South Indian Cuisine

by Annamma Philipose

South Indian Cuisine


• Karnataka
• Andhra Pradesh
• Tamilnadu
• Kerala

Geographical and Cultural Influences

As all of its states lie in coastal areas, the South Indian cuisine is influenced by hot and humid climate. There is an abundant rainfall giving way for the supply of fresh fruits, vegetables and rice.

Andhra Pradesh is popular with hot cuisines full of nuts, dried fruits and exotic, expensive spices influenced by the Nizams of Hyderabad.

Tamilnadu has Chettinad cuisine which is a vegetarian style and the fieriest of all Indian food. The Kerala has Malbari cooking style combined with lot of tasty seafood dishes.

Style of Food

South Indian cuisine is the hottest of all Indian food. Meals have the main food as rice or rice-based dishes. Most of the time, plain rice is combined with Sambaar and rasam, dry and curried vegetables, meat dishes and an array of coconut-based chutneys and poppadums. The most popular drink of South Indians is filter coffee.

Staple Foods

Rice is the most common food and this style has boiled rice or Idlis, Dosas or Uttapams. Dals or lentils also form an integral part of most meals.

Cooking Oils

Vegetable oils like sunflower and canola are common with pure ghee being poured over rice in daily meals. Even coconut oil is commonly used in Kerala style of cooking.

Important Spices and Ingredients

• Curry leaves
• Mustard
• Asafetida
• Pepper and Peppercorns
• Tamarind
• Chilies
• Fenugreek seeds

Popular dishes

• Idlis
• Dosas
• Vadas
• Sambaar
• Uttapams
• Rasam
• Payasam


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