Not Just Dosas: You Must Try These South Indian Breads
Image Credit: Appam | Image Credit: Google

South India is famous for its breakfast foods for good reason. But, people not from the south of India tend to equate the entire region with just idli dosa. And while we in the south are very proud of our contribution to the world, we do believe we have more to offer. Don’t believe us? Try the following recipes, and tell us they aren’t good additions to your bread repertoire! 

1. Akki Roti

Start with a bowl. Add rice flour, cumin seeds, salt, green chili, grated coconut, grated ginger, grated carrot, onions, and coriander leaves, and mix everything well. Adding small quantities of water, knead it into a smooth dough. Set aside for 15 minutes. Then, make four equal sized balls out of the dough. Use parchment paper or a banana leaf and grease it with oil. Place the ball on the sheet and start spreading the dough into a sheet using your wetted fingers. Take the evenly spread out rotti and place on a tawa on medium heat. Add a teaspoon of oil and cook the rotti. Flip and cook the other side. Make sure you can get some crispy edges. And even within the body of the rotti. Those are the best bits. Serve with coconut chutney! 

2. Appam

Who doesn’t love a good appam and stew? Here is a simple recipe for making appams at home. All you need are two cups of raw rice, a quarter cup of urad dal, 2 tbsp of sugar, salt to taste, 2 handfuls of cooked rice, and 2 tbsp of sugar. Take raw rice, urad dal in a bowl and wash well. Soak in water for 4 hours. Strain and blend in a blender. Add in cooked rice and blend till smooth. Add 1 cup of water. Cook this mixture on high heat and mix until it thickens well. Allow the batter to cool. Add salt and mix well. Let it ferment for 24 hours. Once fermented, it will look foamy and bubbly. Add a little more salt and sugar, according to taste. Heat the pan, pour the batter, and swirl. Cover and cook until the bottom is crispy. Your appam is ready! 

3. Adai

You must try this protein-rich recipe asap. Soak 1 cup each of rice, urad dal, tur dal, moong dal, moth dal, and 3 green chilies overnight. In the morning, grind the soaked ingredients and add salt and coriander leaves to the batter. Your batter for adai is ready. On a tava, add a little oil to make it ready for the batter. Spread the batter in a round shape. When one side is done, flip it over until golden brown. Your adai is ready – serve it with butter or jaggery or a savory chutney of your liking.  

4. Puttu

Puttu is a Kerala staple. Usually eaten with a banana, it is one of those definitive dishes of the region. Making them at home is not as hard as you may have thought. You do need some special equipment, but these are not hard to procure. In a bowl, take 2 cups of puttu flour and salt to your taste. Mix. Add a quarter cup of water and crumble the flour. Add more water and make a moist flour with a crumbly texture. Alternatively, blend it in a mixer for 2 pulses. Take a puttu steamer and layer with 2 tbsp of fresh grated coconut. Followed by 3 tbsp of puttu flour; again, layer with 2 tbsp of coconut, 3 tbsp of puttu flour. Finally, add 2 tbsp coconut and level it out. Close the puttu steamer and steam for five minutes or until steam escapes from the small holes on top. Carefully open it and push the puttu with a wooden ladle. Serve ideally with kadala curry! 

5. Idiyappam

Idiyappam is another Kerala favorite. Just the look of them is enough to make you crave more. Firstly, in a large bowl take 2 cup of roasted rice flour and ½ tsp salt. In a saucepan take 3 cup water and 1 tsp oil. Get the water to a boil. Add the boiled water in batches to the rice flour. Mix well with a spoon. Add hot water and mix well. Continue to add in batches until the flour turns moist. Start to knead the dough for a few minutes. Make a smooth dough. Grease the idiyappam mold with oil and stuff it with the dough. Press the idiyappam into a spiral shape onto the greased plate. Place it in a steamer and steam for 7 to 10 minutes. Your idiyappam is ready to serve with the curry preparation of your choice! 

6. Parotta

People from the north who move to the south are taken aback by their discovery of the Kerala parotta and wonder where it had been in their lives until then. Such is the beauty of the flaky parotta. You need not rely on a restaurant for these. You can rustle these up at home. It might seem challenging for a beginner cook. But a little patience is all it takes. This is the Hebbar’s Kitchen recipe, which we have found to be very helpful. In a bowl take 3 cup maida, 2 tbsp rava, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp ghee. Mix until the flour is moist. Add water and knead the dough until smooth. Add 2 tbsp oil, cover, and rest for 1 hour. Knead the dough again until it absorbs all the oil. Pinch balls out of this dough. Add ¼ cup oil, cover and soak for 1 hour. Take the ball and roll gently. Pull and spread as thinly as possible. Cut into thin strips using a sharp knife. Bring together the strips and pull slightly. Roll spirally, making sure all the strips are intact. With greased hand, pat and spread the dough. Roll slightly thick, making sure the layers are intact. Place the rolled parotta onto the hot tawa. Make sure to grease the tawa well. Cook on a medium flame until the base is cooked. Flip over and spread ½ tsp oil. Cook on a medium flame until both sides turn golden brown. Crush the parotta gently, this helps to separate the layers. Your parotta is ready!