Tamil Nadu has a rich cuisine containing vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. It is the home land of Paddy. People in Tamil Nadu eat rice as their staple food. Tamil Nadu cuisines mostly include rice and lentils. There are several cuisines in Tamil Nadu like Chettinad cuisine, Kongunad cuisine, Nanjilnadu cuisine, Tirunelveli special and so on. These cuisines are so delicious that you will never stop eating them.
1. Vegetarian Fish Curry
The name sounds a bit confusing, right? The recipe is pure vegetarian. Cowpea patties are fried and added to the gravy. It looks exactly like a South Indian fish curry. Until you taste it, you will have a notion that it is fish. Thatta pair/Cowpea is soaked overnight and ground with masalas to make a thick paste which is then spread out in a Banana leaf, and steaming is carried out. Then they are cut into pieces, fried and added to the gravy which gives you an excellent homemade taste.
2. Vathal Kuzhambu
Vathal Kuzhambu is one of the most delicious and famous food of Tamil Nadu. In a Tamil Nadu meal people will serve Vathal Kuzhambu along with rice. The main ingredients are Tamarind, small Onions, and Turkey berry. We can add a small amount of Jaggery to give a mild sweet taste to the recipe. This dish has an equal amount of sourness, sweetness, and hotness. After preparing this dish, it is kept closed for 10 to 12 hours before serving it. Though is not mandatory, but keeping it for 10 hours will extract the real taste of this dish. A fully fledged meal will always have Vathal Kuzhambu as an integral part.
3. Ulundhu Kali
Ulundhu Kali is one of the most delicious and healthiest dishes. It is a sweet dish made from Urad dal, palm jaggery, and cardamom powder. It is good for bones, and it has a lot of iron content. It is very popular in the villages of Tamil Nadu. This dish makes the bones healthier, especially for women.
4. Thippili Rasam
It is a recipe made from long pepper, and it is so divine and tasty. Tomatoes, Toor dal, and homemade masalas are the ingredients in the recipe. Long pepper, Coriander seeds, cumin seeds, and dry chilies are ground to make the masala. This recipe is similar to soup, in a liquid state. You can eat it along with rice, or drink it separately. Long pepper is a savior for you in the case of cough, indigestion, fever, Diarrhea and Diabetes. It is an integral part of the Tamil Nadu village food.
It is the soft drink of Tamil Nadu. It has a divine taste, and it is a perfect thirst quencher. It is very healthy and has a lot of Iron content. It gives you instant energy. Jaggery, Lemon, Cardamom powder and dry Ginger powder are the ingredients in making Panakam. During festive days, people offer Panakam in temples.
6 Paruppu Thuvaiyal
Paruppu Thuvaiyal is a chutney, made with lentils. Toor dal, Coconuts, dry red chilies, and Tamarind are dry roasted and ground together to make a paste. It is very delicious. You can eat it along with rice, Idly, and Dosa.
7. Naat Kozhi Rasam (Chicken Soup)
It is a soup made from country chicken. It is an excellent dish with a delightful flavor. It gives you relief and comfort when you are having cold. It is easy to digest. People make the dish with Chicken bones, and a little flesh. The main ingredient used is the rasam powder. It gives you the flavor of the dish. Black pepper, coriander seeds, dry red chilies and Fennel seeds are roasted in ghee and ground to a fine powder which is added along with cooked chicken bones, Onions and Tomatoes. This flavorful chicken soup is very yummy and a perfect appetiser.
8. Mudakathan Keerai Dosa
It is a dosa recipe. You can even call it as a small medicine. Mudakathan Keerai (balloon vine) is an excellent remedy for joint pains. It has anti-inflammatory properties. Ayurvedic medicines use balloon vine as a cure to joint pains. Mudakathan keerai, rice, urud dal and Fenugreek seeds are soaked and ground together and made into a dosa. It is very delicious.
9. Vella Paniyaram
It is a Chettinad recipe. It is a semi-sweet dish and has an excellent taste.. It is perfect for breakfast. Rice, Urud dal, sugar and milk are ground together to make a paste. Make it into small balls and fry them in oil. It is served alongside with red chili chutney. It is available in some hotels, but you can make it at home in a simple way. It will be a favorite food for children.
10. Chicken Curry
It is one of the famous and delicious recipes. It goes well with rice and even chapattis. It has an excellent aroma. The masala contains Fennel seeds, dry red chilies, Ginger, Garlic, Pepper, and Coconut.. Mix the masala with Chicken, Onion and Tomatoes and fry well. Serve with plain rice or Briyani. It tastes better when it is extra hot. This recipe has a classic, authentic village taste.
