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Top 10 South Indian Food Recipes

19th Oct

We've teamed up with our friends at the Spice Village in Periyar, Kerala to bring you our top ten of South Indian recipes.

Warming curries, spicy soups and tangy chutneys - we show you how to bring the magical world of aromatic South Indian food to your table in easy steps.  

Play around with the sumptuous spices to turn up the heat or achieve a more mellow meal.  

Starters

Pumpkin & coconut soup

(A thick soup with Pumpkin and Coconut milk)

Ingredients

Pumpkin: 250 gms 
Ginger: 5 gms 
Garlic: 5 gms 
Curry leaf: 1 sprig
Green chilli: 3 gms
Turmeric powder: 2 gms
Salt: To taste 
Coconut milk: 100 ml


Method

1. Peel the pumpkin and cut it into cubes.
2. Boil it with chopped ginger, garlic, curry leaf, green chili, turmeric powder and salt.
3. Cook the pumpkin till it mashed well or to a puree form.
4. Add the coconut milk and check the seasoning. Serve hot.


Cardamom Chicken Skewers

(Mild Chicken starter flavored with cardamom powder)

Ingredients

Boneless chicken pieces: 200 gms
Yogurt/curd: 15 ml
Ginger: 5 gms
Green chilies: 2 
Coriander leaves: 1 sprig
Crushed peppercorn: 2 gms
Cardamom powder: 2 gms
Salt: to taste
Coconut oil: 30 ml


Method

1. Clean & cut the chicken into small boneless cubes. Chop ginger, green chilies and coriander leaves.
2. Marinade the chicken pieces with all the ingredients in a bowl except the coconut oil. Combine well and keep it for 10 minutes.
3. Skewer the chicken on bamboo skewers. Heat the coconut oil in a pan and grill the skewers.
4. Serve hot with a salad.

Mains 

Meat

Chicken Kurumulagu Raost

(A rich Kerala specialty Chicken preparation highly flavored with pepper)

Ingredients

Chicken: 250gm
Cardamom: 1 gm
Cloves: 1 gm
Cinnamon stick: 1 gm
Onion: 150 gms
Ginger: 5 gms
Garlic: 5 gms
Green chilli: 3 gms
Curry leaf: a sprig
Tomato: 75 gms
Turmeric powder: 2 gms
Chilli powder: 5 gms
Coriander powder: 5 gms
Fresh Pepper: 5 gms
Garam masala: 2 gms
Fennel Powder: 2 gms
Coconut Milk: 50 ml
Coconut Oil : 45 ml
Salt to taste


Method

1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add whole cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, sliced onions, garlic, ginger, green chilli & curry leaves.
2. Sauté those well till the onions change to dark brown in colour.
3. Add the turmeric, chilli, coriander and garam masala powders. Sauté them for a minute and add the slices of tomatoes and salt.
4. Cook well until the tomatoes get mashed and till the oil leaves from the gravy.
5. Then add the cuts of chicken and mix it well. Cook on a slow fire till the meat is tender.
6. Add the crushed fresh pepper and coconut milk; cook till it dries up.
7. Finish with fennel powder and serve hot

Fish 

Fish Moilee

(Mild preparation of Fish infused in coconut milk with turmeric)

Ingredients

Any cubed firm fish (Salmon, Cod, Pomfret, Tilapia): 250 gms
Coconut oil: 30 ml
Fenugreek seeds: 2 gms
Onion rings: 50 gms
Garlic slices: 5 gms
Ginger juliennes: 5 gms
Green chilli: 3 gms
Curry leaves: 1 spring
Turmeric powder: 2 gm
Salt: to taste
Coconut milk: 150 ml
Lemon juice: 1 no 
Tomato slice: 100 gms


Method

1. Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add fenugreek seeds. Add onion, garlic, ginger, green chili, curry leaves and sauté till transparent.
2. Add turmeric powder, salt and fish cubes. Add some water cook in a slow fire for 10 minutes.
3. Add the coconut milk, lemon juice and tomato slices. Do not allow it boil after adding the coconut milk.
4. Serve hot garnished with curry leaves.

Vegetarian

Vazhuthananga Ularthiyathu
(A dry preparation of Aubergine on a crushed masala)

Ingredients

Aubergine, sliced: 250g
Sliced onion: 60g
Coconut flakes: 15g
Shallots: 15g
Garlic: 5g
Ginger: 5g
Black Pepper: 5g
Whole Red Chilli: 3g
Chilli Powder: 3g 
Fennel: 3g
Coriander powder : 3g
Turmeric powder: 2g
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Salt: to taste 


Method

1. Heat oil in a pan & add crushed garlic, ginger, whole red chilli, shallots, peppercorns and fennel.
2. When it turns golden brown in colour, add sliced onion, coconut flakes, curry leaves & sauté till transparent.
3. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt.
4. Sauté for a minute, add the cuts of aubergine and stir well.
5. Check the seasoning and serve hot.


