Any South Indian restaurant serves full meals which mean large quantities of fluffy polished white rice served in multiple courses from sambar to rasam to curd along with many side dishes including pappad and pickle. Interestingly, South Indian meals also include one-dish rice meals that make for a quick fix dinner, a convenient option for a lunch box or a festive special. These are referred to as variety rice, mixed rice and are obsessions especially in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. These distinctive rice varieties across regions differ in flavor, texture and even color.
Let us look at the most popular variety rice dishes from across South India:
Referred to as tamarind rice, puliyogare features a strong mix of spices along with tamarind and generous quantities of sesame oil that lend this dish a rich, almost complex flavor. It is served during festive occasions and also as a temple ‘Prasad’ in many temples in the region.
- Coconut Rice
Rice is sautéed with an equal amount of freshly grated coconut, cashew nuts and mild spices. This mildly flavored rice dish is also served during festive occasions and tastes best with spicy gravy.
- Bisi Bele Bath
Bisi Bele Bath is a spicy, rice-based dish with origins in the state of Karnataka. It is dal and rice cooked together with tamarind and spice powders. It has good amount of vegetables, carbs, proteins and tons of flavor and typically more generous quantities of ghee.
- Sesame Rice
This mixed rice version derives almost all its flavor from the white sesame seeds and gingelly oil used for tempering. It tastes almost equally good with brown rice.
- Lemon Rice
It is made with the juice of one or two lemons and the usual ingredients that include turmeric, curry leaves, urad dal, mustard to temper the rice with.
- Karuvapellai Rice
Curry leaf rice is healthy and delicious with all the goodness of vitamins, calcium and iron and flavors of curry leaves. This is a popular mixed rice option across Tamil Nadu.
- Bagara Annam
It is Telangana’s best known rice dish and is cooked with Basmati or Sona Masuri rice just like a pulao with generous amounts of coriander and mint leaves.
- Brinji Rice
The dish takes its name from the main spice brinji leaf (bay leaf) that is used to flavor this dish. It is characterized by the usage of coconut milk and vegetables along with the spices to lend the dish its rich flavor and aroma.
- Vaangi Bath
The key ingredient of Vaangi Bath is the bottle-shaped green brinjal which manages to hold its own flavor despite the presence of a bunch of spices.
- Curd Rice
Curd rice also known as Bagala Bath is a summer favorite. It’s common to add warm milk along with the curd for a different consistency and flavor. Flavors vary by adding dry roasted chillies or finely chopped green chillies or a sweeter version with fruits like pomegranate and green grapes.
To experience the taste of South India, do visit Amma’s South India Restaurant. We are here to serve you with care and concern!