Delicious Southern Indian Spices for Exotic Recipes

Welcome to the world of Southern Indian cuisine! I’m excited to share with you my recipe for a delicious and flavorful dish that will transport your taste buds straight to the heart of South India. This recipe is perfect for those who are looking to explore new flavors and ingredients in their cooking, or anyone who simply loves Indian food.

My Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables Recipe is an authentic blend of spices that create a unique taste experience. The delicate balance of flavors in this dish will complement any vegetable, turning even the most basic veggies into a scrumptious and healthy meal option.

As a chef, I have always been fascinated by South Indian cuisine and the innovative use of exotic spices in their dishes. The use of hing, cumin seed, Urad dal, and brown mustard seeds is essential to creating that authentic South Indian flavor profile which makes this recipe stand out from others.

If you’re looking to add more vegetarian options to your recipe repertoire or you’re simply seeking new ways to enjoy vegetables, then this recipe is worth trying. It’s easy to prepare, nutritious and it’s versatile enough to fit into any meal plan or occasion.

So keep reading and let’s dive into the world of Southern Indian spices together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables
Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables

Are you tired of the same old boring vegetable dishes? Look no further than this Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables recipe! This dish is the perfect way to add some variety to your dinner table and spice up your taste buds.

One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. It can be enjoyed as a main dish or as a side dish paired with rice. The mix of spices used in this recipe creates a savory yet sweet flavor that will leave your taste buds wanting more.

Are you health-conscious? This recipe uses a variety of healthy vegetables, making it a nutrient-rich option to add to your diet. Plus, the spices used contain healthy components such as Hing and cumin coriander which have been shown to aid in digestion.

Not only is this recipe packed with flavor and nutrition, but it’s also incredibly easy to prepare! With simple steps and common ingredients found in most kitchens, you’ll save time without sacrificing taste.

Finally, this recipe allows for customization to fit everyone’s unique taste preferences. Want more spice? Add an extra dash of brown mustard seed! Don’t have a certain ingredient on hand? No problem – make substitutions or variations as needed.

In conclusion, this Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables recipe is perfect for anyone looking for an easy, nutritious, and delicious dish that will expand their culinary horizons.

Ingredient List

 An explosion of flavors in every bite!
An explosion of flavors in every bite!

Before diving into the recipe, let’s gather all the ingredients you’ll need to create a flavorful and healthy South Indian Spices for Vegetables dish. Make sure you take note of these ingredients list and grab them from your nearest grocery store:

The Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of mixed vegetables such as carrots, green beans, or peas (fresh or frozen).
  • 1 onion, finely chopped.
  • 1/4 tsp of hing (asafoetida).
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of brown mustard seeds.
  • 1 teaspoon of split and washed Urad Dal.
  • 1 teaspoon of split and washed Chana Dal.
  • 2 dried red chilies, chopped.
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder.
  • Salt, to taste.

Take a moment to glance through this list again, and ensure you have everything in order. These spices are typical ones used in South Indian-style dishes, so you might already have some or all of them in your pantry. Don’t worry if you do not! You’ll love adding them to your cooking routine as they make wonderful magic in every meal!

The Recipe How-To

 The perfect recipe for a quick and healthy meal!
The perfect recipe for a quick and healthy meal!

Now, let’s dive into the heart of this South Indian vegetable dish – the spices! Here’s what you’ll need:


  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups mixed vegetables (I recommend carrots, green beans, and peas)
  • 1/4 tsp hing (also known as asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp cumin coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Water

Soak the Urad Dal in water for about half an hour. Next, place all your vegetables in a cooking pot with water over medium heat until they’re cooked.

In a separate pan, pour in some oil and heat it up. Once hot, add in the hing, cumin seed, mustard seeds, and finally the urad dal (previously soaked). Keep stirring until your ingredients start to pop.

Now it’s time to add the garam masala, cumin coriander powder, and turmeric to your pan. Continue stirring for two minutes or until fragrant.

Finally, add your cooked vegetables into the pan with your spiced mixture. Give everything a good stir until everything is fully coated with spices. Add salt and water to taste.

Continue cooking for another five minutes before removing from heat.

Serve up this delicious South Indian spiced vegetable dish for a healthy yet sweet meal that’s sure to please everyone at the dinner table.

Substitutions and Variations

 Spice up your life with this amazing vegetarian dish!
Spice up your life with this amazing vegetarian dish!

When it comes to cooking, I believe that the best dishes are ones that can be customized to your personal preference. That’s why I’ve included some substitutions and variations for my Southern Indian spices for vegetables recipe.

Firstly, if you’re unable to find hing (also known as asafetida), you can substitute it with garlic powder. Hing adds a unique flavor to the dish, but garlic powder will give a similar level of depth.

