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Food and Cuisine

South Indian food has earned much prominence in India, majorly because of its lip-smacking dishes like Dosa, Vada, Idli, Uttapam and Sambar. South India produces variety of spices such as nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, cinnamon and cloves which are an integral part of their dishes. South Indian meals comprises of cuisines from the five states of the Southern India namely, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The Southern India offers a wide variety of Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian cuisines, and each state holds its own exclusivity when it comes to tastes and food habits.
The climatic condition of South India is mostly hot and humid. The food culture, therefore, is in harmony with the climate. While Andhra Pradesh produces fiery Andhra cuisine which is mainly vegetarian. The state is also famous for its delicious seafood dishes; Tamil Nadu is famous for its Chettinad cuisine, which is perhaps the fieriest of all Indian food.  From Kerala, comes Malabari cooking, with its range of flavoursome seafood dishes. Hyderabad is the home of the Nizams (rulers of Hyderabad) and majestic Nizami food rich and flavoured with tastes ranging from spicy to sour to sweet.
The ingredients used in the cuisines of Southern India are often similar. Some of the common ingredients of their cuisine are rice, lentils, dried red chilies, fresh green chilies, coconut, native fruits and vegetables such as curry leaves, snake gourd, ginger, garlic and tamarind. People over here prefer using coconut oil in the preparation of food. The meals of South Indians usually consist of rice, uttapam, idli, bonda, vada, dosa served with sambhar (dal) or rasam (tamarind dal). All the states of South India have their own unique way of preparation that makes the dishes taste slightly different from the others. Another prominent feature followed by the South Indians while eating is that their food is served on fresh banana leaf.

Let’s tickle your taste buds a bit by giving you a pleasant sneak into the food habits of the different states of Southern India -

In Karnataka, people are more inclined towards vegetarian food and prefer mild use of spices. They use palm sugar or brown sugar in moderate amount. Some of the famous delicacies of the state are Bisi Bele Bhath, Ragi Rotti, Akki Rotti, Saaru, Khara Bhath, Vangi Bath, Dosa, Uppittu. These dishes belong to the Udupi cuisine which occupies a special place in the kitchens of Karnataka. Idli, Mysore Masala Dosa and Maddur Vade are mainly relished in the southern part of the state. A hearty meal can be followed by sweet dishes such as Mysore Pak, Dharwad Pedha and Pheni Chiroti.

Kerala is famous for its fresh coconuts and is one of the major centers of India which exports coconuts. The food preparation of Kerala majorly involves the use of coconut in some way or the other. A great variety of Vegetarian and Non vegetarian food is available here. For Vegetarian, the menu includes Dosa with Sambhar and coconut chutney, Olan, Paalpradaman, Nendarangai chips and Aviyal, whereas the non-vegetarian dishes are Shrimp coconut curry and Fish poriyal.

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu will relish you with mouth watering vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian: Dosa, idli, vadai, rasam, sambhar, thayir sadam (yoghurt rice), thayir vadai (yoghurt-soaked fritters),kootu prepared from vegetable with lots of liquid, poriyal(dry vegetable), uttapam, papadamthayir pachidi(raw vegetables mixed with yoghurt) and murukku.
Non vegetarian can indulge in delicacies like Karuvadu kozhumu (dried preserved fish flavoured curry), chicken 65 and chettinad pepper chicken.

The cuisine in Pondicherry is highly influenced by the French as they ruled here for a long time. They don't use much oil in their preparations. Apart from the typical South Indian dishes, this region offers Italian salads, French food, Chinese, Coconut curry, tandoori potato, soya dosa, curried vegetables, stuffed cabbage and Italian baked beans. The lip smacking dishes prepared here are a treat to your hunger.

Let us know if you have tried any of these dishes. Also, suggest if you have some more in your list.

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