||South Indian recipes are an all time favorite
with people from all over India, especially the ubiquitous idli
and dosa, and no write up on dishes of south India is complete
without a mention of the above.
The idli is light on the digestive system, is steam cooked
and when it is eaten with the right dishes it is delectable.
All you require to make idlis is urad dal and idli rice. The
latter is available in the form of idli rava. .
The ratio of idli rava and urad dal is 2:1. Soak the
urad dal for about an hour and then grind till you get a fluffy butter
like paste. The more you grind the urad dal, the better will the idlis
be. Wash the idli rava in running water till it becomes nice and white.
Drain off all the water and mix the urad dal batter into it. Mix well
until it is homogenous. Add salt according to taste. Allow the batter to
ferment (6-7 hours). Heat the pressure cooker with a little water
inside. Pour the batter into the idli moulds and cook without the weight
for about 8-10 minutes on low flame. Remember, the batter must not be
too thick or else the idlis will turn out to be rock hard. Delicious
white, fluffy idlis are ready to eat. You can eat the idlis with coconut
chutney made from grinding shredded coconut, green chilies, salt, and
chutney ka dal with water.
The dosa is the cousin brother of the idli. Made from rice and urad dal,
it is baked on a tawa. The ratio of rice and urad dal is 3:1. Soak rice
and urad dal separately for a couple of hours and grind separately. The
rice must become almost a fine paste with just a hint of coarseness
about it. The urad dal must be ground well to make a fluffy paste. Mix
the rice paste and urad dal paste to a pouring consistency and add
desired amount of salt. Let it ferment for 6-7 hours. Heat a tawa, add a
drop of oil and spread it over the whole tawa. Take the batter in a
ladle and pour in a circular manner on the heated tawa. After one side
is cooked, turn it over for a minute and then remove from tawa. The dosa
If you want to eat masala dosa, then prepare the masala separately. For
this you will require, (mashed) potatoes, green peas, carrot, cook the
above vegetables with a pinch of salt and keep aside. In a frying pan,
pour a little oil. Add mustard seed, urad dal and chenna dal. Roast till
golden brown. Add a pinch of asafetida, salt, curry leaves and coriander
leaves and a little turmeric powder. Finally add the cooked vegetables
and make a homogenous mass out of it. This mixture, when used as a
filling for the dosa makes the humble dosa into a “Masala dosa”.
Mixing urad dal, chenna dal and toor dal in equal proportion along with
rice makes another form of dosa called “Adai”. The amount of rice used
should be equal to the total amount of all dals that are used. Soak the
dals and rice and red chillies in water for a couple of hours and then
grind to a coarse paste. Add coriander leaves, curry leaves, a pinch of
asafetida and the desired salt. Mix well and pour onto tawa as was done
for dosa. “Adai “ is ready to eat. Eaten hot along with Coconut chutney,
the adai will taste delicious. Some people prefer to eat the “adai”
along with jaggery. Different types of chutney can be made-- Coriander
chutney, tomato chutney or even pudina chutney.
The “medu Vada “ is a hit with almost anyone. It is made form urad dal.
Soak the dal for about an hour, and then along with salt and green
chillies grind to a coarse paste. Heat oil in a kadai. Take a thick
plastic sheet, wet it, and put batter the size of a big lemon on it. Pat
it into a circular shape and make a hole in the center. Slowly remove it
from the sheet and drop gently into oil.
When it turns a golden brown turn it over and let the other side also
cook similarly. Remove from oil and place on tissue paper. This vada can
be eaten along with sambar or chutney. If you want to make “Dahi Vada”,
then drop the hot vada into thick curd to which salt has been added.
Once the vada absorbs the curd, the dahi vada is delicious to eat.
Rice is the main course of any south Indian meal. There are many rice
dishes that can be made. Cook rice and allow it to cool.
The basic spices that go into all these dishes are almost the same. So
at one go you can have it ready. Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seed,
urad dal, green chillies, and curry leaves, wait till the mustard pops
and urad dal turns golden brown. Cut ginger into small pieces and add to
the mixture and roast for a couple of seconds. Add roasted peanuts and
cashew nuts also and keep the basic mixture aside.
To make coconut rice, you need shredded coconut. Roast the coconut till
it turns slightly brown. Add a little of the above mixture, add rice,
salt to taste and mix gently so that everything blends well without
becoming messy. Coconut rice is ready.
To make lime rice, you require lemon juice, and a pinch of turmeric.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add the pinch of turmeric and keep for a second.
Switch off the gas. Add cooked rice to the turmeric and oil, add a
little of the above basic mixture, add the lemon juice and mix the
ingredients well. Lime rice is ready.
Curd is a very important part of the south India meal. To the cooked
rice, add a small quantity of the above basic mixture, a little milk and
salt. Mix well. Then add curd slowly so that the rice and curd form a
thick mixture. Eaten at the end of the meal, the curds rice is heavenly.
Festival or no festival, sweets are always in plenty. “Payasam” is a
dessert that is commonly made. This can be made by boiling a mixture of
cooked rice and jaggery. When the mixture becomes thick, fried cashew,
dried raisins, and a couple of cloves on the top completes the payasam.
Of course rice can be cooked in milk and sugar can be added. This will
give you “milk payasam”. Payasam is also made from semiya, sago or even
Of course , these South Indian recipes form only the tip of the iceberg.