It’s unfortunate how most people are under the impression that South Indian Breakfast is all about idli, vadas and dosa with sambar and coconut chutney. The truth is people in South India love breakfast. They indulge in them. It’s the second meal of the day after the early morning tea or coffee which was served with snacks or bake goods.
South Indian kitchens are put to work early morning. Tea is the first thing to be made when the kitchen is still filled with shadow.
Then the curries are brew in the pot, not for lunch but breakfast. It could be a subtle chicken curry with coconut or spicy fish curry with more coconut.
The best thing is when you can have last night leftover fish curry for breakfast with appam. To go with this delicious curry, Southerners have varieties of Puttu (steamed rice cake), Appam (rice pancake), Idli (steamed fermented rice cake), Dosa (South Indian Savory Crepe), Noodlappam (fresh rice noodle), Pathiri (Rice Flatbread) and more. You see the trend here, most of them are made with rice flour. Every household has their own recipes and magic practising on the stoves and griddles.
Travel in South India has always been so exciting for me. Wherever the road takes us, we can always expect good breakfast. Even a small shack on the side of the small street will have be making something hot and sizzle, and the aromas of curries would be strong enough to help us decide what we should try.
I love Palappam, the soft and sweet rice pancakes that go so well with chicken curry. In the south, Palappam is made with rice flour, toddy and coconut milk—fermented over night and cooked on the pan until light and fluffy. Pancakes in west can never complete in the same league. These Palappam are light, spongy and melt-in-the-mouth good.
Another combination I really enjoy is Noodlappam with Fish Curry. Noodlappam is made with rice flour. The rice flour dough is pressed into small noodle nest and steamed immediately with some grated coconut. I pour spicy fish curry on it and savor. The taste of it always reminded me of rustic Thai Fish Laksa, which we usually made during the festivals.
The meal cannot be completed without piping hot tea or coffee—black or with milk. Do not miss filter coffee with Chicory blend. The fragrance of Chicory dances in the dark and delightful bitterness. Add no milk but you can be generous with sugar. Tea is served in clear glasses that are too hot to place your hands on, and yet we found a way to sip and enjoy the swirl of the aromatic tea leaves.
We’re stuffed, and it’s time to get on the road again. In the next post, I will tell you a story of another amazing road trip that still stamps in our memories. The trip so inspiring it keeps us going and seeking more adventures.
See you soon …
Tes (tweet to me at @Testerfly)