What is South Indian Cuisine & How does South Indian food differ?
*The basic ingredients of Indian food are almost the same everywhere in India. The cooking process differs from one region to another.
*South Indian staple food is rice. Wheat is used in a limited way.
*South Indian recipes are age old and are based on Ayurvedic principles. Fortunately, fusion did not occur and the recipes remained intact for more than 2000 years in South India.
(Ayurveda is an ancient life science developed by sages through many thousands of years based on natural substances. Natural fermentation techniques were used to develop enzymes and vitamins. These fermentation principles are still being very widely used in South India. Predominantly fruits, lentils, fresh greens, dried greens, plant roots, tubers, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, milk and by products, honey and etc were consumed directly, or through processes like cooking, pulverizations, filtrations, steaming, fermentation and etc. However, Ayurveda is such a vast science that one can research and find miracle remedies for many ailments.)
*Geographically, South India is in the tropical zone.Due to the ambient high temperatures, the food is very light, refreshing and fat free. Steamed rice, soups, yogurt or butter milk (diluted watery yogurt), thus form the main portion of a meal to retain water in the body. Creamy and fatty substances are rarely used.
*Invading immigrants entered either through Himalayas in the North or by sea through East India.The weather generally is very hot. Invaders during the 2nd millennium found it very difficult to access the southern peninsula by sea and sustain the hot climate. During 15th century, Mogul rulers unified the smaller kingdoms by way of war or treaties and started to rule the present day India from Delhi in the North. Mogul rulers were food lovers, they brought their own ingredients, plants and recipes along with them. Akbar Baadshaah, the first Mogul emperor was a great food critic. He maintained a food ministry directly under himself and recorded every food item along with any fusions that occurred during his time. Though fusion occured, it was established in a Royal way in Northern India.
*There is a great range of Northern Indian food in New Zealand available through many good Indian restaurants. Satya is the first South Indian restaurant in New Zealand to introduce not only South Indian food but also the most popular Indian street food short eats under one roof in New Zealand.