Tamil cuisine

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Tamil cuisine is a cuisine native to the Tamil people who are native to the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and northern Sri Lanka. It is also the cuisine of the Tamil-speaking population of Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh in India and of the Tamil communities of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Tamil Nadu is famous for its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity,[1] as it is common in many regions of India. The region has a rich cuisine involving both traditional vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Rice, legumes and lentils are used extensively and flavor is achieved by the blending of various spices. Vegetables and dairy products are essential accompaniments and tamarind is used as the favored souring agent.

On special occasions, traditional Tamil dishes are prepared in an elaborate and leisurely way and served in traditional style on a banana leaf. The traditional way of eating a meal involves being seated on the floor, having the food served on a banana leaf, and using clean fingers of the right hand to transfer the food to the mouth. After the meal, the fingers are washed, and the banana leaf becomes food for cows. Typically breakfast includes idli or dosa and rice accompanied by sambar and rasam, followed by curd for lunch.

Typical meals[edit]

A sappadu (a typical meal) consists of rice with other typical Tamil dishes served on a banana leaf which gives different flavor and taste to the food, then a dessert (normally Paayasam) is usually served as a dessert to finish the meal. Coffee and tea are the staple drinks.[2]

Veg Meals in Tamil Nadu

‘Virundhu’ which means ‘feast’, is when guests are invited during happy ceremonial occasions to share food. For festivals and special ceremonies, a more elaborate menu with steamed rice, variety rice (e.g. tomato rice), dal, sambar (lentil stew), kara kuzhambu (spicy stew with a coconut base or dal base), rasam (tamarind stew with other herbs and spices), thayir (curd) along with poriyal (dry fry of vegetables), varuval (oil fry of the vegetables or meat), kootu (vegetables mixture with green dal or coconut), keerai masiyal (ground greens), aviyal (a mixture of cooked vegetables, finally added with buttermilk or curd in the preparation), pachadi (salad of cucumber, or onion in curd), appalam (fried papads), thovaiyal (wet ground paste of some item), oorukai (pickles), payasam (sweet liquid of many varieties with milk base or coconut milk base or dal liquid base). After the completion of the feast, a banana and betel leaves (eaten with areca nuts and limestone paste) are provided to aid digestion.

Guests sit on a coir mat rolled out on the floor and a full course meal was served on a banana leaf. Nowadays, guests often sit at a dinner table and have the same type of food. Traditionally the banana leaf is laid so that the leaf tip is pointed left. Before the feast begins the leaf is sprinkled with water and cleaned by the diner himself even though the leaves are already clean. The top half of the banana leaf is reserved for accessories, the lower half for the rice. The lower right portion of the leaf may have a scoop of warm sweet milky rice Payasam, Kesari, Sweet Pongal or any Dessert items. While the top left includes a pinch of salt, a dash of pickle and a thimbleful of salad, or a smidgen of chutney. In the middle of the leaf there may be an odd number of fried items like small circles of chips either banana, yam or potato, thin crisp papads or frilly wafers aruna Appalams and vadai. The top right hand corner is reserved for spicy foods including curry, hot, sweet, or sour and the dry items.

Dishes[edit]

Idly with Medu vada (Ulundhu Vadai) with Chutney, Sambhar served on banana leaf
Ven Pongal
Dosai made at home
Idiyappam
Filter coffee
Kuzhi Paniyaram

Rice is the major staple food of most of the Tamil people. Normally lunch or dinner is a meal of steamed rice (choru) served with accompanying items, which typically include sambar, poriyal (curry), rasam, kootu and curd.

