South Indian Recipes | 19 Delicious South Indian Dishes

South Indian Recipes – South Indian dishes in general refer to a distinct category of the cuisine made in the five southern states of India viz. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana as well as the union territory of Puducherry (earlier Pondicherry).

Though there are subtle differences from state to state, South Indian recipes are generally characterized by presence of rice as a staple food, use of lentils and spices, both dried red and green chilies, curd, coconut and vegetables like tamarind, plantain, drumstick, snake gourd, garlic, and curry leaves.

The South Indian cuisine is well known and famous for its light, low calorie, flavorful and appetizing dishes. The wonderful mixing of rice and lentils results in mouth-watering dishes like dosas, idlis, upmas, vadas and uttapams which when accompanied by yummy chutneys and sambar are irresistible.

Though there are many commonalities, South Indian dishes use different spices than North Indian ones. Tamarind is frequently used in stews. Sambar Powder is used to spice South Indian dishes whereas in North India, use of Garam Masala is more common. Similarly dried curry leaves are used to flavor some of the soups and fresh curry leaves are more abundantly used for seasoning and tempering.

The majority of a diverse variety of South Indian dishes are rice, vegetable or lentil-based. Due to use of tamarind, curry plant leaves and chilli, these dishes are generally tangy. The cuisines of Andhra are famous for generous use of spices and chili. Some of the most common traditional Indian breakfasts like idli, vada and masala dosa owe their origin to the temple town of Udipi.

South Indian dals and curries are in general soupier than their North Indian counterparts. The South Indian food strikes a good balance of simplicity, nutrition, flavor, fragrance, taste, and is also visually appealing.

Idli is considered as one of the best breakfast in the world. Idli has a good mix of carbohydrates from rice , protein and minerals from urad dal. Further the fermentation process makes it rich in good bacteria and as it is steamed there is no loss of nutrients and no extra calories are added as it is not fried in oil.

The list of South Indian recipes is endless. Some of these include dosa, idli, vada, uttapam, upma, curd rice, idiyappam, achappam, murukku, ven pongal, pulihora (tamarind rice), lemon rice, tomato rice, sambar, rasam, neer mor, nendran chips (banana chips), sakkarai Pongal (sweet pongal), mysore pak, payasa and so forth. Within each broad category there are many subcategories like sada dosa, rava dosa, masala dosa, mysore masala dosa, butter dosa, paneer dosa, onion rava dosa, paper dosa etc.

Equally famous are South Indian chutneys. South Indian chutneys which come in many varieties, colors and flavors and often are the best combination with idli and dosa and many other south Indian dishes. They are made from one or more of the ingredients like fresh coconut ground with green chillies, tamarind, roasted bengal gram, curd, peanuts, dal (lentils), ginger, fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, fresh curry leaves and fresh cilantro leaves.

Suggested recipe collections :

List of Vegetarian South Indian Recipes

Check out some recipes of delicious vegetarian South Indian dishes. 

Dosa Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Dosa Recipe with Homemade Dosa Batter

Dosas are thin savory crepes made of fermented rice & lentils. Make traditional South Indian plain dosa with this beginner friendly recipe.
Hyderabadi Veg Dum Biryani Step By Step Instructions

Hyderabadi Veg Dum Biryani Recipe

Hyderabadi veg dum biryani is a delicious preparation made by layering aromatic rice & spicy vegetable gravy cooked in traditional dum style.
Rava Dosa Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Rava Dosa Recipe | Instant Suji Dosa

Rava dosa is a thin crispy pancake from South Indian made with semolina. It can be prepared quickly in contrast to the normal fermented dosa.
Pulihora | Tamarind Rice Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Tamarind Rice Recipe | Pulihora Recipe | Puliyogare

Tamarind Rice or Pulihora is a traditional South Indian dish made by frying rice with a tempering of Tamarind, Curry Leaves & other spices.
Veg Kerala Biryani Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Veg Kerala Biryani Recipe | Malabar Veg Biryani

