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South Indian food mainly  contains; rice, lentils  and semolina based dishes. Fish features strongly  in non  vegetarian food and coconut, mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies are widely used as flavorings.

Adai: fermented rice and lentil pancakes.

Avial: A mixed vegetable curry from kerala with a coconut and yoghurt sauce. Literally  a mixture in malayalam.

Biriyani: a more creative version of rice and curries . It is a meal in itself, and is very often served in marriage feasts.

Bonda: Spiced mashed potatoes dipped in chickpea-batter and deep fried.

Dosai or Dosa: thin, shallow fried pancake, often sculpted into interesting shapes ;very thin once called paper dosa. Most of them are made with fermented rice and lentil batter , but in rava dosai, cream of wheat semolina is used.

Masala  dosai: dosa comes with a spicy masal filling .  All vegetable dishes are served with a sambar and chammanthy or chutney .

Gobi: Cauliflower marinated in spices , then dipped in chick pea flour  batter and deep fried. It is usually lurid pink due to the addition of food colourings.

Idli: steamed sponges of  ground rice and lentil batter. Eaten with sambar and coconut chutney.

Kadala: Black chick peas curry  .

Kalan: A thin curry from the Southern states made from yoghurt , coconut and mangoes.

Kappa: casava root traditionally  prepared with coconut and chilli served with kadala.

Kootu: A mild vegetable curry in a creamy  coconut and yogurt sauce.

Molee: A mouth watering kerala fish curry  with coconut milk.

Rasam: consomme made with lentils; it tastes both pepper hot and tamarind sour.

Thoran: vegetables stir fried with mustard seeds, curry leaves , chillies and fresh coconut grated.

Uppuma: A popular breakfast dish in which onions, spices and occasionally , vegetables are cooked with semolina using a risotto like technique

Courtesy: time out Eating  and Drinking guide  2008

Kerala food ‘dictionary’