Today in New Delhi, India
Dec 12, 2018-Wednesday
New Delhi
  • Humidity
  • Wind

Independence Day 2018: 17 traditional recipes from South India you need to try now

Independence Day 2018: From Pongal to Kesari and Pal Payasam to Chicken Chettinad, we’ve got the best of South Indian cuisine for you. To make it easy, we’ve classified them into snacks and chutneys, curries and desserts.

more lifestyle Updated: Aug 14, 2018 19:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Best South Indian Recipes,Easy South Indian Recipes,Easy South Indian Breakfast Recipes
Independence Day 2018: Here’s a selection of best of South Indian recipes. (Shutterstock)

Celebrate Independence Day on August 15 with these mouth-watering recipes from across the four corners of the country. We have recipes from the east that feature the best of Bengali cuisine and some real gems from the North Eastern states. And we’ve also got some classics from Northern India.

Read on to try out some of the best recipes from South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. There’s a reason why South Indian breakfast is popular across the country. It’s not only tasty but also has loads of health benefits. For instance, idli and dosa (made with fermented batter) are a great source of good bacteria that’s important to keep your gut healthy.

But health is not the only reason that makes South Indian food one of the most sought after cuisine. It’s got the right balance of flavours – it’s spicy, tangy, sweet and tart all-in-one. Thus it pleases all our senses. So, this Independence Day, get cooking and make these simple, yet delicious recipes from the Southern states of India.

Whether you’re entertaining guests or just cooking for your family, these South Indian recipes are sure to impress everyone. To make it easy, we’ve classified them into snacks and chutneys, curries and desserts. And don’t forget to savour these delicious recipes on a banana leaf.

Easy ven pongal recipe. (Shutterstock)

Ven Pongal

This is a popular breakfast preparation in Tamil Nadu. It is often relished with coconut chutney (next recipe).


Rice: 1 cup
Moong dal: 1 cup
Water: 4 cups

For tempering: 
Oil: 1tbsp
Ghee: 1tbsp
Jeera: 1tbsp
Black pepper (crushed): a pinch
Ginger: 1/2 inch piece
Hing: a pinch
Cashew nuts: 10
Curry leaves: 10-15 leaves


Wash rice and dal and pressure cook them together with 4 cups of water. The texture should be mushy. Once cooked, take a kadai with ghee and oil, add jeera, cashew nuts, curry leaves, grated ginger, pepper and hing and add it to the cooked rice and dal. Serve it with coconut chutney.

Coconut chutney goes well with south Indian snacks. (Shutterstock)

Coconut chutney: 

This is a popular accompaniment with dishes such as idli, dosa, wada in South Indian cuisine.


Coconut (grated): 1 cup
Chana dal: 1/4 cup
Water: as required
Salt: a pinch
Ginger: 1/2 inch
Green chillies: 2

For tempering: 

Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
Hing: a pinch
Curry leaves: 7-8

Method: In a grinder, mix together all the ingredients listed (except for tempering), adjust water and grind. Temper with ingredients listed under tempering and chutney is ready to be served.

Tomato tokku

Tomato tokku is a tangy side-dish served with a full meal.


Tomato: 1kg
Tamarind: A small lemon sized ball
Chilly powder: 2tbsp
Jaggery (powdered): 2tbsp
Hing: 1/2 tsp
Salt: As per taste
Til oil: 1/4 cup

For tempering
Oil: 1tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 7-10 leaves

Chop tomatoes and in a heavy bottomed kadai, add them along with tamarind and let them cook in their own juices. Once mushy, remove from heat. Transfer to a mixer once cooled and grind it. In a kadai, add mustard seeds with oil and curry leaves and add the ground mixture. Stir well and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Now add chilly powder, jaggery, salt and mix well. Keep stirring till oil separates.

Parauppu thogayal

This is a much-loved side dish served with full meals in South India.


