Top 10 South Indian Foods

Top 10 South Indian Foods
Top 10 South Indian Foods
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Indian cuisine is known to rule the hearts not only of Indians but of every single person who visits India or gets a chance to enjoy the extravagant feast of Indian dishes. Indian recipes are like you taste them for the first time and then, when you want them again and again, become a fan of them. Hence, today, we are here with another new post unveiling the most popular recipes of South Indian cuisine, whose image and name are enough to make your mouth water. Here, we are talking about the Top 10 South Indian Foods.

Here we are talking about the Top 10 South Indian Foods:

South Indian Queen: Hyderabad Biryani 

South Indian Queen : Hyderabad Biryani 
Image source: indianhealthyrecipes

You must have heard about this outlandish dish coming from the state of South India. Hyderabadi Biryani is the talk of the town not only in India but abroad as well. This recipe is the holder of history, coming from the kitchen of the Nizam of Hyderabad. This biryani blends the magical touches of Hyderabadi and Mughlai cuisine. The most fascinating thing about this recipe made out of basmati rice is its aromatic flavor, and its smell is so compelling that you cannot stay without at least having a plate of it. This is the finger-licking dish of South India.


Meat, salt, ginger and garlic paste, red chili paste, cardamom powder, cinnamon sticks, cumin seeds, cloves, a pinch of mace, mint leaves, lemon juice, curd, clarified butter, semi-cooked rice, saffron strands, water, and oil.

For garnishing

Boiled eggs, sliced carrots, and cucumbers 

Crispy Pancake: Mysore Masala Dosa 

Crispy Pancake : Mysore Masala Dosa 
Image source: vegrecipesofindia

This is another dish from South India that defies the supremacy of South Indian cuisine better than anyone else. It is a traditional pancake encased in a crispy texture while stuffed with a mixture of mashed potato masala. The distinctive aspect of enjoying this Mysore masala dosa is its counterpart side dish of red chutney or coconut on top. Apart from this, its tempering is another thing that makes it stand out among other options.


  • For batter: Raw rice, idli rice, urad dal, toor dal, chana dal, poha, flattened rice, and salt.
  • For red chutney: Chana dal, dry red chilies, garlic flakes, a small onion, and salt.
  • For stuffing: Potatoes, onions, carrots, green chili, ginger, salt, and turmeric powder.
  • For tempering: Oil, mustard, chana dal, urad dal, cashew nut, and curry leaves.

Festive Necessity: Pongal 

Festive Necessity: Pongal 
Image source: sharmispassions

It is another one of the most famous and traditional dishes of south India, prepared particularly on festive occasions. It is a versatile dish that can be cooked in a way that tastes sweet or in a way that gives it a savory taste as well. The literal meaning of the Tamil word ‘Pongal’ means ‘boiling, bubbling over, or overflowing; this dish is widespread and is served as an offering in temples. Thus, it is not only a dish but also celebrated as the form of the god’s benedictions.


Rice, moong lentils, spices and herbs, ghee, cashew nuts, and black pepper. 

Coconut’s Supremacy: Coconut Rice 

Coconut's Supremacy: Coconut Rice 
Image source: minimalistbaker

Coconut rice is one of the highly recognized dishes as Asia’s rice dish, enriched with the goodness of organic spices and ingredients exuding a mouth-watering taste and look. The coconut rice dish is one of the most loved dishes of Indian cuisine, coming from the states of South India. Scummed out in the nutritional goodness of coconut milk, this recipe is easy to make and has an impeccably fantastic taste.


Jasmine rice, coconut milk, water, white sugar, spices, curry leaves, and kosher salt are also included.

Donuts of South India: Vada

Donuts of South India : Vada
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It would be wrong if this South Indian dish were greeted as the South Indian donut. Vada is the most popular food in South India, consumed as a morning or evening snack. It is mainly known to satisfy your light hunger. Packed with the many qualities of being fluffy, crispy, soft, and delicious, this recipe is the talk of the town. Its taste and appearance are intensified through its traditional pairing with sambar and coconut chutney.


Urad dal, asafoetida, salt, onion, ginger, green chili, and curry leaves. 

King of Breakfast: Uthappam

King of Breakfast : Uthappam
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Like the Idli, Uthappam is another highly preferred breakfast snack in South India. These are cooked as thick pancakes. The most unique feature of this recipe is that it can either be made from the batter of the dosa or the batter of the idli. Not only is it delicious, but it’s healthy, too, as it is oil-free. Oil is needed only for roasting and tempering this dish.