Breakfast dishes[edit]

Main dishes[edit]

  • Idli, steamed rice-cakes, prepared from a fermented batter of rice and black gram. Usually served alongside different kinds of chutney, sambhar or vadacurry.
  • Dosai, crepes made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram eaten with Sambar or chutney. Several varieties like saada dosai, kal dosai, muttai dosai, neer dosai, rava dosai, paasi paruppu dosai, etc. are available.
  • Vadai, commonly of 2 types, based on the ingredients used and served along with idlis.
  • Pongal, a traditional cuisine where rice is cooked in a mud pot along with water and milk until the boiling liquid forms viscous frothy bubbles that rise above the pot. The soft, creamy upper layer overflows the pot, which is also called a pongal.
  • Paniyaram, the batter similar to the one used to make dosa is poured into pan with small pits to make paniyaram.
  • Appam, is made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram mixture, which is made into a thin consistency. It is poured over a hot pan and spread evenly by rotating the pan. The appam generally has its sides thin and the centre is fluffy and soft.
  • Uthappam, a dosa variety, which is slightly thick, fluffy, and soft. It can be made from regular idli / dosai batter. Plain uthappam is available, along with a type of uthappam with vegetables or onions sprinkled over.
  • Upma, made from wheat or rava, added with onion, green chillies. May also be substituted with broken rice granules, flattenned rice flakes, or almost any other cereal grain instead of broken wheat.
  • Puttu - Steamed layered, cylindrical cakes made with flour; usually rice flour is used but any miller flour can be used. The flour is sparsely mixed with water and packed into puttu cylinder and steamed. The flour is usually layered with grated coconut.
  • Kozhukkattai - Steamed dumplings made with rice flour. The fillings are varied: from grated coconut and jaggery to various savoury preparations.
  • Sevai or Idiyappam, rice noodles made out of steamed rice cakes
  • Adai, with all the vegetables, it is a complete and quite filling meal. It is loaded with fiber and calcium. Its a perfect recipe for people on diet and for diabetic patients.
Breakfast Varieties[edit]
  • Sorrakkai dosai/Bottlegourd dosa
  • Vennai dosai/Butter dosa
  • Murungai keerai raai adai/ Drumstick leaves and Raadi adai
  • Vegetable omlette
  • Red rice idli
  • Mullangi dosai/Radish Dosa
  • Chola idli/Sorgum Idli
  • Chola dosai/Sorgm dosa
  • Kollu dosai/Horsegram dosa
  • Kottaimuthu idli/Castor seeds idli
  • Raagi adai dosai/ Raagi lentils dosa
  • Instant millet dosa
  • Brown rice idli
  • Vendhaya dosai/Fenugreek dosa
  • Kanchipuram idli
  • Paasi paruppu dosai/Moong dhal dosa
  • Kaima idli/Fried idli
  • Podi idli/ Idli in chilli chutney powder
  • Set dosa
  • Vegetable paniyaram
  • Chola paniyaram/Sorgum paniyaaram
  • Kuthiraivaali dosai/Fermented Barnyard Millet dosa
  • Kuzhi paniyaram
  • Tri color idli - Carrot idli, Mint/corriander idly
  • Beetroot idli
  • Kambu Dosai/ Bajra dosa
  • Masal dosa
  • Gobi masala dosa
  • Paper roast
  • Ghee roast
  • Paper masala dosa
  • Ghee masala dosa
  • Cheese dosa
  • Capsicum masala dosa
  • Chicken keema dosa
  • Mutton kari dosa
  • Cashew masala dosa

Side dishes[edit]

  • Sambar, is a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder cooked with a tamarind broth and freshly grounded spices.
  • Chutney varieties - Coconut chutney, Onion chutney, Tomato chutney, Corriander chutney, Kara chutney, Garlic chutney, Puli chutney.
  • Vada Curry, a classic chettinad side dish which is also very famous in Chennai.
  • Thogaiyal, which is a wet ground paste of many ingredients but primarily with the punch of the main ingredient. Most common thogaiyals by their chief ingredient are like coconut, paruppu (dal), coriander, puthina (mint leaves), karuveppilai (curry leaves), ellu (seasame seeds), kollu (horse gram), inji (ginger), poondu (garlic) etc.