Split moong dal: 1 cup
Tur dal: 3-4 tbsp
Grated coconut: 1 cup
Red chillies: 1-2
Oil: 1tbsp
Salt: a pinch


In a kadhai, add oil and the two dals with red chillies and roast it till red, add coconut. You may even add some curry leaves. Grind it to a paste with water as required. You can have this chutney with rice.

Adai is a popular breakfast preparation. (Shutterstock)

This is similar to dosa, but made with lentils. It’s a popular breakfast dish.


Boiled rice: 2 cups
Toor dal: 1/2 cup
Chana Dal: 1/2 cup
Black urad dal: ¼ cup
Dried red chillies: 4-5
Curry leaves


Soak rice for about 2-3 hours. Soak lentils for about ½ hour. Grind rice and dals into coarse batter by adding some water. Add salt to taste. Transfer batter and keep it aside for 2 hours. You can add hing and curry leaves to it. On a tawa, spread the batter, like dosa, and let it cook. Serve with ghee, jaggery and chutney.


South Indian curries are usually accompanied with rice and are part of the main course in a meal. These easy curries are sure to impress your guests.

Keerai masiyal

This spinach recipe is super easy.


Spinach or any other greens:1 big bunch
Dried red chillies: 2
Urad dal: 1tsp
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Coconut oil: 1tsp
Salt to taste


Wash spinach, drain out excess water. Chop them roughly. Head a pan, add the spinach and cover and cook. Now grind it for 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, heat coconut oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal and red chillies and temper.


Avial is a popular main in Tamil Nadu and Kerala cuisine.


Ashgourd: 100g
Pumpkin: 100g
Raw banana: 1/2
Yam: 100g
Carrot: 1
Drumsticks: 1
Beans: 4-5
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Salt: to taste
Yoghurt: 1/2 cup
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves
To grind:
Scraped coconut: 1 cup
Green chillies: 4-5


Wash and peel, cut all vegetables about the same size. In a heavy kadhai add the vegetables, turmeric, salt, water and let them cook. Make sure they cook, but don’t get mushy. In a grinder, add the coconut, chillies and curd and make it into a paste. Add it to the cooked veggies. Heat some coconut oil, add curry leaves and temper.

Rasam is a good medicine to cure common cold. (Shutterstock)



Tomatoes (chopped): 3
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Ginger: 1/2 inch
Water: 2 cups
Toor dal: cooked
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves
Pepper: to taste
Salt: to taste
Hing: to taste


Soak tomatoes and ginger in warm water, in a grinder grind it with hing, cumin seeds, pepper, curry leaves. In a pan, add water and the ground paste and cook, add some cooked dal and let it boil for 5 minutes. For tempering, in little ghee, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and hing and temper.

Archavittu sambar


Toor dal: 1/3 cup (cooked)
Tamarind: A small lemon sized ball
Onion: 1
Radish, or any vegetable: 2-3
Salt: to taste
Coriander seeds: 1tbsp
Bengal gram: 1tsp
Red chillies: 3-4
Coconut: 2tbsp
Raw rice: 1/4tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds
Oil: 1tbsp
Curry leaves: 7-10
Coriander: finely chopped


Cook the vegetables with water, add tamarind and salt. Next add the tamarind paste, cooked dal. Grind coriander seeds, Bengal gram, red chillies, coconut and raw rice. Add this mixture to cooked veggies and dal. Add salt to taste. For tempering, heat oil, add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves and hing.

Coconut rice


Oil: 1tbsp
Peanuts or cashews: 1/2tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Curry leaves: 7-10
Urad dal: 1tsp
Red chillies: 1-2
Rice (cooked): 1 cup
Salt: to taste
Coconut (grated): 1/2 cup

In a pan, heat some oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, red chillies and cashews and sautee till red. Add in the coconut and rice and give it a good mix. Season with salt and coriander leaves.

