The irresistible snacks of south India

The irresistible snacks of south India

South India is an Indian region that is famous for its beaches, natural scenery, elephants, backwaters and for its unique food. In fact, many South Indian recipes are easy to prepare and not very heavy on the stomach. That is why many of the fast food centres in different parts of India are selling the South Indian cuisine. Apart from the main course, they are also apt at preparing a variety of snacks.
Here are some of them:

Appam

Appam is a wholesome, satiating pancake that is prepared using the age-old traditional method. This mouthe-watering snack employs the fermented batter that is prepared using rice and coconut milk. This fine delicacy does not take much time to be prepared but its taste is simply matchless. It is characterised by crisp edges that perfectly guards the fluffy, soft and delicate centre. The credit for “lifting up” the flavour of smooth coconut milk and grainy rice goes to the yeast that gives a vintage fermented touch to this delicacy. Though people eat it along with south Indian curry, It is always best to enjoy it as a standalone dish to appreciate the simplicity of its smooth taste.

Medu Vada

It is impossible not to mention Medu Vada while talking about South Indian Snacks. These great looking delicacies are characterised by their smooth round shape that is visually tempting and a hole in the centre that adds certain light appeal to its character. They have a thin crispy veneer that perfectly guards the soft, slightly spongy and very succulent centre. The use of split black lentils gives it a very filling taste while the use of cumin adds a slight zing to the flowing flavour. Certain soft edge to the flavour is added by using fresh curry leaves. It is generally enjoyed with coconut chutney. Sambhar or watery south Indian curry is also used but that might prevent you from appreciating the soothing personality of Medu Vada. So, if you want a spicy treat you can eat it with spicy curry but if you want to enjoy the smooth, simple flavor then it is best to enjoy it without any curry.

Upma

Upma has a very appealing character due to its laidback off-white colour and shiny, soft and pasty texture. It can rightly be called the “Sunday Breakfast” that can instantly make up your day. The blend of finest varieties of semolina and split and skinned black gram gives a nice flavour to the upma and a certain mass that is very lucrative. Well, sautéed black mustard seeds contrast taste with their spiky tang. In traditional recipe, the use of specific, whole lentils in measured quantity adds a relishing grainy touch to the soft flavour that also offers a nice feeling to the teeth too. There is something in the flavour of upma that takes a person back through childhood reminisces. It might be the simple wholesome goodness of subtle flavour or naughty spiky mustards delicately spiking your taste buds. All these qualities make it a great Sunday breakfast.

Dosa

Proudly basking in the glory of being ranked among 40 most delicious foods of the world, Dosa is a great South Indian snack that is a combination of tastes, textures and shades. It comes in many different varieties: right from crispy, crunchy Rava dosa for some light eating to thick Masala dosa stuffed with spicy, mashed potatoes.
According to ancient literature, the recipe of Dosa is believed to be invented around 1st century AD. The place of origin of Dosa, according to some food historians, is Udupi Town in Karnataka. The importance of Dosa in ancient society is reflected by the fact that it finds a respectable mention in a Sanskrit encyclopaedia Manasollasa that was compiled by Someshvara III, a 12th-century ruler of Karnataka. During that time the snack was known as Dosaka
The preparation of Dosa is quite different and interesting. Finely grounded rice and black grams is used to prepare its batter and is fermented overnight to bring out the grainy taste and enrich the flavour. The watery batter is given a fine consistency. Then using the traditional ladle the batter is artfully spread in spiralling motion on a griddle that has been fairly greased with ghee or oil. It gives a shiny brown colour and glossy texture to Dosa. The dosa can then be stuffed with finely mashed spiced potatoes and folded appropriately before serving. However, there are many variations to its recipe. Some Dosas are made from healthy flours like Semolina and served flat without any filling while others can employ rice flour and have the certain thickness. The filling of doses can also differ depending upon the variety: Right from humble, mashed potatoes spiced up with chilli powder, turmeric powder and other spices to adventurous multi-cultural stuffing like vegetarian Manchurian dosa.
If you look at a folded dosa it resembles as if the dosa is lovingly “embracing” the filling with both its arms. This is not just an imagination of a writer. Dosa does amazingly accommodate different types of filling inside its belly. The best thing is that it not only accommodates these fillings but also offers them a perfect company by further enhancing their personality.
However, If you want to enjoy the standard taste of Dosa, then Masala Dosa is best for you. The intertwining taste of various spices penetrating into the slight taste of mashed potatoes that is wrapped beautifully into perfectly prepared dosa with porous, airy surface, glossy edge and enticingly light brown colour on the base of white can easily enrapture your taste buds and leave you wanting for more.