Drinks[edit]

  • Coffee is the most popular beverage. Coffee is a major social institution in Southern Indian Tamil tradition and generally use gourmet coffee beans of the premium Peaberry or the less expensive Arabica variety. The making of filter coffee is like a ritual, as the coffee beans are first roasted and then powdered. Sometimes chicory is added to enhance the aroma. A filter set is used and few scoops of powdered coffee with boiling water is used to prepare a dark liquid called the decoction. Hot milk with sugar and a small quantity of decoction is then served in a tumbler set, a unique coffee cup. Another popular beverage is strongly brewed tea.
  • Koozh - Porridge, also called Kanji (rice congee)
  • Sharbat - Drink made from fruits or flower petals
  • Paanakam -Drink made from Lemon juice, Jaggery, dried Ginger and cardamom

Lunch and dinner dishes[edit]

Main dishes[edit]

  • Plain rice
Rice Varieties[edit]
  • Thakkali Saatham - Tomato rice
  • Sambar Saatham- Rice cooked with lentils, vegetables with a glaze of tamarind juice
  • Thengai Saatham - Coconut rice
  • Milagu Saatham - Pepper rice
  • Paruppu Saatham - Lentil rice
  • Karuvepillai Saatham - Curry leaves rice
  • Thayir Saatham - Curd rice
  • Nei Choru - Ghee rice
  • Urulai Saatham - Potato rice
  • Muttaikos Saatham - Cabbage rice
  • Kootanchoru - Mixed vegetable rice
  • Kothamalli Pudina Saatham - Corriander and Mint rice
  • Manga Saatham - Mango rice
  • Thatta payaru arisi paruppu saatham - Cow pea and lentil rice
  • Ghee pongal
  • Sweet pongal
  • Kalkandu pongal
  • Puli pongal - Tamarind pongal
  • Thinai pongal - Fox millet pongal
  • Vetrilai poondu saatham - Betel leaves rice with garlic
  • Brinji saatham
  • Thalapakkatti briyani
  • Aambur briyani
  • Mushroom briyani
  • Elumichai Saatham (Lemon rice) - seasoning of onions, tomatoes, curry leaf, red chilly, salt and lemon juice is made and cooked rice is added and fried with the seasoning. Some groundnuts and added to the dish to give it some crunchiness and balance out the sour taste of lemon and served with chutney or vegetable salad.
  • Puliyodarai,[3] is a popular Tamil dish which is a mixture of fried tamarind paste and cooked rice. The tamarind paste is fried with sesame oil, asofoetida and fenugreek powder, dried chilly, groundnuts, split chickpea, urad dal, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder and seasoned with light jaggery and salt.
  • Biryani, a type of fried rice with masala cooked with vegetables or meat. Special varieties include Ambur biryani, served with 'dhalcha', a sour brinjal curry and Dindigul biryani, which uses a little curd and lemon juice to get a tangy taste.[4][5]

Supplements to rice[edit]

  • Sambar, is a lentil-based vegetable stew or chowder cooked with a tamarind broth and freshly grounded spices.
  • Kaara Kozhambu/Spicy Curries - a spicy curry with a blend of chillies, tamarind, coconut and country spices and done on any specific country vegetables - Ladies finder Kara kozhambu, Brinjal Kara Kozhambu, Drumstick Kara kozhambu etc.
  • Puli Kozhambu/Sour Curries - a sour and spicy curry with heavy usage of tamarind in addition with country spices and done on any specific country vegetables.
  • Mor Kozhambu/Curd curries - a mild spiced curry using curd with a blend of country spices, coconut and done on vegetables/fruits like Ladiesfinger, potato, cucumber, Mango, pineapple individually.
  • Paruppu Kozhambu/ Lentil curry - a mild spiced lentil curry with a blend of country spices.
  • Muttai Kuzhambu/Egg curries - a hot and spicy egg curry done as many varieties in many places in Tamilnadu.
  • Kozhi Kozhambu/Chicken gravy - a hot and spicy chicken curry done as many varieties in many towns in Tamilnadu.
  • Meen Kozhambu, a fish curry made with whole of chillies and tamarind that makes it hot and sour
  • Mutton Kozhambu/Curry - a hot and spicy mutton curry done as many varieties in many towns in Tamilnadu.
  • Rasam, lentil soup with pepper, coriander and cumin seeds
  • Kootu - a stew of vegetables or greens, usually made with lentils, and spices which makes for a side dish for a meal consisting of rice, sambhar and rasam
  • Aviyal - a stew of vegetables with fresh coconut, and coconut oil
  • Poriyal - stir fry of various vegetables cooked with herbs and spices

