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Tamil Nadu Cuisines

Earlier History | Culture of Tamil Nadu | Facts & Figures | Beaches in Tamil Nadu | Cuisines | Festivals | Around Tamil Nadu

The state of Tamil Nadu has a distinct place in culinary map of the country. Many dishes from Tamil Nadu are enjoyed by one and all and are now a part of the national cuisine.

Tamil Nadu has a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies to offer. The food here gets its flavor from a host of spices and condiments used in Tamil Nadu. Coconut, tamarind and asafoetida are a must for almost all vegetarian recipes. Garam masala is avoided in Tamil cuisine. In Tamil Nadu Coconut oil is normally used as the medium of cooking. Chutneys and mixed spice are served in the lunch and enhance the taste of the meal.

In Tamil Nadu, a typical meal consists of rice (mostly steamed), lentils, grains and vegetables. Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu is particularly famous all over the country. This cuisine is hot and spicy and provides delectable variety in mutton, chicken and fish dishes. Chettinad Pepper Chicken is one of the most famous dishes in Tamil Nadu. The Tamil style of Mughali food can be tasted in the Biriyanis and Paya. Paya is a type of spiced trotters broth and is eaten with either Parathas or Appam.

In Tamil Nadu cuisine, breakfast or tiffin includes idly(steamed rice cakes), dosai (a pancake made from a batter of rice) and lentils crisp fried on a pan, vada(deep fried doughnuts made from a batter of lentils), pongal (a mash of rice and lentils boiled together and seasoned with ghee, cashew nuts, pepper and cummin seed), uppuma(cooked semolina seasoned in oil with mustard, pepper, cumin seed and dry lentils). Most of the dishes in Tamil Nadu are eaten with coconut chutney, sambar (seasoned lentil broth) and mulaga podi (a powdered mix of several dried lentils eaten with oil).

The Tamil Lunch or meals consists of cooked rice served with different kinds of vegetable dishes, Sambar, chutneys, Rasam (a hot broth made with tamarind juice and pepper) and curd(yogurt). The non-vegetarian lunch includes curries or dishes cooked with mutton, chicken or fish. Tamil meals are incomplete without crisp Papads or Appalam.

Tamil Nadu, especially Chennai, is famous for its filter coffee. Most Tamils have a subtle disliking for instant coffee, therefore filter coffee is more popular. The preparation of filter coffee is almost like a daily chore, the coffee beans have to be first roasted and then ground.

The coffee powder is then put into a filter set and hot boiled water is added to prepare the boiling and allowed to set for about 15 minutes. The decoction is then added to milk with sugar to taste. The drink thus prepared is then poured from one container to another in rapid succession to make the perfect frothy cup of filter coffee. An exotic drink that refreshes you and the taste that lingers.

So just taste some of the recipes from Tamil Nadu and you won't be able to resist tasting other delicious dishes of this state also.

-Masala Dosa
-Medu Vada
-Masala Vada
-Pal Payasam
-Coconut Chutney
-Chettinad Chicken
-Ven Pongal
-Vegetable Uppama
-Mulaga Podi


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