South Indian Cookbook

Southern and Northern Food Indian Recipe Types

In India there are wonderful varieties of food. Indian recipe types vary from region to region depending on the types of food that is available, the history of the region and many other factors.

In North India Kashmir and Punjabi cuisines dominate. In Kashmir, they prefer meat dishes with the most popular being Rogan Josh. Meals would include chapattis, rotis or parathas, rice, dals, vegetables, curd and curries. In the Punjab, the most popular dish is Sarson ka saag, which is made from mustard greens.

Here is a recipe for Rogan Josh or Kashmiri Lamb Curry.

Along the Eastern coast is the state of Gujarat. Vegetarian dishes predominate and a favorite is the savory Gujarati Kadhi which is made with yogurt, bay leaves, ginger, and vegetables. The Gujarats love their sweets and commonly serve them with the meal.

The meals taken in Southern India are made up of different types. First there is Tiffin or breakfast. Breakfast in the South is filled with rice-based dishes and traditionally, these need to be started the previous night so there is a fermented type flavor. The most common is Idli, which is a steamed rice cake. Also common, and very tasty, are the dosa, which are paper thin and crispy pancakes that are dipped into chutneys or Sambar or filled with a potato masala.

A typical meal would probably look like this. First, bread like chapatti, roti, or poori. This would be accompanied by various chutneys like coconut, mint, or tomato. Main dishes fall into two categories, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Lets start with the Vegetarian. These use a wide variety of delicious sauces. Here I must give a note on the word, Curry or masala. Curry, as known in America is really a combination of spices. In both Southern and Northern India a cook would not think of using the same combination of spices to flavor his or her dish. Many of the vegetarian recipes will include legumes. There is quite a variety of lentils, or dals, depending on the dish as well as garbonzo beans or chick peas.

I have included a number of Southern Indian recipes on this site but if you want recipes from other regions try your local bookstore or try Amazon Books.