India is a country which has welcomed all different varieties of cuisines in its systems. Similarly, Indian food includes food from all the regions North, East, South and West with their unique styles of cooking. But the South Indian cuisine is known today for its light, low calorie and tempting dishes.
The cuisine is famous for dosas, vadas, idlis and uttapams with Sambhar- the usual combination of these items. The South Indian dishes consist of sambhar, rasam, vegetable curry and pachadi (yogurt). “It is a food that most people have had before and enjoy; the taste is authentic and has a home feel to it. This is what keeps customers asking for more. When we offer catering services, our options are more varied and include more options from all the states of the South and the cuisine which we serve is vegetarian south Indian” said Jyoti Ganapathi, Founder & CEO at Dosa Inc.
Rise of the South Indian Cuisine
South Indian cuisine consists of the cuisine of four states i.e. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. On the same note Rohini Gauthaman, Co Founder, Smoky Chettinad says, “The four states in South Indian are totally unique in their own ways- Andhra, its cuisine is known for red chilly hotness in most of its food. Kannadigas are milder and prefers a konkan flavour, the keralites love their coconut flavoured curries and the Tamilians love a mix of spicy veg and non veg dishes finishing it off by curd rice.”
Andhra Pradesh is known for its Hyderabadi cuisine which is greatly inspired by the Mughlai cuisine. Kerala culture has also contributed a lot in the south India cuisine; Appam and stew, ulli theeyal and banana chips are the common ones.
The Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu has a worldwide following cross the boundaries. Generally the dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas and the typical menu resembles the aristocratic way of the Chettinad people.
“Chettiand cuisine has lot of benefits and flavours; it is spicy, aromatic and zesty cuisine. Even the spices which are used are not from red chilli. In Tamil Nadu, most of the people prefer to have Dosa and Idli with non veg curries and the usual Sambar, chutney combination .Thus making it quite popular in Tamil Nadu” shared Rohini Gauthaman.
Rice is main ingredient in all the South foods, for instance lemon rice, coconut rice, carrot rice and fried rice made by using coconut, curry leaves, urad dal, tamarind, peanuts, chilies and fenugreek seeds. South Indian chutneys are also liked by people. The main ingredients for preparing these chutneys are coconut, peanuts, dal, tamarind, fenugreek seeds and cilantro.
What makes it unique
The major difference is between North and South Indian food as the latter is totally opposite to former. The cuisine of South India is hotter than the North Indian cuisine. South Indians do not use of Garam Masala or any other dried spices but, turmeric, black pepper and cardamom are exceptions.
South India cuisine is a perfect blend of flavour, colour and taste and also takes care of the nutritional balance. Even, the visual appeal of the South Indian dishes is quite appealing from North Indian food. In beverages, coconut water, coffee is popular in South India. South Indians like to have coffee after having their meals.
While North India cuisine is broadly characterized by meats and vegetables cooked in the tandoor i.e. coal fired barbecue, use of cream in dals and yogurt in marinades. Whereas South India food is characterized by dishes cooked on the griddle such as dosas, thin broth like dals called sambar and an array of seafood.
South Indian dishes are not just delicious but also very easily digestible as the South Indians do not use much oil in cooking their meals. So, “It’s a good ‘healthy’ differentiator, liked across the country and can be served at great value. In addition to this, it is easily digestible and light on the stomach”, pointed Murali Parna CEO at Sagar Ratna Restaurants Pvt Ltd.
So, South Indian food is healthy and gluten free unlike other Indian cuisine. But at the same time it is said that it is good for breakfast.