If you don’t have cumin seed on hand, or prefer a milder flavor, you can use ground cumin instead. Similarly, when it comes to Urad Dal, you can substitute with any other type of lentil or bean that you have available. Brown mustard seeds can also be substituted with yellow mustard seeds.

For those who aren’t familiar with South Indian cuisine, you may be wondering what other vegetables could work in this dish. The good news is, most vegetables will work well! Mixed vegetable curry is a popular dish in South India and traditionally includes beans, carrots, potatoes, peas and even eggplant.

If you’re a fan of heat and spice, feel free to add more chili powder or cayenne pepper to the recipe. On the flip side, if you prefer a milder taste profile or plan to serve the dish to someone who doesn’t tolerate spicy food well, reduce these ingredients or leave them out altogether.

Lastly, for those who like variety on their plate, there are endless possibilities for serving and pairing this dish! Serve it alongside steamed rice or quinoa for a complete meal. Alternatively, this spicy vegetable curry also pairs well with bread or crackers for a hearty snack. Don’t be afraid to get creative in the kitchen!

Serving and Pairing

 A mouth-watering aroma that will make your neighbors jealous!
A mouth-watering aroma that will make your neighbors jealous!

Now that you have prepared this delightful Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables Recipe, let us explore the most ideal way to serve and pair it. This recipe is flexible enough to be served with a variety of dishes, and it compliments several classic Indian and south Indian style mains. Here are my recommendations on how to pair this vegetable curry recipe.

Firstly, it goes best with rice dishes such as pulao recipe or vegetable rice. These recipes are flavorful yet sweet and feature a balance between different spices that complements the vegetables well. Additionally, you can also serve it with tomato gojju, which is a tangy tomato curry that perfectly balances the spice in the South Indian spiced roasted vegetables.

Mixed vegetables or beans poriyal recipe stir fry dishes also work superbly with this Indian vegetable curry. They make excellent side dishes, and their subtle flavor profile provides a fantastic complement to these spiced roasted vegetables. Furthermore, you can also consider serving it with vegetable korma or garam masala soup – these dishes are deliciously rich and creamy making them an enticing pairing option for this spicy vegetable curry.

In conclusion, the South Indian spiced roasted vegetables are versatile enough to pair well with many Indian main courses. You can experiment with your choices to discover your perfect pairing choice; however, I recommend trying out any of the above suggestions for the perfect dining experience that will leave your guests delightfully satisfied.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Transform boring vegetables into a festive and delicious feast!
Transform boring vegetables into a festive and delicious feast!

One of the greatest advantages of this Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables Recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. This feature makes it ideal for meal prepping, allowing you to enjoy healthy and flavorful vegetables during the busy week.

To make-ahead, simply cook the recipe as directed and allow it to cool to room temperature. Transfer the dish to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To reheat the dish, take it out from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature before microwaving it. Alternatively, you could reheat it on a stove-top over medium heat by adding a tablespoon of water and stirring until heated through.

It’s important to note that reheating certain spices such as hing (also known as asafetida) may result in a stronger aroma. If you’re sensitive to this pungent smell, reduce the amount of hing used in the recipe or omit it altogether.

While you can store leftovers, we recommend that you only store them for a maximum of 3 days. Any longer than that and the texture of the vegetables will change, reducing their quality.

This versatile vegetable curry is not only delicious but also healthy. So whether you’re making it ahead for meal prep or storing leftovers for another day, you can rest assured that you’re enjoying a wholesome meal that’s packed with nutrition.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Delicious, nutritious and satisfying – all in one dish!
Delicious, nutritious and satisfying – all in one dish!

South Indian spices can transform any vegetable recipe into a delicious and aromatic dish. Here are some tips for using Southern Indian spices to achieve perfect results with your vegetable curry:

1. Master the art of tempering: Tempering is a crucial step in traditional South Indian cooking, where whole spices are cooked in hot oil or ghee until they release their natural oils and flavors. Use a small pan or tadka pan to do this quickly and efficiently.

2. Use fresh ingredients: The quality of your ingredients will greatly affect the final taste of your dish. Use fresh vegetables and spices for best results.

3. Don’t skip the hing: Hing, or asafoetida, is a pungent spice that has a unique flavor and aroma. It’s commonly used in South Indian cooking to enhance the flavor of curries and stir-fries.

4. Roast the spices: Dry roast the cumin seed, Urad Dal, and brown mustard seeds on low heat for a few minutes to enhance their flavors and release their aromas.

5. Experiment with garam masala: Garam masala spice blend is a staple in Indian cuisine, but each region has its own unique blend. Try using different blends of garam masala for different flavor profiles.

