India is truly a mosaic of varied cultures and no aspect of culture asserts this fact as strongly as cuisine! The stark difference in ingredients, procedures and practices followed in different parts of India is a typical example and every cuisine has its share of unique features and abundant charm. South Indian cuisine is no different. A complete South Indian spread served traditionally, with love and care, on a plantain leaf, is to many worth a kingdom! Why would it not be when the food is prepared with exacting precision and sans any shortcuts (well, if you wish for the authentic taste, you have to have the patience to slow-cook most of the dishes!) In fact, in South India, serving food is considered as much an art as cooking – there is even a particular order for serving dishes and each dish has a specific place reserved for it on the plantain leaf – this order perhaps evolved through trial and error over the ages because it is so convenient to the diner! However, much as people all across the country like South Indian food, I find that many do not know the precise procedure to make each dish and end up with a rather different tasting dish, wondering why it just doesn’t taste like what they had at a South Indian hotel or home! In order to avoid such fiascos we researched authentic recipes, whilst of course modifying them a bit to suit today’s fast lifestyle and scanty time available for cooking. Like all other parts of India, South India too has a large repertoire of recipes to its credit, ranging from breakfast and the quintessential “tiffin” to main course dishes, snacks, festival or fasting foods, pickles, and the lot! In this book, which is designed to provide readers a glimpse into South Indian cooking, we have included recipes from different States of south India.