South India


Podcast: Is Coffee Replacing Kaapi?

Modern cafe culture in India is booming. The explosion of coffee chains and the enthusiasm with which new outlets are greeted here are well-documented. Yet, from the frappes, cappuccinos, and, of course, flavoured cold coffees, the one variant that seems to be missing is the South Indian filter coffee.

Podcast: The Idli Story - Once The Labour Of Love In South India's Kitchens, Now A Pan-India Staple

The versatile and healthy idli is ubiquitous and has achieved widespread popularity. But, and some might find this surprising, it was nothing more than a regional specialty up until the '70s and even '80s, when it was confined largely to south Indian households. How did it manage to cross geographical boundaries and become an everyday staple across India? Vikram Doctor finds out in this episode of The Real Food Podcast.

10 Things To See And Do In Chettinad

I grew up in a quintessential upper middle-class Chettiar family in Chennai. In the 1980s, most of my summer holidays were spent with my grandparents in Chettinad -- a region tucked deep down in South India between Trichy and Madurai. It is the residence of the Nattukottai Chettiars, a community of traders and bankers. After a long gap of 15 years, last summer I went back to revisit. Here's a compilation for fellow travellers seeking to unravel a new place and culture.