Tamil Nadu is located in the southern part of India. It is one of the hottest states of the country. An integral part of Tamil culture is food. Tamilians are usually very hospitable and love feeding others. Tamil food is mostly vegetarian because of the presence of a large population of Tamil Brahmins, but there are non-vegetarian dishes as well.1.Dosa: Dosa is one of the most common breakfast items in Tamil Nadu. Served with sambhar and coconut chutney, it is a very filling and healthy dish. Dosa is made of rice flour, gram, and curry leaves. The dosa we get in Tamil Nadu is different from other regions on some ingredients used. It is the traditional dish of this state and is a must-try one as well. It is also called Dosai by some people.
Dosa is one of the most common breakfast items in Tamil Nadu. Served with sambhar and coconut chutney, it is a very filling and healthy dish. Dosa is made of rice flour, gram, and curry leaves. The dosa we get in Tamil Nadu is different from other regions on some ingredients used. It is the traditional dish of this state and is a must-try one as well. It is also called Dosai by some people.
2. Takkali Sadam
Also called tomato rice, it is made of rice, onions, tomatoes and other ingredients. It is made in the form of a pulav and the main ingredient used is tomato which gives it a tangy taste. It is bit little spicy. This dish is the most common type of rice after plain white rice which is served during lunch.
Sambhar is made of toor daal and goes well with any kind of food- dosa, idli, rice and other dishes. A lot of vegetables are also mixed with it which makes the dish a very healthy one. If you order daal in Tamil Nadu, you will most likely get sambhar, and it is so tasty that you can never have too much of it.
4. Idli Podi:
Popular known as gunpowder, this is commonly served with idli or dosa. It is made of urad daal and chana daal along with sesame seeds and red chilly powder. It is mostly served in every household. You may not get it in shops and restaurants, but some restaurants do serve it. Idli with gunpowder is the tastiest thing to eat. They also add tamarind which gives it a tangy taste.
It is the easiest evening snack that can be prepared within a short time. It is made of soaked beans along with onion, chilies, and grated coconut. It is made into a salad and is usually served in the evening. It is a very healthy dish and also serves the purpose of an evening snack. This item is also the most common evening bite in Tamil Nadu.
6. Naralchi Vadi:
Also known as Coconut Barfi, it is made of coconut powder or grated coconut, condensed milk and sugar. It is a very famous dessert. If you are a sweet-toothed person, you should certainly try this. Some of them are made so soft that they melt as soon as they are put inside the mouth.
7. Filter Kapi:
One of the most famous drinks in the world is coffee. It is made in several ways. The most common type that you can find in Tamil Nadu is the filter coffee. It is made of freshly ground coffee beans and then mixed with milk and sugar. The smell of the fresh coffee is heavenly and will make you want more of it.
8. Ven Pongal:
It is an authentic breakfast item of Tamil Nadu. It is made of boiled rice and yellow daal and tempered with pepper, cumin seeds, and ghee. Served hot, it gives out a mouth-watering smell and forms a perfect breakfast item.
9. Thayir Sadam:
Popularly known as curd rice, this is the most common and easiest type of rice to make. This dish is made of rice, curd, and cream and tempered with mustard seeds, daal and other ingredients. Lunch in Tamil Nadu is incomplete without having curd rice. It is an easy to digest dish but a nutritious one too.
10. Vada Curry:
This is a well-known side dish usually served with rice. The Vada is made of chana daal, red chilies, fennel seeds, and other ingredients. The curry is made of onion, tomato, ginger, and garlic where the vadas are added. The addition of curry leaves and tamarind gives it a different taste and aroma.
11. Curry Leaf Powder:
It is a dry chutney powder. It is made of curry leaves, daal, red chilies, pepper corns, and garlic. All the ingredients are tossed and then crushed so that it forms a dry powder. It goes well with idli, dosa, and vadas like the gunpowder. It is usually made at home and is not served in the restaurants.
12. Medhu Vadai:
‘Medhu’ in Tamil means soft. These are soft vadas (fritters) made of mainly urad daal which is crispy from outside but soft from inside. It forms a part of evening snack or starter and can be served with either sambhar or gunpowder or curry leaf powder and even tea or coffee. These are little spicy but tastes heavenly.
13. Nei Payasum:
Made of rice, jaggery, ghee, cashew nuts and raisins, this dish is a well-liked dessert item. It is specially made for occasions like birthdays or even when people visit each other houses. Tamil people have a ritual of serving it as a dessert before the meal. It is delicious, and the addition of cardamom powder gives it a unique taste and aroma.
14. Manjal Milagu Paal:
Also called as the turmeric-pepper milk, this is one the traditional drinks of Tamil Nadu. People drink it every day before going to bed. It also acts as a medicine and prevents the body from flu as well as a cough and cold. If you happen to stay with a Tamil family, they are bound to serve you with this.
15. Onion Uthappam:
It is a kind of dosa but is usually thicker. It can be made of different toppings like onion, capsicum, tomato, coconut, beetroot, eggs etc, but the most common and easiest type is the Onion Uthappam. The ingredients used for making this are onion, idli batter, coriander leaves and green chilies. It is served with sambhar but can also be eaten without any side-dish.
16. Elumichai Sadam:
It is also known as lemon rice. It is made of rice, lemon, split black gram, mustard, red chilies, and curry leaves. It is also a common type of rice cooked in the households of Tamil Nadu. It is a comfort food, especially during summers. It is a must-try dish.
17. Paruppu Urandai Kulambu:
This is also known as dal kofta curry. It is a curry made of dal koftas or balls dipped in a tangy curry. Tamil people usually use tamarind pulp and curry leaves for making this curry which gives it a unique taste and smell. It is delicious and very light too.
18. Orange Peel Pachadi:
As the name suggests, it is made of orange peels along with tamarind, sambhar powder, and jaggery and tempered with mustard seeds, fenugreek leaves and dry red chillies. Curry leaves also adds to the flavor. It is a kind of chutney.
19. Cauliflower Pakoda:
As the name suggests, these are fritters made of cauliflower. Fritters are deep-fried evening snacks. This evening bite is widespread in Tamil Nadu. The cauliflower is mixed with besan(chickpea flour), chili powder and corn flour and then fried.
20. Semiya Kesari:
This is a sweet dish prepared in South India. It is made using vermicelli, milk, sugar, cardamom, ghee, saffron, chopped nuts, and orange food color. It is a type of sweet dish which is only prepared in Tamil Nadu. It is a must-try dish.