Geographical and cultural influence on the region’s cuisine: South India has hot, humid climate and all its states are coastal. Rainfall is abundant and so is the supply of fresh fruit, vegetables, and rice. Andhra Pradesh produces fiery Andhra cuisine which is largely vegetarian yet has a huge range of seafood in its coastal areas. Tamilnadu has Chettinad cuisine, perhaps the fieriest of all Indian food. This style too is largely vegetarian.
Staple foods: No South Indian meal is complete without rice in some form or other – either boiled rice or Idlis (steamed cakes made from rice batter), Dosas or Uttapams (pancakes made from a batter of rice and lentil flour). Daals (lentils) are also a part of most meals.
Cooking oils commonly used: Coconut oil is most commonly used for cooking and frying. Vegetable oils like sunflower and canola are also used and ghee is poured over rice during daily meals or in special occasion dishes.