A unique Programme brings the best of South Indian Cuisine

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Venkat Raman

While the Indian Sub-Continent is world-renowned for its culinary art, with Indian Restaurants found in almost every major city in the world, the Cuisines of South India are just beginning to make their mark.

Rise of Brands

The success of many brands in Asia and the Middle East, Europe, Middle East, Africa, Canada and North and South America has made many dishes household item, they are still just a sample of the endless list of South Indian food and beverages.

The First Indian Newslink Festivals of South India, being organised by the New Zealand Telugu Association, Telangana Association of New Zealand, Muthamil Sangam, New Zealand Kannada Koota and Auckland Malayali Samajam will feature a small, but nonetheless some of the most popular dishes of the five States of South India.

The event, representing Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Sacred Heart College Auditorium located at 250 West Tamaki Road in Glendowie Auckland.

South Indian States also include Lakshadweep, Pondicherry (Puducherry) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands but they are not adequately represented in New Zealand.

The Programme & Tickets

The Programme, comprising speeches, cultural performances and vegetarian dinner is for people above 12 years of age. It will commence at 6 pm with networking and would include cultural highlights of the five Southern States with colourful costumes.

An Organising Committee comprising Presidents and Secretaries of the five associations and other community workers have been engaged for the past six months in putting together the event, which will be attended by more than 750 men and women.

Among them will be political, business and community leaders.

Tickets for the Programme, priced at $34.50 per person and tables seating ten persons each at $345 (including GST) are now available with the officials of the Associations.

For further information, please call 021-836528 or Email: venkat@indiannewslink.co.nz

Please look for updates on the websites of the five associations and at www.festivalsofsouthindia.co.nz

Similarity of Cuisines

The linguistic and cultural diversity of India is reflected in the cuisine and South India is no exception. Each of the States is known for its own special dishes and yet there are several similarities that can found in form and ingredients.

Rice is a staple food, although Chapati and Puri are also popular. Lentils, dried red chillies, fresh green chillies, coconut (fresh or dessicated), tamarind and various spices are commonly used in preparing food items. Onion and garlic are also commonly found in many dishes and the extent of spice varies between regions with each State.

Apart from rice, people in the five South Indian States also consume finger millet (Ragi), Pearl Millet (Bajra), Sorghum, Jowar and Pearl Millet.

Influence of other States

Economic reforms introduced in the late 1980s and early 1990s opened up the Indian economy for foreign companies and investors, with the five Southern States becoming popular destinations for software and hardware research, manufacture and development, manufacture of automobiles, electronic and other equipment, finance companies and many other commercial and industrial entities. Bangalore (now Bengaluru) became the ‘Silicon Valley of India,’ while Hyderabad is the ‘Cyber City’ of the country. Tamil Nadu became a favourite State for automobile manufacturers (as indeed a few other regions) and the major five Accounting and Audit firms of the world have established their presence throughout South India. These developments led to the migration of millions of people from the North, East and West of India and hence it is common to hear almost all languages spoken in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.

Along with migration came their culinary art and today, there are thousands of restaurants that cater to the specialities of every State.

However, the growth of population of Indians from other States has also led to increase in popularity of South Indian cuisine.

Distinct Features

Cultural India, a speciality website, states that South India is known for its varied range of spices, many of which are being exported to different nations for centuries. Among them are cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves and pepper.

“The region is famous for a wide range of spicy foods with each state differing others predominantly from the spiciness of food, its different varieties and method of cooking. The staple food of locals of the region including some Brahmin communities is rice which is best savoured with Sambhar or Curry. Tampering of different South Indian dishes remains almost the same with primary ingredients being mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves and oil among others. Availability of different root tubers, coconut and huge variety of fish has witnessed use of such items in various regional dishes.


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