Similar flavours can be experienced in North and South India, though food tends to be a little bit more spicy in the south (to our surprise it wasn’t as spicy as we expected). Some peculiarities of the food from the south are that bread tends to be replaced by rice, that fish is more widely used for cooking and that flavours are much more coconutty.
Thalis, curries, breads… are also very tasty and very easy to find in southern India, but as there were so many other interesting local specialties that we wanted to try, we kind of forgot about them. These are some of the dishes we tasted in Goa and Kerala:
- Dosa. Savory Indian pancakes made with rice and urad dal (black lentils), served hot, stuffed with vegetable fillings and accompanied with sauces. Trully adictive! I hope that I can find urad dal back at home…
- Uttapam. Uttapams can somehow be described as the Indian pizzas. This thick pancake is made with a rice and lentils batter (similar to the one used for dosas) to which onions and tomatoes are added. Yummy, a healthy alternative to dosas.
- Iddli. Savory steamed spongy cakes made from black lentils and rice, usually served with coconut chutney and other sauces. They are ok, but I so prefer dosas and uttapams.
- Karimeen pollichathu: Fish wrapped in a banana leaf cooked with masala and coconut flavors (either from coconut oil, coconut grinding or coconut milk). We tried this in Varkala but we were so hungry that we had no time to take a picture of it.
- Appam: An speciality of Kerala, this delicious fermented rice pancakes are perfect to accompany any south Indian dish.
- Prawn moilee. The most delicious prawn curry I have never tasted. So flavorsome and sweet that can make you feel in heaven! I wish I had a picture to show you.
- Fish and seafood. Probably this is more to please touristy palates than the local ones, but fresh grilled fish and seafood is available through all the Goan and Keralan coastline. It tastes even better with a fresh beer and with your feet in the sand.
A couple of years ago I started collecting cooking books from every country I visit. In India I got myself three!! “Classic Indian Cooking” is one but as it didn’t include many South Indian recipes I ended up buying another two, one with Keralan recipes and the other one just Dosas!