Not many of us realise that when we generalise South Indian cuisine into idli (rice cake) and dosa (crispy rice and black lentil crepes), they don’t represent the region in entirety. Idlis are atypical to one state alone — Karnataka, and more specifically, to the city of Udupi. It is speculated that when Udupi’s denizens travelled pan-India, they vended their regional cuisine for survival. It didn’t take long for their coconut chutney, sambar (lentil based vegetable broth), and idli to charm foreign tastebuds, and satiate ravenous appetites at a low cost. Even today the Udupi restaurants are known for budget meals throughout India.
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