Many people recognise South India through its popular breakfast foods of idlis, vadas and dosas(actually spelt dose in South India). The rice and lentil preparations are prepared in different ways with different ingredients and are served with variety chutney,  sambar and savouried potatoes. A combination of these make a wholesome, healthy hot dishes that have become popular at restaurants all over India. Being local food, these dishes are best savoured in their land of origin, anywhere in Southern India.

The batter for both idli and dosa is made from soaked, ground and fermented rice and urad (black gram dal).  Urad adds to softness and hence quantity is a little more in idli batter. Idlis are steamed and are hence suitable for everyone and make good diet food for patients too. Nutritionally, it’s a combination of carbohydrates and proteins. Coconut in chutney adds a healthy fat and vegetables in sambar add vitamins and minerals.

Idli variety like rava idli has yoghurt (curds), and some spices like mustard, jeera and curry leaves. Carrot shreddings, coriander leaves and green peas can also be added to enhance its value. Mallige idli in Bengaluru are soft and melt in the mouth. Ramassery idlis in Palakkad, Kerala are special, soft, flat idlis.Kanchipuram idlis are small, coin size ones tempered and tossed in spices.

Uranus vada is donut shaped and crispy fried. It served with sambar and chutney or soaked and dipped in beaten yoghurt to make dahi vada. Addition of coarsely ground pepper corns or coconut pieces add flavour and texture to vada.

Dosas or savouried pancakes also come in varieties,  someone has even created a world record by making hundreds of varieties. A good, basic dosa is round, with alternate rounds of soft fluffy and crispy roast layer in the same. Rounded off with Savouried potato in the centre, it becomes masala dosa. A red chutney spread on it transforms to Mysuru masala dosa. Crisp long dosa is called paper dosa. Khali dosa is fluffy and full of holes. Onions and chillies are added to onion uttappa. Butter dosa is special in central Karnataka.
Food street at V V Puram in the traditional heart of Bengaluru has tens of outlets making hot and tasty idli,  vada and dosas and is a good place to visit during evenings. Ambi  Samy on M G road in Kochi is a simple outlet making tasty onion dosas.

Kerala cuisine has appams, another version of dosa with a thick centre and thin, crispy edges. It is served with vegetable stew made with coconut gravy. Idiappams are steamed  rice vermicelli served with chutney and sambar. Puttu is another Kerala specialty. It is also a steamed rice dumpling mixed with lots of grated coconut. It is served with kadala curry, a spicy chana gravy.

Hyderabad’s specialty is pesarattu, dosa made with whole green gram and variety chutneys. Chutneys in posh Banjara hills area is a popular place even with the rich and famous. One can’t miss Paradise Biryani house while in Hyderabad. The rich Nawabi preperation is well  known and available across the city.
Idli, dosa and vada are commonly available all over Tamil Nadu. Idli dipped in a big helping of sambar is popular.

Enjoy wholesome, tasty breakfast dishes while in South India!

By Editorial Team



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