Like Idlis? Here are South Indian recipes for busy weekdays

Like Idlis? Here are South Indian recipes for busy weekdays

Idli-sambar, lemon rice, curd rice, onion dosa and a classic street-side style Kerala dish

Whose idli is it anyway? Image Credit: Sarathak/

It's almost midweek. You are hard-pressed to meet work deadlines and crave a comfort meal at the end of a long workday. But, with little time to spend in the kitchen, you end up ordering food. Does the situation sound familiar?

What if we told you that you could find recipes that are easy to make, save you time in the kitchen and make for a hearty comfort meal? Gulf News Food team has curated some such recipes of South Indian dishes shared by Gulf News readers, chefs and home cooks. From flavourful rice-based dishes to crispy crepes and street-style spicy egg curry, we have you covered for these busy weekdays.

1. Curd rice: There is no right or wrong way to make this comfort dish. A bowl of typical curd rice, or thayir saadam as they call it in the south Indian regional language Tamil, is prepared by mixing cooked rice and yoghurt. Then, this mix is tempered with mustard seeds, green chilies, curry leaves and seasoned with freshly chopped coriander leaves. Some recipes even mention adding roasted or fried peanuts for a nutty taste. Here is a recipe you can try at home.

Curd Rice
Curd Rice Image Credit: Shutterstock

2. Lemon rice: Known by different names across South Indian states, this tangy rice recipe is a great pick-me-up and definitely a treat. Typically, rice is cooked separately and then tempered with regional spices to which lemon juice is added. You can also use left-over rice for this recipe. Roasted chana dal or split chickpeas and urad dal or split black gram are crucial to making this dish. Team it up with pickles and some fried poppadum on the side, and you are good to go. Try the recipe here.

Lemon Rice
Lemon Rice Image Credit: Pixabay

3. Idli-sambar: An intriguing history and easy recipe make this classic south Indian breakfast dish even more enjoyable. Idlis are fluffy steamed rice cakes that are usually paired with sambar (spicy and tangy vegetable curry dish) and chutney or dips. These soft rice cakes have been called the ‘most boring food’ and also gotten a makeover - tales of idli are evergreen. Talking of which, we also have unique recipes for tulsi, purple and masala idli. Here is a traditional Kerala style idli guide from our guest food writer Sobha Varghese.

Ever heard of idli popsicles before? Image Credit: Shutterstock

4. Onion Dosa: Dosas are like crepes made with rice batter. They are best paired with sambar, chutney and even have a filling of potatoes, onion or just about anything you might like. This recipe uses onions as a filling and adds buttermilk to the batter for a slightly sour taste. Traditionally the dosa batter is left to ferment overnight, but if you are running short of time, try adding buttermilk for a quick fix. A classic recipe here.

Onion dosa
Indian rice batter crepes within 15 minutes - a vegan breakfast! Image Credit: Camerapress

5. Thattukada or street-style Kerala mutta (egg) roast: Thattukada means street-side shops in the South Indian regional language Malayalam and this recipe is a classic. Slightly spicy with flavours of garlic and ginger, they make an excellent pair with puttu - a dish made of steamed rice flour and coconut shavings, or also with fresh-off-the-griddle appam (lacy hoppers made from ground, fermented rice and coconut batter). Try this recipe shared by a Gulf News reader from Kerala.

Puttu and mutta roast (egg roast)
Puttu with mutta (egg) roast. Image Credit: Shutter stock

Which is your favourite South Indian dish? Tell us at

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