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(DAY 74) Elements of south indian food

· 4 min read
Gaurav Parashar

South indian food in Gurgaon

I enjoy South Indian food, mostly for dinner and sometimes for breakfast. I visited Zambar, Ambience Mall on 1st May 2023 for lunch and Naivedyam, Suncity on 7th May 2023 for dinner.

South Indian cuisine is known for its unique flavors, spices, and vegetarian options. The cuisine is popular not only in South India but throughout the country and internationally. Rice is a staple food in South Indian cuisine, and it's often served with a variety of vegetable curries, lentils, or sambar. Dosa and idli are popular breakfast items made from rice and lentils and typically served with coconut chutney and sambar. Another famous South Indian dish is the masala dosa, which is a crispy crepe-like dish filled with a spicy potato filling. Chutneys are a vital accompaniment to South Indian dishes, and they come in different flavors, including coconut, tomato, mint, and onion. Some of the famous snacks in South India include vada, a savory fritter made from lentils and spices, and bajji, a deep-fried vegetable snack. South Indian cuisine is also known for its desserts, including payasam, a sweet milk pudding, and Mysore pak, a rich, crumbly sweet made from chickpea flour, ghee, and sugar. Overall, South Indian cuisine is a vibrant and diverse cuisine that offers an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options to tantalize your taste buds.

Food by state

South Indian cuisine is known for its diverse flavors, spices, and vegetarian options. Each of the five states - Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Telangana, and Kerala - has its own unique culinary traditions, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Below I compare the food of these states, highlighting their distinctive features and specialties.

1. Karnataka

Karnataka is known for its spicy and flavorful cuisine, influenced by both Kannada and coastal cuisine. Some of the popular dishes in Karnataka include bisi bele bath, a spicy and aromatic rice dish cooked with lentils and vegetables, and Mysore masala dosa, a crispy dosa filled with a spicy potato filling. Akki rotti, a rice-based flatbread, is another popular dish, especially in rural areas.

2. Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh is known for its spicy and tangy cuisine, heavily influenced by the Telugu cuisine. The most popular dish in Andhra Pradesh is the spicy and tangy Hyderabadi biryani, a rice dish cooked with meat or vegetables, saffron, and spices. Another popular dish is Gongura pachadi, a tangy chutney made from Gongura leaves, which are sour and add a distinct flavor to the dish. Andhra-style seafood dishes, especially prawn curry, are also famous.

3. Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu has a diverse culinary tradition with vegetarian dishes as the highlight. The state is known for its use of tamarind, coconut, and curry leaves in its dishes. Idli and dosa are the popular breakfast dishes, and sambar is a common accompaniment. Chettinad cuisine from the southern part of the state is famous for its spicy non-vegetarian dishes like chicken Chettinad and Chettinad fish curry. Pongal, a rice dish cooked with lentils and ghee, is a must-try dish from the state.

4. Telangana

Telangana, the youngest state in India, has a cuisine that is a blend of Telugu and Hyderabadi cuisines. The state is known for its biryanis, especially the Hyderabadi biryani. The traditional dish of Telangana is the Sarva Pindi, a pancake made of rice flour and vegetables, usually served as a snack. Hyderabadi haleem, a popular Ramadan dish, is a stew made with wheat, lentils, and meat, cooked for hours with spices and ghee.

5. Kerala

Kerala is known for its use of coconut and spices in its cuisine, which is primarily non-vegetarian. The state is famous for its seafood dishes like prawn curry, fish molee, and karimeen pollichathu. Appam, a pancake made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk, is a popular breakfast dish. Kerala-style biryanis, cooked with spices and coconut milk, are also famous. The state's traditional sadya, served during festivals, is a feast served on a banana leaf and consists of multiple vegetarian dishes, like sambar, aviyal, and payasam.

In conclusion, the cuisine of South India is diverse and rich, with each state having its unique flavors and specialties. Karnataka's spicy and flavorful cuisine, Andhra Pradesh's tangy and spicy cuisine, Tamil Nadu's vegetarian cuisine, Telangana's blend of Telugu and Hyderabadi cuisines, and Kerala's use of coconut and spices are all unique in their ways. Exploring the different cuisines of South India is a delight for foodies, and it's an experience that one should not miss. Bon appetite!