Top 20 Spicy Dishes Of Tamil Nadu

Top 20 Spicy Dishes Of Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state, is one of the best food gateways in India. This state is known for its rich cultural heritage. Tamil people are known to be deeply rooted in their culture, which is reflected in their foods.Tamil cuisine is essentially not fiery hot like the Andhra cuisine. Rather it is far more dependent on the skillful usage of spices in food.Tamil cuisine wholly depended upon spices. There is a practice of preparing grounded masalas or spice powders in Tamil households. The cuisine is recognized for its rich flavors, simplicity, and generous usage of spices. Tamil cuisine is a vast cuisine to explore, but it is limited to idli, dosa, and vada to the outer world.Below given are twenty delicious spicy food items to try in Tamil cuisine.

1.Chettinad Chicken

Spicy and full of flavors, the Chettinad chicken is a spicy chicken curry from the Chettinad cuisine of Tamil Nadu. Chicken in this dish is cooked in what is known as Chettinad paste, coconut, and onions. Made with chicken, freshly ground spices, and herbs this is one of the most renowned South Indian delicacies.


2.Vendakkai Varuval

It is a hot and spicy vegetarian dish. ‘Vendakkai,’ which also means ‘okra’ or ‘bhindi’ is the main component of this dish. Here, okras are fried with special spices to form this dish. This dish is full of flavor and creates a delicious side dish.


3.Kara Kuzhambu

‘Kara Kuzhambu’, also known as ‘Kara Kulambu’ is a flavorsome mixed vegetable gravy. It is an entirely vegetarian recipe. The Kara Kuzhambu is made of vegetables, coconut, and spice paste to form a tasty gravy. It is usually served with rice.


4.Chicken Palli Palayam

This chicken dish is named after the town of ‘Palli palayam’ in Tamil Nadu. This chicken dish is prepared by sautéing it in a spice mix. This mix mainly contains onions and dry chilies. It is a beautiful dish that contains few ingredients yet is very delicious.


5.Asari Chicken

It is yet another flavorful dish of Tamil Nadu. ‘Asari,’ the Tamil word, means carpenter. Hence it is known to be the ‘carpenter’s chicken.’ It is a simple dish made with few spices yet tastes delicious. It is quite popular in Tamil Nadu for its simple recipe and a burst of flavors.


6.Naatu Kozhi Kulambu

Naatu Kozhi Kulambu, or the country chicken curry, is another flavorsome dish of Tamil Nadu. It is a village-style chicken curry which is exceptionally delicious. It is mainly made with local ingredients and freshly ground spices. The use of fresh spices elevates the taste of this curry to a whole new level.


7.Thalapakatti Style Mutton Biryani

Thalapakatti biryani is very different from other biryanis. It is made with special short-grained rice of Tamil Nadu known as Seeraga samba rice. This biryani rice has no flavor of its own, unlike basmati rice. For this reason, it soaks the flavors too well. Most popular among the locals, it is also known as Dindigul biryani.


8.Nalli Elumbu Masala

It is a spicy mutton curry. This mutton curry is cooked in a simmered flame for a long time. The mutton, along with bones, is cooked in various herbs and spices to obtain this dish. It is pretty famous in Tamil Nadu for its flavorful taste.


9.Chettinad Meen Varuval

Chettinad meen varuval, or Chettinad fish fry, is another addition to the spicy Chettinad cuisine. To cook this dish, a special spice paste is applied to the fish for marination. This marinated fish is finally fried in a tawa. This dish is extremely spicy and delicious.


10.Vatha Kuzhambu

It is an intense spicy gravy that is entirely vegetarian. The dish comprise sun-dried vegetables and berries, also known as ‘Vathals.’ It is a flavorful vegetarian gravy with a hint of spiciness and tanginess. The intense heat of the gravy is balanced with a serving of curd rice.



Although not very hot in terms of the presence of chilies and peepers, Sambar is indeed a spicy dish in terms of the use of spice to it. The traditional Sambar is a wonderful combination of dal, vegetables, herbs, and spices. The spices are roasted, and ground with coconut and curry leaves to form a beautiful stew. ‘Sambar’ is famous worldwide for its excellent taste.


12.Atu Kari Kozhambu

Atu kari kozhambu is a delicious mutton curry made in Tamil style. The mutton is cooked in a wonderful concoction of spices, coconut, and herbs. This mutton gravy is generally served with rice.



Rasam, like Sambar, too is a celebration of spices. It is a wonderful soup that draws its taste from the unique spice mix used in it. The word ‘Rasam’ means juice. It is a tangy and spicy soup-like dish that is made up of vegetables and spices. It is best served with piping hot rice and a vegetable side dish.


14.Lemon Rice

It is rice blended with lemon juice, fried nuts, aromatic herbs, and spices. It is a crunchy, tangy, and flavorful dish of Tamil Nadu. This fantastic dish is quite popular in Tamil Nadu.


15.Prawn Kuzhambu

It is quite a popular dish in Tamil Nadu. In this dish, prawns are cooked with tempered spices and herbs to form a rich and thick gravy. This dish is served with idli, dosa, chapati, or rice.


16.Takkali Sadam

Takkali Sadam is the famous tomato rice of Tamil Nadu. In this dish, rice is blended with tomatoes and spices and cooked in pulao style. Tomatoes are used to give them a tangy flavor. This dish is quite popular in Tamil Nadu.


17.Pollachi Nandu Kulambu

‘Pollachi Nandu Kulambu’ or ‘Pollachi crab fry’ is very famous in entire South India. In this dish, crab is cooked in coconut milk and freshly ground masala to bring an authentic taste. This dish is generally served with rice, but it goes with chapati or dosa as well.


18.Mutton Kola Urundai

It is a traditional Chettinad recipe. In this dish, mutton keema is pre-cooked and mixed in kola masala. This mixture is then made into balls and deep-fried. This lip-smacking dish is one of the most famous and best dishes in Tamil Nadu.

Mutton Kola Urundai


19.Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

It is yet another delicious dish of Tamil Nadu. In this dish, steamed dal dumplings are cooked to a curry with selected spices. It is generally served with rice.


20.Vada Curry

Vada curry is a popular side dish for idlis and dosas in Tamil Nadu. It is made with crumbled dal dumplings. These broken dal dumplings are cooked in spices and herbs to form a gravied dish. It is a Chettinad delicacy usually served as breakfast.