Food Habits, Western Impact On South India

The influence of the Western Food  on South India is  not noticed by many of us, as we are not conscious of  proselytism.

We are being changed without being aware of it.

First, the eating Habits.

Normally  South India takes meals in the morning,refreshments in the afternoon and meals at night.

This consisted of a healthy, yet not taxing to the stomach.

Then came the habit of the British Culture.

Breakfast-Are we breaking a fast from 10 pm the last night?

Then Lunch.

Evening Tea(?) substituted by us with refreshments.

Then Dinner or Supper.

I am not sure how many know the difference between  Supper and Dinner!

Timings: Around  8.30 am,1 pm,4, 7 pm and 10 pm.

Compare this with South Indian Timings ; 10 am,4 pm,7 to 8 pm.

Jainism and Hinduism lay stress on Food and Timings for better physical, mental and Spiritual health.

Jainism is more particular in that it proscribes partaking of Food after Sun down.

It is proved scientifically that food taken after Sunset  helps unhealthy Bacteria grow in the digestive system

My post is not about yearning for what has gone before and that The West has ruined way of Life.

It is a conscious evaluation of what is good for our health in our climate.

I am yet to find which of the foods that we have imported or Food habits we have learnt from the West are useful.

Timings are not good for Health.


Pizza,Burger,Spring Rolls,Doughnuts?

Pizza, many may disagree is the preparation by allowing Yeast to grow.

This is not good.

Doughnuts , we have our own,Dosa, Adai, Pesarattu,

Salads, we have Pachadis and Kosumalli.- Of innumerable combinations

Kosumalli South Indian Sald

Soups, we have Rasam. of how many hues?

Gravy ,we have Sambar.

That too how many varieties!

Regular Sambar, Coconut paste added Sambar:Spices ground and added afresh Sambar; Buttermilk Sambar Pitlai.

For additional requirement of Vitamin C;apart from Lemon Rasam , we have Vatral Kuzhambu which uses more Tamarind.

We have not come to Side dishes ,Vegetables,Kootu, Avial.-Pappad,Pickles.

Avial,South Indian Dish

Pappad prepared at Home contains protein : papad has to be roasted directly in the fire,Barbecue?

We imported Chillies from Barzil to replace Pepper, which is considered to be a medicine for any thing from Pimple to cancer..

Would we pause before aping the West before we embrace their Food habits which suit only their Climate?

Remember a Recipe  is not born overnight,it takes years of  testing,refinement and practice to suit our climate and body.

I could feel I  remained undisturbed and was in fact was watching things happening around me,even if it involved me, as though I was a spectator.

There was no hurry in doing things, no anxiety.

There was no heaviness while waking up in the morning.

This I could attribute only to the Diet, for there was no significant change in my Lifestyle other than this.

Why don’t you try”

Diet details.


  • All Root vegetables, like Potatoes.
  • Onions,
  • Garlic,
  • Masalas.
  • Vegetables like Carrot,Beans,Drumstick,Tomatoes,Cabbage,Brinjal,beetroot,Radish.


  • Raw Plantains,
  • Lady’s Finger,
  • Poosanikkai/Bootha kumablakkai
  • Indian Beans(kothavarankai)
  • Avaraikkai,
  • Bitter Guords,
  • Snake Gourds.
  • Dal,
  • Ghee,
  • Freshly cooked Rice.

Take food once in the afternoon around 1 pm.


4 thoughts on “Food Habits, Western Impact On South India

  1. Interesting post although I am not sure about the British timing of meals. I always have a light breakfast at about 7, a coffee at about 11, small lunch around 12.30 and dinner around 7-8. That would be the last thing I eat in the day. Now I live in Spain and they have a big lunch at around 3 and a light dinner around 10 in the evening. I don’t like sleeping after eating much and this routine doesn’t suit me, although they say the Mediterranean diet is healthy.
    I like cooking Indian, Turkish, Japanese and Spanish food. It seems like one of the joys of the modern world to be able to investigate the cuisine of the world. But I agree with you about maintaining your local culture!


    1. I think your timing is perfect.

      My point is that when you have Diet developed over centuries to suit your health and climate, why should one be dictated to buy Food Products that are marketed for Profits.

      The Western Diet is good for the Climate they live in and it was evolved to suit them.

      Food is related to climate as well.


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