South Indian has always been an all-time favourite cuisine of Delhiites. Here is a list of places who have kept the taste and flavours alive and authentic, and are true to their origins while luring in a diverse set of diners. Be it the spicy curries from Andhra or the Malabar flavours or even the crowd-favourite - Chettinad, let’s explore this exhaustive list of top South Indian restaurants in the city and be spoilt for choice.
Tenali - The Andhra Kitchen, Green Park, South Delhi
The authentic Andhra cuisine of the Guntur region is all about spicy Andhra fare, concocted with fresh, ground spices sourced from the region. The ambience is humble with vignettes from an Andhra village painted on the walls. This eatery sees an exhaustive a la carte menu and, different set thalis (both veg and non-veg) for each day of the week.
The signature dishes include Tomato Rasam, Classic Rasam, Ginger Chicken Fry, Sole Fry, Hyderabadi Biriyani, Gutta Venkaya, Dosakaya Pappu, Mutton Korma. The chef insists on preparing small portions of each dish so that the food is sold out at the end of the day and a fresh course is cooked every single day. The ghee and gunpowder are ever-present on the tables, along with the home-made pickles.
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Tucked at the back entrance of DLF Place Saket, is this South Indian non-vegetarian food eatery whose cartoons caricatures of Keralites on the walls will catch your attention.
Be it the simple Mutton Varathathu and Erachi Double Fry or the Malabar Parotta paired with boneless chicken curry sautéed with onions, herb, and spices – Varatiyathu or Vegetable Stew, you would not regret. Their Fish Polichattu and Mutton Roast is an absolute delight. Pork lovers must dig into some Ularthiyathu or Malabar Poroyta Rolls stuffed with pork. Their sides - Pachadi, Avial and the Thoron of the day are a total indulgence. Among desserts, Caramelised Banana with Ice cream and Palm Treacle is a total winner. Raise a toast at the Mala-bar Whiskee Saar or Thenga Kollada.
Juggernaut, Kailash Colony, South Delhi
This swanky South Indian vegetarian restaurant, spread across three levels, has got it all right when it comes to either serving the humble Dosa or the Kotthu Parotta. Colourful paintings from the down South adorn the walls. Each painting depicts some story from Puranas.
The vast menu offers 21 different types of Dosa that are thin, crisp and cooked to perfection. The Podi Ghee Roast, Coconut Rava Masala, Butter Plain Dosa are highly recommended. The Podi Ghee Idli is another winning dish. Basundi and Rawa Kesari give that perfect ending. The food is served in the dark teal crockery. If you want to take some goodies back home, then pick from Murukku, Banana Chips, Organic Honey, South Indian Coffee and more.
Carnatic Cafe, India Mall, New Friends Colony
Right as the name suggests, Carnatic Café brings flavours from Mysore for Delhiites. Dry maize hanging, paper art across the ceiling and the soothing music at the background, that is what this place is all about.
The eatery claims home-style south Indian food as their USP. Their Malleshwaram 18th Cross Dosa (named after a street in one of the oldest parts of Bangalore), Paddu, Angai and Mandakki are recommended. Their three different chutneys - a red Tomato Chutney, plain Coconut Chutney, and a Green Coconut chutney just elevates your food experience here. Their Rasam is spiced up with Bedgi chillies (all the way from Karnataka).
No South Indian meal is complete without an authentic Filter Coffee. Sip into a nice hot shot of filter Kappi and end your meal.
Padmanabham, Janpath, Connaught Place (CP), Central Delhi
This new kid on the block has already created a buzz. This traditional South Indian vegetarian food eatery sees carefully curated dishes, keeping the flavours from down south intact. The Mandala artwork inspired by Madurai’s Meenakshi temple, the age-old Chettinad pillars and the beautiful Kalamkari paintings adorned on the wall, will take you back in time as you step in.
Be it the Kalan Chettinadu Masala, Ghee Podi Idli, Masala Paniyaram, or the variety of dosa, each dish will impress you well with its perfection. Do not miss the Bhojanam section with a unique thali served on each day of the week from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kerela or Karnataka. The tiffin aka traditional bites is recommended for light eaters. End the meal with Sweet Pongal, Bandar Halwa or their traditional beverages like Jigarthanda, Rose Pal. Moderately priced, it is an experience you would not regret.
A former journalist with 11+ experience, is now an eminent home chef in the Ayandrali, is fond of reading about the history of food, travelling to explore different cuisine and more. With her years of practical food knowledge and hands-on cooking experience, Ayandrali is currently teaching in NIFT spreading her culinary knowledge along with keeping up her zest for Travel and Food alive. Her work has also been published in Times of India, Times Food, Food Tak, The Hindu, Mail Today, HuffPost India.