Check out these five restaurants in Delhi-NCR for South Indian cuisine when you want to eat more than idli or dosa
We often end up generalising South Indian cuisine as just idlis and dosas but there is a lot more to it than that. Discover the real flavours of South Indian cuisine at our pick of restaurants.
Mahabelly is a play on Mahabali – the patron demon-god of Malayalis. The festival of Onam is celebrated to mark Mahabali’s return from the netherworld to his beloved kingdom of Kerala. Mahabelly run by two Malayalis from Kottyam brings dishes from across the length and breadth of Kerala at its two outlets in Delhi’s Saket and Gurgaon.
Try the shaapu meen curry, a typical Kerala dish where a seasoned fish is infused with Malabari spices, curry leaves and tamarind. The erachi (beef) fry and pork ularthiyathu are also pretty stellar especially when they are had with Malabar parottas. Chemmeen manga or the prawn and raw mango curry is a must-have. And if you are inclined towards coconut, then the sweet coconut dosa will have you salivating. Vegetarians should try the tangy, creamy pacha manga curry which is raw mangoes in coconut milk gravy and the kathrikka curry which is brinjal in a peanut sauce.
Tip: Visit on a weekend, that’s when they fly in fresh seafood from Kerala. But book a table as it gets packed.
Where: MA-A05, Ground Floor Restaurant Block, DLF Avenue, Mandir Marg, Saket, New Delhi, Delhi 110017 +919017906907
Cost: Rs 700 for two people without alcohol
At Gurgaon-based Zambar, from Lite Bite Foods, culture combines with cuisines. The states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Telangana, and Goa have been represented well through design, architecture, colours and flavours.
There is a range of vegetarian fusion dishes such as Zambar kottu parotta – flaky parotta stir-fried with vegetables. Andhra Tomato Pappu Dal – dal cooked with tomato and spices, mushroom peralan – a traditional Syrian Christian mushroom preparation.
Non-vegetarians should try the chicken or seafood thali. Also have the fish mango curry and Vetrimurugun’s Mutton Sukka, the chef’s signature dish. Also, try the egg appam with the classic veg stew or with the smoky Achamma’s Mutton Curry.
Tip: They have quick lunches on weekdays.
Where: 3rd Floor, Ambience Mall, DLF Phase 3, Sector 24, Gurugram, Haryana 122002
Cost: Rs 1000 for two without alcohol.
Sana-di-ge an import from Bangalore, occupies a large space in the chic Malcha Marg market. A beautifully-lit terrace makes it perfect for date nights, but it also works for large family outings. Sana-di-ge serves the most delicious chicken ghee roast and fried fish. Also try their Mangalorean mutton curry with Malabar parotta. Each meal begins with a welcome drink of spicy chilled Kokum kadi. If you enjoy seafood, go for the platter which comes with fish, prawn and crab.
Vegetarians should try the drumstick soup and avial.
Tip: The seafood thali is available only between Monday to Thursday. So do try and visit during the week.
Where: Commercial Centre, 22/48, Malcha Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110021
Cost: ₹2,200 for two people without alcohol.
One of the oldest restaurants serving south Indian food, especially coastal cuisine, Swagath has been around for a couple of decades.
Swagath’s prawn gassi, fish fry and neer dosas have a cult following. Also try their prawn koliwada, crab masala and Swagath special surmai.
Tip: All seafood is flown in from Mangalore so sometimes the supply runs out. Best to check what is available before placing the order.
Where: Shop 13 and 14, Defence Colony Market, Defence Colony, New Delhi
Cost: Rs 2000 for two people without alcohol.
For anyone craving for authentic Andhra food, Bagundi is the place to be. The restaurant brings together native delicacies from different parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The wide array of dishes served here range from Hyderabadi dum biryani to traditional veg and non-veg thalis, to mutton fry and fish pulusu to crab meat masala and sea food platters.
The chefs at Bagundi are either from Andhra or have worked with Andhra cuisine for a couple of decades. The Andhra mutton fry, crab meat fry and pan-fried pomfret are a must-try. The Gongura chicken is an acquired taste but worth trying.
Vegetarians should try the thali.
Andhra food is spicy but if your spice tolerance is low, inform the server.
Tip: Try the variety of chutneys at Bagundi.
Where: M-14, Outer Circle, Opposite to Fire Station, Connaught Place, New Delhi
Cost: Rs 800 for two
Chattynadu in Gurgaon tries to transport you to South India with its décor and brass crockery. Enjoy buttermilk as a welcome drink. Try the chicken ghee roast, chicken chettinad, meen manga curry and Mangalorean prawn curry. Vegetarians could go for the Sadhya meal which is like the thali served during Onam. It consists of various dishes such as avail, pineapple raita, sambhar, rasam, pappadam and banana chips. You could also try the pongal platter.
Where: FF 8 & 9, ROF Portico, Vyapar Kendra Rd, Block C, Sushant Lok Phase I, Gurugram, Haryana 122003
Cost: Rs 1000 for two