A South Indian Breakfast Platter

For most of the Indians, especially to those well versed with the south Indian food, the above platter is self explanatory. It contains the most popular breakfast dishes the region boasts of, though there are plenty of other regional recipes that don't enjoy the same fame but nonetheless savored with same enthusiasm across millions of homes in that part of the country.

Idlis and dosas are probably the well known breakfast dishes through out India. The first one is a steamed rice cake which is healthier and the latter is a pancake which uses no eggs, sugar or any raising agents. The standard versions are made with a naturally fermented batter of rice and skinned black gram / urad dal though they are used in different proportions, especially in the southern states of Karnataka and Andhra. However idlis / dosas are made in Tamil Nadu with the same batter. Apart from the standard versions which involve some prep work, there are plenty of variations among the two dishes. There are idlis made with fermented batters and instant versions. Dosas vary depending upon whether they are made with ground or instant batters, fermented or unfermented batters and the various grains / lentil and / or vegetable combinations used. Check my recipe index for breakfasts here, I have over 60 recipes for doasa and idlis combined. That's just like just scratching the surface. 

I made idlis along with mini vadas and pongal which form a delicious combo and served them with chutney and sambhar which are the standard side dishes served in restaurants across Bangalore. Honestly, the first time I ever saw the red tomato chutney being served with breakfast recipes was in local restaurants in US though I know now through blogging community that it is a commonly served side dish in Tamil Nadu. I made potato curry for the mini masala dosas. I added another popular combo from Bangalore, khara bhath and kesari bhath collectively known as chow chow bhath meaning a mixture of bhaths. No rice is used in the preparation though they are called bhaths, bhath being rice in Hindi. Kharabhtath is spicy version of upma while kesari bhath is the semolina halwa cooked adding orange food color. The word kesar here refers to the color orange and no saffron is added. I could have added some pooris as well but I refrained since I had made three different versions of poori by that time. End the yummy breakfast with a piping hot glass of filter coffee.
And for those wondering, why I have a pink colored halwa instead of orange colored one in the platter, the credit goes to my food color. I usually don't use any food color in the preparation or use the orange color in powder form that I buy in Indian store while making kesari bhath if needed. I had run out of that and used the liquid food color which needed a combo of food color drops to get that orange color. I am pretty sure that I followed the directions but still ended up with a pink hued halwa. My family wanted to know whether I made halwa with roses or something and my mother who saw the image wanted the recipe for that pink halwa. 😀

My South Indian breakfast menu 
Mini masala dosas - South Indian pancakes served with a spicy potato filling
Idlis - steamed rice cakes 
Pongal - A spicy rice and lentil khichdi 
Vadas - Skinned black gram / urad dal fritters
Khara bhath - A spicy semolina pudding
Kesari bhath - A sweet semolina pudding
Sambhar - A lentil gravy, side dish for dosa, idli, pongal and upma dishes
Chutney - A coconut / fried gram chutney, side dish for dosa, idli, pongal and upma dishes 
Filter Coffee

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