Underrated South Indian Foods

Underrated South Indian Foods

We can all admit that the beauty of Indian culture as a whole is that there is such diversity to it. Even within state lines, there are sub-communities united by their own traditions, religion, caste, and historical influences. 

Take Karnataka for instance. Depending on the region, Udupi or Coorg, there are likely to be slight and yet significant differences in the way they prepare certain dishes. The same goes for the other South Indian states too! 

While dishes like dosa, Hyderabadi biryani, sambar, and vadai have over time become representative of South Indian food, there are several hidden gems that not many people talk about. Today, we’re going to explore a few such dishes you should definitely try.


An incredibly healthy vegetarian dish, poriyal is a Tamilian delicacy similar to the thoran from Kerala. It consists of vegetables that have been sauteed with onions, mustard seeds, urad dal, and a blend of spices. 

What makes this dish a pleasant accompaniment to rice is that it’s not too heavy and doesn’t overwhelm your palate. You’ll often find that poriyal in many households is also cooked with grated coconut to make it all the more delightful. Common vegetables used to make poriyal are cabbage, green beans, and carrots.

Goli Baje

Originating from the coastal region of Karnataka, Mangalore, goli baje is also referred to as Mangalore bajji. 

what is mangalore bajji

Although made with maida, the batter is usually fermented before being rolled up into balls and deep-fried. This gives the baje a somewhat tangy flavour. You can choose to eat it with coconut or tomato chutney.

Served in the evening as a snack, enjoy a plateful of goli baje along with warm cups of kaapi or tea.


A part of Kerala cuisine, olan is a stew. It’s not complex in terms of flavours. A light, soothing dish, olan is made with coconut milk, white gourd, and cowpeas. 

Those who enjoy eating the traditional Kerala sadhya would have come across olan before. That said, it’s not something that many people talk about when talking about Kerala cuisine.

But you’ll truly be missing out on just how simple, delicious and yet healthy dishes from Kerala can be if you haven’t tried this one before. It is eaten with steamed rice and brings forth nutty, earthy flavours from the curry leaves, cowpeas and coconut.

Gutti Vankai

Tangy and spicy, gutti vankai or vankaya, is a dish from Andhra cuisine. It is a gravy/ curry that people enjoy with rice or chapati. 

The star ingredient of this dish is brinjal (also known as eggplant). Dried red chillies, peanuts, and coconuts among other spices are used to make a dry mixture that is then filled into the cut-up brinjals. 

Additionally, onions, tomatoes, and green chillies are used to make the gravy in which the stuffed brinjals are cooked. Whether you try this recipe at home or order the dish, we hope you definitely get a chance to relish its intricate flavours.

Pazham Pori

make pazham pori at home

Pazham pori is the perfect snack recipe for those who have a sweet tooth and enjoy deep-fried food. Ripe bananas (the riper, the better) are cut into long strips, dipped into a flour batter, and fried until golden brown. 

The batter coating adds a great texture and balances the sweetness of the banana inside. Despite being deep-fried, you can never really eat just one pazham pori and call it a day.

This dish originates from Kerala and is simple to make at home, especially when you have bananas that are turning too ripe to be eaten just like that. We highly recommend our Traditional filter kaapi as a great accompaniment to this mouthwatering dish.

There are loads of other underrated South Indian foods that we can think of and recommend to you; perhaps in another blog post. Comment and let us know if you’ve tried either of these.

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