Sambar Varieties[edit]

  • Ladiesfinger samabar
  • Brinjal sambar
  • Potato, tomato and carrot sambar
  • Carrot and beans sambar
  • Arachuvitta sambar
  • Bitter gourd pitlai
  • Sambar for idly/dosa/pongal
  • Mango Sambar
  • Mixed Vegetable Sambar
  • Vendhaya Keerai sambar (methi sambar)
  • Brinjal Sambar
  • Onion Arachu vitta Sambar
  • Drumstick Sambar Iyer style (without onions)
  • Pasi Paruppu Sambar (tiffin sambar)
  • No Onion No garlic Carrot Sambar
  • Keerai Thandu Sambar
  • Mor Sambar/Curd Sambar

Rasam Varieties[edit]

  • Lemon Rasam
  • Paruppu Rasam/Lentil rasam
  • Jeera Rasam
  • Poondu Rasam/Garlic rasam
  • Kollu Rasam/horsegram rasam
  • Pepper Rasam
  • Pineapple Rasam
  • Tomato Rasam
  • Veppam Poo Rasam/Neem flower rasam
  • Kandathippili Rasam
  • Mint rasam
  • Beetroot tomato rasam
  • Mutton elumbu rasam/Mutton bone rasam

Curry Varieties[edit]

  • Thatta payaru kathirikkai kozhambu/Cow pea Brinjal curry
  • Murunga keerai kozhambu/Drumstick leaves curry
  • Pidukkam paruppu kozhambu/Shelled field beans curry
  • Kaalan kozhambu/Mushroom curry
  • Vendhaya kozhambu/Fenugreek seeds curry
  • Mochai kozhambu/Field beans curry
  • Pattani kuzhambu/Dry peas curry
  • Ennai kathrikkai kozhambu/Oily eggplant spicy curry
  • Vendaikkaai kaara kozhambu/Ladies finger spicy curry
  • Kathrikkai kaara kozhambu/Brinjal spicy curry
  • Mulai payaru kozhambu/Moong sprouts curry
  • Ulli theeyal/Onion theeyal curry
  • Kadalai theeyal/Channa theeyal curry
  • Murungakkai theeyal/Drumstick theeyal curry
  • Mochai theeyal/Field beans theeyal curry
  • Poondu theeyal/Garlic theeyal curry
  • Peerkangaai paal kozhambu/Ridgegourd curry
  • Kollu kozhambu/Horse gram curry
  • Keera kadaisal/Spinach smash curry
  • Avarakkai paruppu kuzhambu/Broad beans lentil curry
  • Milagai mandi/Green chilli curry
  • Kaaramani puli kozhambu/Black eyed tamarind curry
  • Urundai kozhambu/Lentil dumplings curry
  • Murungakkai puli kozhambu/Drumstick tamarind curry
  • Poondu kozhambu/Garlic tamarind curry
  • Poosani paruppu kootu/Pumpkin lentil curry
  • Vatha kozhambu/Turkey berry, black night shade curry
  • Soya kozhambu/Soya curry
  • Sakkarai valli kilangu kozhambu/Sweet potato curry
  • Pavakkaai pitla/Bittergourd curry
  • Pavakkaai puli kozhambu/Bitter gourd tamarind curry
  • Jeeraga kozhambu/Jeera seeds curry
  • Milagu kozhamu/Pepper corns curry
  • Karunai kilangu kozhambu/Yam curry

