The information in this post might be outdated

From Hyderabad To Madurai: A Meat Lover’s Guide To Eating In South India

    Idlis, dosas, and sambhar might be the foods most associated with South India but those of us who live  and eat here know that to be just another stereotype. South of the Vindhyas can be especially great if you love meat and want to experiment with flavours. Here are eight of the region’s best known hubs for uninhibited, meat fests.


    Steeped in culture and history, the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu sure does a fabulous job when it comes to meaty dishes. Since this was an important stop on the trade map, once upon a time, the food here has been influenced by a range of cultures, from Ceylon to Burma and beyond. In Karaikudi or any other small town, you will find humble and not-so-humble establishments serving up dishes that are generously doused in spices. There’s the Varuval – a dry dish that can be made with a variety of meats or pepper chicken that will have you grabbing for tissues. Do also try their robust seafood dishes if you are a fan.


    People from Coorg insist that there’s more to their cuisine than meat and we totally agree! But their meat dishes are so stellar that we can’t stop raving about them. The crowning glory is of course the ubiquitous Pandi Curry, that’s coated in a delightfully layer of vinegar made from the kachampuli fruit. Chicken and mutton dishes are a staple too and go amazingly well with plate of noolputtu {string hoppers} or kadambuttu {downey, rice-flour balls}.


    Seafood reigns supreme at this coastal town. In homes and  restaurants, you can devour fresh catch layered with fiery spices before being fried up in a pan. Or you choose equally spicy fish curries. Of course it does not stop there. The Pork Bafat is an all time favourite with the Konkani Christian community here. And their meat curries made with coconut milk is a worth lapping up too. Another place to try excellent seafood in Karnataka is Karwar, which is not so far from here.


    Once an important port in the world’s trade routes, the food in Kochi pays ode to its many influences. Today, because it is a tourist favourite and a cosmopolitan city, you can chomp on Kerala’s many delights here. When in Kochi, you have to try the Syrian Christian offerings like their rustic, meat stews that pair perfectly with appams. The Meen Moilee, a creamy, fish curry, is another favourite. Of course, you cannot leave without trying their Duck Roast and Beef Fry.


    A legacy of the royal houses that once reigned in this city, Hyderabadi cuisine is packed with dishes that will make meat lovers very happy. When you swing by this sunny city, do visit the famous  joints that welcome you with plates of fragrant, lightly-spiced biryani. You can also try meaty curries made with chunks of tender mutton or chicken. During the holy month of Ramzan, the haleem {slow cooked mutton cooked with wheat, lentils, and spices} and the Pathar Ka Gosht {slivers of meat roasted on a stone} are a must.


    If you want to explore a meat lover’s paradise not very far from Bangalore, then, the Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh region is where you should head to. If you prefer a spicier version of the Hyderabadi biryani, you can stuff your face with the Nati Kodi {country chicken} version here. They also make an excellent pulusu {curry} with the same meat. Their Gongura Mamsam {that includes tangy sorrel leaves} pairs perfectly with a plate of steamed rice, drizzled with ghee, of course.


    Anywhere you go in the Malabar region, you are assured of a treat if you love food and meat. In Thalassery, you can wolf down plates of their famed biryani. At roadside stalls, you can sink your teeth into plump Kallummakkaya Porichathu {dumplings stuffed with mussels}. In Calicut, you can mop up fish curries infused with coconut milk and beef dishes.


    A historic temple town, Madurai is studded with restaurants that will make your meat-loving soul very happy. For those of you who love spicy, their biryani is a must try. On the side, you can nibble on mutton kola {meat balls that have been fried up} or their kozhumbus that feature varieties of meat. If you are hitting the streets, the Kothu Parottas {shredded local parathas mixed with eggs and meat} and chicken dosas cannot be missed.