6. Try grinding your own spice blend: For maximum flavor, try grinding your own spice blend using a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle. This will give you better control over the texture and intensity of the spices.

7. Add acidity: Adding acid to your vegetable curry can help balance out the richness of the spices, especially if you’re using coconut milk or yogurt. Try adding lemon juice or tamarind paste to your recipe.

8. Choose appropriate cooking methods: Depending on what kind of vegetable you use in your recipe choose appropriate cooking methods like steaming, boiling or sauteing before adding it to the gravy.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of your Southern Indian spices and create a truly delicious and aromatic vegetable curry.


As we get ready to conclude, I would like to address some frequently asked questions about our Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables recipe. With so many spices used in this recipe, it’s natural to have a few queries about them. In this section, I will try to answer some of the most commonly asked questions to make sure you have all the information you need to make this delectable dish at home. Let’s dive into it!

What spices are used for Indian vegetables?

Aromatic and flavorful, this stir fry recipe features a blend of distinct spices such as fenugreek, black pepper, cumin, coriander, mustard, turmeric, cayenne, and cinnamon. These spices add depth of flavor and character to a plethora of vegetables that can be savored on their own or wrapped in a burrito or wrap. Perfectly complemented with a choice of cilantro mint chutney, vegan ranch or coconut chutney, this dish is a showstopper.

What spices are used in Southern Indian cooking?

When it comes to Southern Indian cuisine, the use of locally-grown spices gives it a distinct, spicy flavor. These spices includes cardamom, ginger, cassia, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, pepper, tamarind, curry leaf, and vanilla, among others. Unlike the north, Southern Indian food is primarily cooked with coconut oil instead of the heavier ghee.

What are the best spices for vegetables?

When it comes to southern-style cuisine, there are certain flavors that are undeniably essential to creating the perfect dish. Fennel seeds offer a unique licorice-like taste that adds a touch of complexity to any recipe. Garlic, on the other hand, is a well-known staple for its pungent, spicy, and sweet flavor profile that is irreplaceable in many dishes. When it comes to adding a zesty and hot characteristic to your meal, ginger is an excellent choice. Nutmeg brings a strong, nutty yet sweet note to your dish, while smoked paprika provides a smoky and sweet taste that is not as hot as cayenne pepper. Turmeric, on the other hand, has a chalky sensation on the tongue, with a slightly bitter yet sweet and earthy flavor. Finally, vanilla adds a warm, floral, and sweet note to any dish, making it an ideal choice for desserts and sweet treats.

What are the forgotten vegetables of South India?

Some of the neglected fruits and vegetables in South India include elephant yams, sunberry, lotus stem, and red okra.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables Recipe is a fantastic addition to any recipe collection. The unique blend of spices like hing, cumin seed, and Urad Dal will give your vegetables a distinct flavor that is missing in other traditional vegetable recipes. This recipe is simple to prepare and takes minimal time to cook, making it perfect for those who want to make healthy yet flavorful food quickly.

Whether you’re a fan of Indian food or not, this dish will be one that you’ll love. The spices used in the recipe bring out a balance of sweet and savory flavors, and there are countless variations you can try to customize this dish to your liking.

If you’ve been looking for healthy vegetable recipes that aren’t boring, then Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables Recipe is perfect for you. With simple ingredients and instructions, this recipe will have you enjoying new flavors and textures in no time. Don’t hesitate to try this amazing recipe!

Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables

Southern Indian Spices for Vegetables Recipe

Here are the spices needed to make 1 - 1 1/2 lbs. of vegetable curry, southern Indian style. This is known as a tarka or tempering, when you heat spices in oil or ghee.
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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Calories 156.6 kcal


  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Urad Dal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
  • 1/8 teaspoon hing
  • 5 small dried red chilies
  • 3 tablespoons oil


  • In a small frying pan put the oil, mustard seeds, urad dal (split white not whole), and cumin seeds. Tear each of the dried chilies into 2-3 pieces and add to the mixture.
  • Heat over high heat.
  • To cook evenly, keep moving the spices around as the spices cook.
  • After the mustard seeds start popping and the urad dal turns a very light brown, quickly sprinkle in the hing and remove from heat.
  • You can then stir the spices into cooked lentils or vegetables.
  • Variations: You may also add 1/4 teaspoons fenugreek seeds (methi) and/or 1 teaspoon chana dal, depending on which vegetables you are adding the spices to.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 62gCalories: 156.6kcalCarbohydrates: 7.1gProtein: 1.8gFat: 14.2gSaturated Fat: 1.8gSodium: 6.8mgFiber: 1.5gSugar: 3.7g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Indian
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