Poriyal/Stir fry Varieties[Supplements to Rice][edit]

  • Parangikkaai ellu poriyal/Pumpkin fry curry with sesame seeds
  • Arasanikaai poriyal/Yellow pumpkin fry
  • Sorakkaai verkaadalai poriyal/Calabash peanuts fry
  • Kizhangu pottalam/Madurai potato fry masala
  • Senai kizhangu poriyal/Yam roast in banana leaves
  • Urulai milagu varuval/Potato pepper fry
  • Senai chops/Yam chops
  • Vengaaya thalai poriyal/Spring onion fry
  • Murungakeerai poriyal/Drumstick leaves fry
  • Urulai podimaas/Potato podimas
  • Ennai kathrikkaai masala/Stuffed small eggplant oily masala
  • Chinna vengaayam poriyal/Shallots fry
  • Kaaramani poriyal/Yard long beans fry
  • Carrot beans thovaran/Carrot beans in coconut masala fry
  • Vendhaya keerai kadalai poriyal/Methi leaves channa fry
  • Cheppankizhangu varuval/Arbi fry
  • Chettinad urulai poriyal/Chettinad spicy potato fry
  • Chettinad urulai pattani poriyal/Chettinad spicy potato peas fry
  • Agathi keerai poriyal/Agathi keerai[one kind of spinach] fry
  • Avarakkai poriyal/Broad beans coconut fry
  • Kovakkai poriyal/Ivy gourd fry
  • Carrot kose poriyal/Carrot cabbage fry
  • Kaalan milagu varuval/Mushroom pepper fry
  • Vendakkaai poriyal/Ladiesfinger fry
  • Beetroot poriyal/Beetroot coconut fry
  • Chow chow poriyal/Chaypte squash fry
  • Vaazhakkai podimas/Raw banana fry
  • Peerkangaai poriyal/Ridgegourd fry
  • Mullangi poriyal/Raddish fry
  • Maravalli kizhangu poriyal/Tapioca stir fry
  • Thanneer muttaan kizhangu poriyal/Asparagus fry
  • Pudalangaai poriyal/Snake gourd fry
  • Payaru thovaran/Green gram fry
  • Pappaalikkai poriyal/Raw pappaya fry
  • Vendhaya keerai poriyal/Fenugreek leaves fry
  • Vendhaya keerai poriyal/Fenugreek leaves fry
  • Kudaimilagaai milagu poriyal/Capsicum pepper fry
  • Cauliflower milagu pirattal/Cauliflower pepper fry

Kootu/Stew Varieties[Supplements to Rice][edit]

  • Vaazhaipoo kootu/Plantain flower stew
  • Vendakkai kootu/Ladiesfinger stew
  • Murungakeerai paruppu usili/Drumstick leaves lentil stew
  • Paruppu beans usili/Beans and lentils stew
  • Kootaviyal/Aviyal cooked with all country veggies
  • Keerai mandi/Chettinad spinach stew
  • Sorakkaai kootu/Bottle gourd stew
  • Vaazhai thandu kootu/Plantain stem curd stew
  • Keerai paruppu poondu kootu/Spinach lentil garlic stew
  • Mulakeerai kootu/Amarnath leaves lentil stew
  • Pudalangai kootu/Snake gourd stew
  • Kothavarangaai kootu/Cluster beans stew
  • Poosanikkai kootu/Yellow pumpkin lentil stew
  • Manathakkaali keera kootu/Black night shade leaves lentil stew
  • Chow chow kootu/Chaypate squash stew
  • Thakkali kaai kootu/Green tomato lentil stew
  • Kathrikkai rasavaangi/Eggplant lentil stew
  • Mor keerai kootu/Buttermilk spinach stew
  • Muttaikose kootu/Cabbage lentil stew
  • Pachai payaru kootu/Moong bean stew
  • Poosanikaai mor kootu/Ash gourd curd stew
  • Chenaikizhangu kootu/Elephant yam stew
  • Kadamba kootu/Mixed vegetable stew
  • Noolkol kootu/Kohlrabi stew
  • Tirunelveli Sodhi
  • Murungakkai kootu/Drumstick lentil stew
  • Avarakkaai kootu/Broadbeans lentil stew
  • Kathrikka kootu/Brinjal stew
  • Sutta kathirkkai Gotsu/Burnt Brinjal stew
  • Parangikkaai paal kootu/Pumpkin stew in coconut milk
  • Pappaalikkaai kootu/Raw pappaya stew
  • Palakkaai kootu/Raw Jackfruit stew
  • Vallaarai keerai kootu/Brahmi booti stew