Neer Dosa


Rice-soaked for 2 hours: 1 cup
Coconut grated: 1/2 cup
Salt: 1/2tsp
Water: 5 cups
Oil: 1tbsp


Grind rice and coconut to a very fine paste. Add 5 cups water and salt. Heat a non-stick pan and pour enough batter to cover the pan. Lower the heat and cover pan for 1/2 a minute or so. When the edges start lifting, dribble a few drops of oil around and ease the dosa out of the pan and serve.

Cabbage poriyal


Cabbage (chopped): 1 medium
Chana dal: 1tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Urad dal: 1tsp
Curry leaves
Green chillies
Turmeric powder
Salt: to taste
Oil: 1tbsp
Coconut (grated) 1cup


Heat oil in a deep pan and add the mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal one after another. After mustard seeds crackle, add cabbage and green chillies to it. Stir and keep it covered at medium flame for a minute. Add turmeric and salt. Stir and keep covered for another minute. Add the grated coconut and chopped coriander.

Chicken Chettinad


Chicken: 500g
Oil: 75ml
Onions: 100g
Tomatoes: 100g
Cinnamon sticks: 2
Cloves: 2g
Cumin: 1tsp
Cardamom: 2g
Turmeric powder: 10g
Curry leaves: 2g
Salt: to taste
For paste:
Onion: 100g
Ginger and garlic paste: 100g
Fennel seeds: 50g
Cumin seeds: 20g
Peppercorns: 25g
Red chillies: 10g
Coconut: 100g


Grind the ingredients for the paste. Clean and cut the chicken into 16 pieces. Marinate the chicken with the paste. Chop the tomatoes, coriander leaves and the onions. Heat oil and add the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and cumin. Add the chopped onions and the curry leaves. Saute until the onions are golden. Add the tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes. Add the marinated chicken and turmeric powder. Saute for 10 minutes, sprinkling water at intervals. Add enough salt, cover with a lid and cook until done. Add more chilli or pepper if required. Serve garnished with coriander leaves.


Kadala parappu pradhaman


Chana Dal: 1/3rd cup
Sago: 1/8th cup
Powdered Jaggery : ¾ cup
Cashew nuts – few
Thin Coconut Milk:1 cup
Thick Coconut Milk: ½ cup
Cardamom Powder – ½ tsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp


Dry roast the sago and chana dal and soak in water. Pressure cook the mixture for 3-4 whistles. Mash it once cooked. In a vessel, add jaggery, water. Once dissolved, strain and pour it back in the vessel. Add the mashed dal to the jaggery water and boil. Add in the thin coconut milk and boil. Once it thickens add the thick milk. In a frying pan, take some ghee and roast cashew nuts, add it along with cardamom.

Mysore pak


Sugar: 1cup
Water: 1cup
Chick pea flour: 1cup
Ghee: 2cups


Dissolve sugar and water over low heat, bring it to boil and cook till it reaches thread like consistency. Add 1tbsp besan and stir to mix well. Continue to add besan, a spoon at a time. Add ghee, one tbsp at a time. The colour and texture will change by now. It should become brown. Set it in a thali, let it cool and cut.

Paal payasam


Milk: 1 litre
Rice: 1 fistful
Sugar: 200g


Wash rice in water and drain the water. Now boil the milk and add it to the rice in a pressure cooker. Cook the mixture on low flame for about 30-45 minutes. Turns the heat off and let it cook down. Add the sugar and boil some more.

Rawa kesari


Ghee: 2tbsp
Cashews: 10
Raisins: 1tbsp
Rawa: 1/2 cup
Water: 1cup
Sugar: 3/4cup
Saffron water: 2tbsp
Cardamom powder: 1/2tsp


Heat ghee and roast cashews. Next roast some rawa in the same ghee. In a large vessel, boil water. Add the rawa and stir continuously. Next, add in the sugar and keep stirring till it dissolves. Add saffron water and the rest of the ghee. Season with roasted cashews and serve. You can even sprinkle some cardamom powder.

Follow @htlifeandstyle for more

First Published: Aug 14, 2018 19:57 IST