10 South Indian Dishes Named After Places! Know Why?
Image Credit: Hyderabadi biryani, Freepik

Around the world, there are numerous culinary fares which are so famous that they put their place of origin on the global map. While a few are christened relating to where they were first prepared, others have fascinating histories that got them their monikers. In India, South Indian foods and drinks have a solid fan base in the rest of the country and beyond the national borders. Among these popular grubs, a few are named after cities and regions and often attract epicureans to visit their originating hubs to sample the most authentic taste. Here we bring you 10 such names. 

Hyderabadi Biryani

As the name suggests, Hyderabadi biryani is a type of biryani that originated in Hyderabad, Telangana. Dum biryani from Hyderabad is another name for it. Basmati rice and mainly mutton-based meat are required for the recipe. It is a hybrid dish with roots in the Hyderabadi and Mughlai kitchens of the Nizam of Hyderabad. The delicacy is so well-known that Hyderabad is often associated with it. According to local tradition, Asaf Jah I, the chef of the first Nizam, Nizam-ul-Mulk, during a hunting journey in the middle of the 18th century, is credited with developing Hyderabadi biryani.

Malabar Matthi Curry

Malabar matthi, Image Source: Wikimedia

Malabar matthi  is a fish curry. The present dish's ancestors can be found in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In this recipe, sardines are semi-stewed in a Kerala-style curry with varied veggies such as okra or onions. The typical accompaniments include rice, naan, bread, or tapioca. The dish is most well-liked in Kerala, Goa, and Sri Lanka, where rice and fish are typical meals. Adding coconut milk or tamarind juice could be another variant.

Chettinad Chicken Masala

Originated in Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, the primary spices used to prepare the Chettinad chicken masala are jathipathri, kalpasi, sombu, lavangam, periya elakkai, annachi poo, curry leaves, red chilli, and kopparai thengai. These are manually dry-roasted and pulverised. People in Karaikudi used to labour endlessly in the fields and desired to add spices to non-vegetarian dishes to make them more flavorful. The concept of adding masala powder to chicken recipes originated from this. 

Thooththukkudi Macaroon

In India, the Portuguese brought the macaroon. It arrived in Thooththukkudi, a port town in the extreme south of India, via Ceylon, which is now Sri Lanka. The Thoothukudi macaroon hails from the Tamil Nadu state of India's harbour city of Thoothukudi. In essence, macaroons from Thoothukudi or Tuticorin are European macaroons that have been Indianized. Egg whites, sugar, and ground almonds are the main ingredients in classic European macaroons. The almond was swapped out for locally available cashew at Thoothukudi.

Ramasseri Idli

Ramasseri idli, Image Source: Twitter

Ramasseri idli has elevated a small hamlet in Palakkad to the forefront of Indian cuisine. Ramasseri idli is a well-known hybrid of idli and dosa. Its composition, texture, and preparation method are distinctive. Its careful preservation by four generations in the Keralan village of Ramassery, close to Palakkad, makes it so intriguing. Ramasseri idli is served with tomato chutney, podi, coconut stew, and chutney.

Mannaparai Murukku

Visitors frequently order murukku when they travel to South India. Manapparai murukku is made using a unique procedure that gives it its name. What distinguishes them are the kneading techniques, the local water, and the double frying method. The primary ingredients are butter, roasted Vengal gram, and rice flour. Manapparai is noted for its signature appetisers, kai and mullu murukku.

Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai

Kovilpatti Kadalai Mittai, Image Source: Tredy Foods@facebook

Although kadalaimittai, a brittle sweet, are available throughout the state, Kovilpatti is known for it. Kovilpatti kadalaimittai is renowned for its distinct flavour, taste, and the unwavering quality of jaggery used to sweeten the blend. The skin is often removed after the peanut is dry-roasted in a hot sand bed and hot jaggery syrup is added. One can get this kadalaimittai wrapped with panai olai, which lends the dessert fragrance. To achieve the best taste, the producers are picky about where in the state they purchase their jaggery from.

Kumbakonam Degree Coffee

Several coffee connoisseurs attest to the distinctive flavour of Kumbakonam degree coffee. The coffee is a Kumbakonam native. The decoction is extracted by adding one glass of water to eight teaspoons of coffee powder. The fundamental component of the flavorful degree coffee is this formula. Eighty per cent peaberry coffee beans and twenty per cent chicory make up the actual coffee powder. Many people wonder why coffee is referred to as "degree" coffee. Some claim it's due to the first decoction, while others say it's because of the amount of chicory in it.

Mangalorean Bangude Masala

In homes and restaurants around the Karavalli coastline in southwest India, a meal known as Mangalorean Bangude Masala is made with cooked mackerel fish. The coastal Dakshin Kannada and Udupi districts are known for this meal. Along the Arabian Sea shore, mackerel is frequent. Mackerel is called bangude in Tulu, Konkani, Kannada, and the different coastal Konkan/Karavalli dialects.