Kalan

(A traditional dish of Kerala with raw banana, coconut and yogurt)

Ingredients

Raw banana: 75 gms 
Onion: 30 gms 
Ginger: 5 gms 
Green chilli: 5 gms 
Curry leaf: a sprig 
Turmeric powder: 2 gms 
Coconut (grated): 100 gms
Cumin: 10gms 
Curd (or natural yoghurt): 100 ml 
Salt: to taste
For Tempering 
Coconut oil: 15 ml
Mustard seeds: 2 gms
Fenugreek seeds: 2 gms 
Slice shallots: 10 gms
Dry red chilli: 3 gms 
Curry leaves: 1 spring


Method

Grind together the grated coconut, cumin seeds to a fine paste, by adding very little water and keep it aside.
Peel and cut the raw banana into cubes. Cook the raw banana with onion, curry leaves, green chilli, ginger, salt, and turmeric powder adding very little water in a heavy-bottomed vessel.
When cooked add the fine paste of coconut and cook for a minute.
Remove from fire and add the yoghurt and finish with tempering.
For tempering
Heat the oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, allow cracking.
Add sliced shallots, dry red chilli & curry leaves. Sauté it till shallots turns brown.
Mix with curry and serve hot

High Range Vegetable Curry 

(Assorted Vegetables in local style with spices and coconut)

Ingredients

Coconut oil: 30 ml
Mustard seeds: 2 gms 
Red chilies: 2 gms
Mixed vegetables: 200 gms
Ginger: 5 gms
Garlic: 5 gms
Green chilies: 3 gms
Onion: 100 gms
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Tomato: 100 gms 
Gram masala: 3 gms 
Turmeric powder: 2 gms
Coconut milk: 30 ml
Salt: To taste
For Pasting:
Grated coconut: 50 gms 
Cumin : 10 gms
Shallot: 15gms
Curry leaves: 5 gms
Fennel seeds: 5 gms


Method

1. Cut the vegetables into small cubes.
2. Heat the oil in the pan, crackle the mustard seeds and add red chilli.
3. Add and sauté the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and green chilli till light brown color.
4. Add turmeric powder, gram masala and chopped tomatoes.
5. Saute for 2 minutes and add the paste of coconut with shallots, curry leaves, cumin and fennel seeds.
6. Add the vegetables with water and salt. When the vegetables are cooked, add the coconut milk and simmer for few seconds.
7. Garnish with curry leaves

Cardamom Vegetable Khorma

(Assorted Vegetables cooked with coconut and cardamoms)

Ingredients

Coconut oil: 30ml 
Mixed vegetables: 200 gms
Ginger: 5 gms
Garlic: 5 gms 
Green chilies: 5 gms
Onion: 100 gms
Curry leaves: 1 sprig 
Turmeric powder: 1 gms
Cardamom (whole): 2 gms
Coconut milk: 30 ml
Salt: To taste 
For Pasting
Grated coconut: 100 gms
Cardamom: 2 gms
Shallot: 15gms
Curry leaves: 1 sprig 


Method

1. Cut the vegetables into small cubes. Heat the oil in the pan and add the cardamoms, chopped ginger, garlic, green chilli, onion and curry leaves and sauté well.
2. When the onion becomes soft, add turmeric powder and the coconut paste with cardamoms, shallots and curry leaves.
3. Add the vegetables with water and salt. When the vegetables are cooked, add the coconut milk and simmer for few seconds.
4. Garnish with curry leaves.

Side Dishes

Beetroot Vattom

(A dry preparation of Beetroot with spices and tapioca)

Ingredients

Beetroot: 250 gm 
Shallots: 15 gms
Green chilli: 3 gm 
Ginger: 5 gm 
Curry Leaves: 1 sprig 
Crushed black pepper: 5 gm 
Tapioca (or potato): 50 gms
Oil: 30 ml 
Salt: to taste


Method

1. Clean and grate the beetroot; clean & par boil the tapioca and grate it. Keep it aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan & add chopped shallots, ginger, and green chilli and curry leaves. Sauté till golden brown in colour, add the grated beetroot, salt and cook for some time.
3. Add the grated tapioca and finish with pepper powder.
4. Cool and shape it to small round patties.
5. Grill it to light brown colour before serving. Serve hot with chutney.

Mint Chutney

Ingredients

Mint leaves: 100 gms 
Coriander leaves: 50 gms 
Green chilli: 5 gms 
Ginger: 10 gms 
Curd (or natural yoghurt): 100 ml 
Cashew nuts(soaked): 25 gms 
Salt: to taste


Method

Make a fine paste out of it in the grinder or blender with the salt. Serve cold.

Have you tried any of these recipes? We'd love to see your pictures - send us an email or tag us on social media!