Veg Kerala Biryani is a flavorful & exotic delicacy & is the perfect blend of aromatic rice, delicately balanced spices & vegetables.
Tomato Rice Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Tomato Rice Recipe | Thakkali Sadam

Tomato Rice or Thakkali Sadam is a popular South Indian dish made by cooking rice along with tangy tomatoes and flavored with Indian spices.
Gobi 65 Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Gobi 65 Recipe | Cauliflower 65

Gobi 65 is a crunchy and delicious appetizer made from deep fired cauliflower florets coated with a spicy batter.
Sorakkai Sambar Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Sorakkai Sambar Recipe | Lauki Sambar | Bottle Gourd Sambar

Sorakkai Sambar or Lauki Sambar is a delicious South Indian stew made with boiled lentils and Bottle Gourd cooked in a spicy and tangy tempering flavored with South Indian spices and tamarind.
Quick Veg Biryani Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Veg Biryani In Pressure Cooker | Quick Veg Biryani Recipe

A quick recipe to make delicious Veg Biryani in pressure cooker. Cooking the rice and vegetables in one pot makes this Biryani really easy to make.
Bread Upma Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Bread Upma Recipe

Bread Upma is a delicious & spicy snack made by cooking bread in a tempering made of onion, tomato, green chillies, curry leaves and spices.
Medu Vada Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Medu Vada Recipe | Sambar Vada

Medu Vada is a South Indian delicacy which is made by frying Urad Dal. It is a doughnut shaped fritter which is soft & fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. It is generally enjoyed as breakfast along with Sambar and Chutney.
Lemon Rice Recipe Step by Step Instructions

Lemon Rice Recipe | South Indian Lemon Flavored Rice

Lemon Rice is a delicious and simple rice preparation spiced with Curry Leaves, Whole Red Chillies, Mustard Seeds and Turmeric. It gets its distinctive tangy flavor from the addition of fresh Lemon Juice.
Rava Upma Recipe | Suji Upma

Rava Upma Recipe | Suji Upma

Rava Upma is a healthy and easy to cook breakfast made from roasted semolina. It is a light and wholesome meal that is a great option to pack for kid's tiffin and can be made healthier by adding vegetables.
Fried Idli Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Fried Idli Recipe | Masala Idli Fry | Leftover Idli Recipe

Crispy Fried Idlis tossed in Curry Leaves and mild South Indian spices. Makes for an interesting breakfast option using leftover Idlis.
Idli Manchurian Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Idli Manchurian Recipe | Leftover Idli Recipes

Deep fried idlis tossed in Indo-Chinese Sauce. This Idli Manchurian recipe is an easy way to use leftover idlis.
Semiya Upma Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Semiya Upma Recipe | Vermicelli Upma

Semiya Upma is made from vermicelli noodles cooked in vegetables. The perfect recipe for a light and delicious breakfast.
Coconut Chutney Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Coconut Chutney Recipe | Nariyal ki Chutney

Coconut Chutney is a delicious chutney which is a perfect accompaniment to South Indian Dishes like Dosa, Idli, Uttapam etc.
Kathirikai Sambar or Brinjal Sambar Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Brinjal Sambar Recipe | Kathirikai Sambar

Brinjal Sambar also known as Kathirikai Sambar is an easy and delicious stew made of lentils and Brinjal (Eggplant) cooked in a spicy & tangy base.
Tindora Fry Recipe Step By Step Instructions

Tindora Fry Recipe | Fried Tendli | Ivy Gourd

Tindora Fry is a delicious & tangy Indian curry made by stir frying thinly sliced Tindora tempered with various seasonings and spices.
Dry Garlic Chutney Recipe

Dry Garlic Chutney Recipe | Vada Pav Chutney

Spicy Garlic Chutney made with dry roasted garlic, coconut & red chilli powder.

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5 thoughts on “South Indian Recipes | 19 Delicious South Indian Dishes”

  1. Rava Dosa,this is a thin, crispy pancake made with semolina. It is quick and easy to make, and it can be served with a variety of chutneys and sambar.

  2. Hello, Awesome Article, and Your information about the south Indian recipes is very amazing and so much useful for me. Keep it up and thank you very much.:)


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