Onion, chili, ginger, curry leaves, coriander leaves, salt, dosa rice, fenugreek seeds, urad dal, puffed rice, salt, and oil. 

The Southy Essence: Rasam

The Southy Essence: Rasam
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Here comes the soupy dish of the South Indian platter, mainly known for its mixture of tastes, which are spicy, tangy, and herby. It comes under the staple foods of south India. The most astonishing feature of this recipe is that it can’t only be made out of vegetables; it can be cooked best with the inclusion of fruits instead of vegetables. The word ‘Rasam’ means the juice, extract, or essence. 


Pepper, cumin, garlic, tomato, tamarind extract, dry red chili, oil, mustard, asafoetida, turmeric powder, salt, water, cooked toor dal, coriander, and curry leaves.

Heart of South India: Idli

Heart of South India : Idli
Image source: ayufoodretail

It is one of the most common, simple, yet sophisticated dishes of South India. This dish has earned fame in India and outside of India. Prepared through the fermenting and steaming methods of cooking, idli is a savory rice cake that is the finest pick for breakfast. Its distinctive aspect is the range of high variation, being cooked as rava idli, masala idli, shell idli, button idli, taste idli, and many more. Its pairing goes top-notch with sambar and coconut chutney.


Idli rice, urad dal, fenugreek seeds, water, and salt.

South Indian Dessert: Paruppu Payasam

South Indian Dessert: Paruppu Payasam
Image source: hindustantimes

This is a traditional and festive treat from South India. Made out of moong dal, it is also known as Parippu Payasam, apart from Paruppu Payasam. It is a mouth-watering dessert; without it, the pomp and show of every festival are pale. It is the most popular because it is packed with positive health benefits besides being extravagantly delicious and creamy. This dish is entirely vegan and free of gluten.


Moong dal, water, ghee or clarified butter, jaggery, coconut milk, cashew nuts, raisins, dry coconut, and cardamom powder.

Chettinad’s Origin: Chettinad Chicken Curry 

Chettinad's Origin: Chettinad Chicken Curry 
Image source: butfirstchai

This dish is named after the place of its origin, which is the Chettinad region of South India. It is the most prominent and highly demanded chicken recipe in South India, primarily known for its spicy and tangy gravy. The pieces of meat drenched in the aromatic flavors of thick and spicy gravy make it rule the hearts of almost every South Indian. Not only this, but it goes well with each component, whether it’s rice, chapati, or paratha. But on the paving scale, it is mainly accompanied by rice.


Chicken, black pepper, coriander seeds, cloves, dry red chili, black stone flower, cinnamon, star anise, funnel cumin, cardamom, coconut, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, oil, and curry leaves. 


Is there any difference between the regular and Mysore masala dosa?

Not precisely; no particular difference can be spotted between the two. Both regular masala dosa and Mysore masala dosa have similar appearance and taste. The separating thing about them is that only Mysore masala dosa got its name from the erstwhile capital of Karnataka state.

What is the significance of the festival of Pongal? 

Pongal is a festival related to agriculture. It is one of the ancient celebrations in the history of Tamil culture. During this festival, people offer offerings to their god for their significant contributions to agriculture.

Is any secret ingredient used in the Hyderabadi biryani that makes it stand out? 

Not exactly, but the ingredient that helps give out the royal aura to this biryani is the inclusion of milk or ghee infused with saffron, which is responsible for giving biryani its color and aroma.

Are Hyderabadi biryani and Lucknowi biryani the same?? Or is there any difference between the two? 

Yes, these are different in texture, flavor, and cooking technique. Hyderabadi biryani is known for its spicy and meaty taste, packed with saffron milk or ghee. In contrast, Lucknowi biryani is smooth in texture and has yogurt and marinated meat. This is what makes the two different. 


This blog post has opened up the highly recognized and most prominent dishes of South India. The reason behind their popularity is their fermented nature, positive implications on overall well-being, cooking methods, and serving tactics, traditional inclusion of ingredients and techniques, regional touch, a broad spectrum of tastes and preferences, and many more, which are responsible for bringing fame to it. These South Indian recipes are an impeccable part of the outlandish Indian cuisine renowned all over the globe.

These dishes’ presence and unwavering connection with the customs and rituals augment their significance. No festival in South India is complete without including some of the above mentioned recipes. So, now is a time to experience their zesty aura and aromatic flavors enriched with the goodness of natural spices and ingredients. Try them out now!

Vaisakh V K