(Last Updated on : 24/02/2015)
, true home of Indian vegetarianism
, is the land of the delicious Pongal
. The state can provide a wide variety of lip smacking, tasty, delicious food both vegetarian and non-vegetarian to the visitors. They have plenty of vegetables, which they blend in their culinary. Tamil Nadu is a healthy fibrous food provider state. The items like Grams, lentils, rice
, greens and vegetables are added with spices to add aroma and taste to the food. Coconut
are a must for most vegetarian dishes. Desserts such as burfis and payasams are also popular. The distinct aroma and flavour of Tamilian cuisine is achieved by the blending of flavourings and spices including curry leaves
, mustard seeds
, chili, pepper
, green cardamom, cumin
, coconut and rosewater.
In Tamil Nadu, the breakfast is known as 'Kaalai Chitrundi'. A complete Tamil breakfast consists of the following culinary:
Rice idlies- this is prepared with steamed rice and urad dal battered into fluffy cakes.
Dosai is a pancake of the same batter fried crisp in a pan.
Vadai is a deep fried doughnut of a batter of lentils.
Pongal is cooked rice with lentils and flavoured with ghee, pepper, cumin seeds, cashew nuts, ginger bits and curry leaves.
Upma or Kitchedi is cooked sooji or semolina with oil, mustard, cumin seeds and lentils.
Idiappam is steamed rice noodles.
Appam is a similar preparation like Dosai but baked.
Aviyal is a stew of vegetables with fresh coconut, and coconut oil which makes for a side dish for a meal.
Puttu, a steamed layered, cylindrical cakes made with flour; usually rice flour is used but any miller flour can be used. The flour is usually layered with grated coconut.
Kozhukkattai is a steamed dumplings made with rice flour.
Other snack items include murukku, seedai, bajji, karapori, mixture, sevu, and pakora which are typically savoury items.
The side dishes include the culinaries like coconut chutney, sambar (seasoned lentil broth), and gun powder. The gun powder is a mix of various dried lentils, chilly and salt with oil poured on it. This gun powder is known as "Milaga Podi" at the southern region. At the end, filter coffee is served. Tamil Nadu is also famous for its filter coffee
, the making of which is almost a ritual.
The lunch or meal of Tamil Nadu consists of cooked rice, dhal, ghee, vegetable side dishes and other culinaries include Sambar, Rasam (pepper water), curd, pickles and pappads or appalam. A sweet dish, payasam or kheer, is also served. There are also various non-vegetarians culinary of mutton, chicken, egg, prawn, crab, fish etc. are available for the non-vegetarian people. Tamil Nadu culinary is mildly hot and aromatic.
Regional Cuisine of Tamil Nadu
The Chettinad region
and adjoining areas is known for both traditional vegetarian dishes like Idiappam, uthappam, paal paniyaaram and non-vegetarian dishes made primarily using Chicken and mutton. Chettinad cuisine
has gained popularity in non-Tamil speaking areas as well. Chettinad cuisine is a speciality in Tamil Nadu and will be a delight for those who like hot and spicy non-vegetarian food. This type of food has several variations of fish, mutton, and chicken dishes of which the Chettinad Pepper Chicken is a specialty.
and the other southern districts of Tamil Nadu are known for non-vegetarian food made of mutton, chicken and fish. Parota made with Maida or all-purpose flour is loosely similar to the north Indian wheat flour-based Paratha
. Madurai has its own unique foods such as jigarthanda, muttaiparotta (minced parotta and scrambled egg), paruthipal (made of cottonseeds), Karidosai (dosai with mutton stuffing) & ennaidosai (dosai with lots of oil) which are rarely found in other parts of Tamil Nadu.
Nanjilnadu (Kanyakumari district) region is famous for its fish curry since the region is surrounded by the three great water bodies of Asia: (Indian Ocean
, Arabian Sea
and Bay of Bengal
). Fish forms an integral part of life. Owing to its unique cultural affinity and the availability of coconut, coconut oil forms a base for almost all the preparations of the region.
The western Kongunadu region has specialities like Sandhavai (a noodle like item of rice), Oputtu (a sweet tasting pizza-like dish that is dry outside with a sweet stuffing), and kola urundai (meatballs), Thengai Paal (sweet hot milk made of jaggery, coconut and cotton seeds), Ulundu Kali(Sweet made out of Jaggery, Gingely Oil and Black Gram), Kachayam (sweet made out of jaggery and rice), Arisimparupu sadam, Ragi puttumavu, Arisi Puttumavu, Vazhaipoo Poriyal, Kambu Paniyaram, Ragi Pakoda, Thengai Barbi, Kadalai Urundai, Ellu Urundai and Pori Urundai.