From idlis (steamed rice cakes) to dosa (crepe-like pancakes), sambar (spicy lentil stew) to rasam (world’s oldest consommé), food of South India is a culture that has developed on the principle of Ayurveda. One of many firsts, steaming as a culinary technique evolved here, and that is how the steamed idlis and pithas (rice cakes) were conceived. In addition, it was here that deep frying technique was mastered and the first fried chicken dish made. The adoption of the Jewish food culture and that of Mappila community also took place here for the first time in the country. Udupi cuisine also developed in this region, which boasts 60 per cent of the Indian vegetarian menu, organic coffee and the best of spices, especially pepper, clove and cardamom. In fact, much of the food that is served here today can be dated back to before 2 century BC. Many believe that the technique of preparation has hardly changed. The Sadya, a ceremonial formal feast, is one such example, which consists of about 28 dishes, including boiled red rice, pickles, sweets, savouries and side dishes. It is served on a plantain leaf and traditionally, the tapering end of the leaf faces the guest.