Top 5 things to eat in South India
A Dosa is a delicious crepe-like pancake made from risen rice batter. Cooked with dollops of clarified butter, and served with multiple condiments like Sambar (lentils cooked with spices and assorted vegetables), wet chutney made either with grated coconut, lentils, green chillies and mint or onions, tomatoes and red chillies, the deliciously fiery Gunpowder or Mulgapudi (fried dry chillies, with lentils and a little pasteurised butter). Although it originated in South India, it’s popularity has surged throughout the country. Each stall sells many different varieties, the most common being masala dosa, stuffed with fried potatoes. City vendors usually have plenty cheese based options which are to die for!
Dosa – Photo Credit Yosomono
A steamed savoury cake that is made from fermented rice batter and is normally served in pairs or triplets. You can serve it with the same chutneys as dosas, but usually with a little extra sambar for the idli to soak up. In some cities they might throw some butter on top of the idli to make it all the more tastier
Idli – Photo Credit mcthrissur
Puttu is a breakfast dish of steamed cylinders of ground rice layered with grated coconut, served with side dishes of chickpea curry or banana. It is usually spiced with cumin, among other spices. It is made by slowly adding water to ground rice until the correct texture is achieved, then spiced, formed and steamed with layers of grated coconut.
Puttu – Photo Credit Hrishikesh Burkule
Moving on from breakfast, we come to this staple South Indian comfort food, ‘Curd rice’. The word ‘curd’ as used in India usually refers to sour, unsweetened yoghurt. It is most popular in Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu it is called ‘dadhiannam’/ ‘dadyodanam’. Various spices can be added to the basic curd rice combination. It’s often eaten accompanied by South Indian pickles such as mango or lime. It also aids digestion and is eaten post every meal, if not for the main course itself.
Curd Rice – Photo Credit Ratan Rajaiah
Rasam is a South Indian soup, prepared using tamarind juice as a base, with the addition of tomato, chilli pepper, pepper, cumin and other spices as seasonings. Steamed lentils are added along with any preferred vegetables and finally chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut are used for garnishing. Rasam is different from sambar in its seasoning ingredients and is usually fluid in consistency.
Rasam – Photo Credit Keiichi Yasu
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