11. Koth Parotta
It is a famous dish in the road-side shops. It is a favorite among the people of Tamil Nadu. Cut the Parottas into small pieces and are fry it along with Onion, Tomatoes, Eggs and Chicken curry. Pound the parottas with a metal skillet. It has such a heavenly taste. Nothing can match the taste of Kothu Parotta in road-side shops.
12. Vada Curry
It is a Chettinad recipe; it tastes best along with idly and dosa. The Vada mixture contains channa dal, chili powder, and Onions. Coconut milk is used in making the curry. The vadas are mixed with the gravy and fried for some time. In hotels, the Vada curry is served along with set dosa. It is very much delicious and is famous in the cuisines of Chettinad.
13. Raw Jackfruit Kuzhambu
It is such an interesting and a different recipe. You may not have heard a dish with unripe jackfruit; it is a unique dish in Tamil Nadu. Oil is applied to hands and knife since jackfruit is much sticky and leaves a lot of milk. Remove the outer green covering and cut the inner part into small pieces and boil it. It is Kongu style dish. The texture of the dish is similar to mutton. Cook the boiled jackfruit with Onions, Tomatoes, Coriander powder, Ginger- Garlic paste and other ingredients. It has a unique taste.
14. Kuthiraivali Adai
Kuthiraivali Adai is a recipe made from Barnyard millet, similar to Dosa. It is one of the traditional dishes of Tamil Nadu. The ingredients are Barnyard millet, Bengal gram and Toor dal. We can even add some Agathi keerai to it. Barnyard millet is a good diet food for diabetic patients. It is a rich source of anti-oxidant. You can serve it along with Jaggery.
15. Thinai Laddu
It is a sweet dish made from Foxtail millet. It is a healthy dish. It is made with Foxtail millet, cardamom powder, Coconut, and Honey. You can also use Jaggery syrup in place of honey. These delicious looking laddoos are healthier and will give you an amazing taste. People with a sweet tooth, who cannot resist sweets, can switch over to Thinai laddoos. It is better for your diet.
16. Ragi Koozh
It is porridge recipe, a much healthier and the best option for breakfast. Ragi has high fiber content, and it is an excellent food to control your sugar levels. It is also a good baby food. You can use Ragi, Onions, chilies and butter milk in making Ragi Koozh. It is eaten along with raw mangoes. People in diet can consider this for your breakfast which will be effective for weight loss. Ragi koozh is made and stored in mud pots, which will give you a unique flavor to this recipe.
17. Varagu Arisi Pongal
It is a dish from Kodo millet. Kodo millet helps to keep your weight in control. It is also good for diabetic patients. Steam the Kodo Millet and Moong dal in a pressure cooker. You can season it with Curry leaves, Cumin seeds, Pepper, and Ginger. It is a recipe with more health benefits. Homemade varagu arisi Pongal is such a delight to eat.
18. Kambu Koozh
It is a porridge made from pearl millet (Bajra). Bajra has cancer-protecting properties. It is also a diet food. People from the villages of Tamil Nadu before going to Agricultural fields have Kambu Koozh as their breakfast. It gives them the energy to work hard in the fields. Pearl millet flour, small Onions, green chilies, and curry leaves are the ingredients. People serve it along with raw mangoes. Mostly porridges are made and stored in mud pots which give them a unique flavor.
It is a sweet made with sesame seeds, rice, cardamom powder, and Jaggery. Sesame seeds are good in fighting against cholesterol. They also reduce sugar levels. Roasted sesame seeds and melted Jaggery are added to rice flour and made into small balls and fried in oil. Ellu Seedai is a delicious evening time snack. You can also try another version of this dish by adding jeera and chili powder instead of adding jaggery.
20. Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyaram
It is a dish suitable for both breakfast and dinner. Rice and Urad dal are ground to a thick batter. After adding chopped Onions, coriander leaves, mustard seeds, and curry leaves to the batter, pour it into the kuzhi Paniyaram tawa and cook for some time. The Kuzhi Paniyaram balls have a beautiful texture and a heavenly taste. Kuzhi Paniyaram along with Garlic and Red Chilly Chutney is the perfect combination.
It is a sweet made from Foxtail millet. It is popular dish during festive times. Since ghee, Cashews, Almond, and Raisins are the main ingredients in the recipe, it has such a wonderful taste. We have seen the health benefits of foxtail millet which is an excellent sugar controlling agent. Roast and cook the Foxtail Millet with milk and Jaggery. Then add the roasted nuts.. It is a healthy sweet and has a yummy taste.
We can see that most of the dishes from the villages of Tamil Nadu use millets. Millets are much healthier, and they have a high fiber content which has many health benefits. These simple dishes reduce sugar levels and cholesterols. They also have a delicious taste. These authentic dishes from Tamil Nadu are a natural medicine to our body.