Rice, coconut and fish are the basic components of the typical South Indian food platter. Delicacies made from these three items can be expected in nearly every South Indian meal. The cuisine includes subtly flavored vegetarian delicacies and hot, aromatic meat and fish curries. The sweets are made mostly from rice and jaggery. All non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes are eaten with boiled rice or with bhakris, which are soft rotis made of rice flour. Besides, idly and dosa, made from rice and dal mixture also form daily meals.
Rice is the staple food grain in all South Indian states. There is an enormous variety of vegetables in the regular diet and lots of fish and coconuts are used. Grated coconuts spice many kinds of dishes and form an important part of the chutneys. Peanuts and cashew nuts are widely used in vegetables and peanut oil is the main cooking medium. Another feature is the use of kokum, a deep purple berry that has a pleasing sweet and sour taste. Though sharing some common features, the South Indian states have their own specialties.
Where Goa can boast of delicacies like the tangy pork 'vindaloo', spicy 'sorpotel' and the ever popular Goan fish curry with rice, Hyderabadi biryanis (flavoured rice with meat or vegetables) is one of the most distinct and talked of food.
The exotic 'Konkani' and 'Malwani' cuisines also have their origins in the Maharashtra and are sea-food based. The famous puran poli, is the Maharashtrian desert. Shreekhand, a sort of thick yogurt, flavored with cardamom powder and saffron, is a great favorite at weddings and the Dussehra festival.