar Parotta is the regular chapati recipe that is found in South India and is mostly made with Kerala-style beef. This type of parotta is made out of all-purpose flour which is different from the parottas which are made in north India. This makes it more different from the ones present in north India. The Kerala-style beef is however a distinctive dish on its own which is best served with the Malabar Parotta.


8.Appams And Ishtu

This dish is extremely famous in Kerala and is widely used in the state as a breakfast. It involves savory rice and coconut which are mildly spiced. There are different kinds of vegetables which are used and there is generally the coconut milk stew which is served along with it. It is one of the most underrated dishes that people know about and certainly, gets overlooked by the food enthusiast as well.


9.Kerala Mutton Stew

Kerala-style mutton Stew is one of the most authentic and original dishes of South India. Especially, being the greatest dish in South India, it has its flavor and tastes different from the normal stews which are made. It is usually simmered in spicy tomato gravy which is topped off with Curry leaves and other added flavors.


10.Mutton Dalcha

This is one of the most famous Hyderabadi dishes in South India. It is a lentil-based Stew which generally originates in Telangana. It has a similarity with the eastern dishes of lentils which are generally cooked with meat. Therefore, the mutton dalcha in Hyderabad is one of the most famous and unique dishes. It is a unique taste and this makes it more special.



Haleem is generally made with wheat or barley being the main component of the dish. There are lentils pulses and rice which are used to make it more thick. Generally, the Haleem is made out of beef or lamb as meat or even mutton or chicken. There is a variety of spices that are mixed in to make it more unique and it varies in its taste and uniqueness from region to region. Trying this in South India would be one of the best decisions that anybody can make.


12.Andhra Style Gongura Mutton

Gongura is a type of roselle plant that is eaten and is mostly famous in other countries like Fiji. These leaves are an important part of Indian cuisine and have very few calories. It is rich in fibre and anything combined with it instantly becomes healthy. The gongura mutton Curry is one of the most famous dishes in Andhra Pradesh. The leaves are used as the main ingredient in creating authenticity and this provides the mutton a unique taste as well.


13.Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is a traditional South Indian dish and is easily made. It has a unique taste which the lemon gives it. The dish is popularly made as a meal and the rice is precooked with different spices, lentils, and even Curry leaves and nuts. The unique taste involves the variety of soaked lentils as well as the lemon which is added for the flavor.


14.Vada And Rasam

Vada and Rasam are a unique preparation. It is easy to make and is extremely unique in its taste. The vada is made of lentils which taste best with rasam which is a kind of soup or a blend of spice. It is usually had as a snack and the preparation takes less time. The rasam is generally tangy in flavor and the dishes are had as a snack.



Payasam be made out of rice or even vermicelli. It is easy to make and is an instant recipe that takes fewer minutes. It falls under the category of a dessert and involves ingredients like milk, ghee, jaggery, raisins, and even nuts. The dessert can be made within 20 minutes and is a traditional recipe that is enjoyed widely after a meal or even on special occasions.


16.Kerala Prawn Curry

The Kerala prawn Curry is a Sri Lankan prawn Curry that is enjoyed by every seafood lover. It is spicy, creamy, and even full of unique tastes and a lot of flavors. The curry leaves are added for extra flavor and the chunky prawn meat gets straight into the mouth. It is a delicious Kerala-style shrimp Curry that can be made out of coconut and is gluten-free.


17.Chicken Chettinad

The Chicken Chettinad is a classic dish that is extremely famous and found widely in Tamil Nadu. The chicken is first marinated in the yogurt and the paste of red chilies and other ingredients which makes it more spicy and adds on to the main flavor. The dish has a creamy texture and the chicken is the main feature of this cuisine. Everything together adds to a perfect balance. It is ordered in huge amounts in the restaurants of South India.


18.Curd Rice

Curd rice is also known as yogurt rice which originated in South India. The word curd in literal terms refers to unsweetened probiotic yogurt. Therefore, it is most popular in the state of Tamil Nadu and is considered a superfood by a lot of South Indians. It is extremely healthy and has a lot of nutritional value.


19.Fish Molee

This is a fish in coconut curry which is spicy. Originally, it goes back to Portuguese cuisine and later became more common in India. It is a traditional fish stew that is most popular in Kerala and is extremely easy to make. The ingredients can be put together for the final dish in less than 30 minutes.



It is one of the most popular South Indian dishes. The dish is made out of rice flour and there is a filling of grated coconut along with jaggery. This served as a dessert and is extremely famous in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The shape of this dessert is similar to a dumpling and is most likely had during festivals. Even, normal days can call for a sweet snack like this.