Chicken Varieties[edit]

  • Arachivitta kozhi curry/Chicken in spicy thick coconut gravy
  • Varuthu aracha kozhi curry/Chicken in spicy ground fried coconut gravy
  • Kozhi milagu varuval/Chicken pepper fry
  • Kozhi vellai kuruma/Chicken in white gravy
  • Chicken 65
  • Chicken pakoda
  • Chicken sukka
  • Chicken ghee roast
  • Kozhi milagu masala/Chicken pepper masala
  • Naatu Kozhi kuzhambu/Country chicken curry
  • Naat kozhi rasam/Chicken soup
  • Chicken Chinthamani
  • Kozhi pachai curry/Chicken corriander and mint curry
  • Pallipaalayam chicken fry
  • Chicken Kola urundai kozhambu/Chicken dumplings curry
  • Madras kozhi kozhambu/Madras chicken curry
  • Chicken chettinad
  • Seeraga samba chicken briyani/Chicken briyani cooked with Seeraga samba rice
  • Ambur chicken briyani
  • Thalapakkatti chicken briyani
  • Chicken 65 briyani

Mutton Varieties[edit]

  • Aatukkal paaya/Mutton trotters stew
  • Nenju elumbu soup/Mutton rib bones soup
  • Mutton kuzhambu/curry
  • Mutton korma in thick coconut gravy
  • Mutton in fried ground coconut gravy
  • Muttom elumbu rasam/Mutton bone soup
  • Nalli elumbu masala/Goat Bone marrow masala
  • Mutton curry dosa
  • Ratha poriyal/Goat blood fry
  • Mutton Sukka
  • Mutton milagu varuval/Mutton pepper fry
  • Mutton Kola urundai kozhambu/Muttom dumplings curry
  • Kongunaadu vella mutton briyani/Kongunaad White mutton briyani
  • Seeraga samba mutton briyani/Mutton briyani cooked with Seeraga samba rice
  • Ambur Mutton briyani
  • Thalapakkatti Mutton briyani

Seafood Varieties[edit]

  • Meen puli muzham/Fish in thick coconut tamarind gravy
  • Meen karutha curry/Fish black curry[in ground fried coconut, shallots, garlic, dried ginger,peppercorns, corriander seeds, red chillies, oregano and other spices]
  • Thengai paal meen curry/Fish in spicy coconut milk gravy.
  • Sura puttu/Fishpittu
  • Iraal masala/Prawn spicy masala
  • Iraal milagu varuval/ Spicy prawn pepper fry
  • Coconut fish fry
  • Nethili meen curry/White bait/anchovies curry
  • Nethili meen varuval/Spicy deep fried anchovies
  • Prawn ghee roast
  • Fish briyani
  • Prawn briyani
  • Meen maanga curry/ Fish mango curry
  • Spicy chettinad prawn masala
  • Fish curry in ginger and coconut milk
  • Spicy Vanjaram fry/Spicy salmon fry
  • Chettinad fish curry
  • Nandu masala/Crab curry
  • Nandu omlette/Crab omlette
  • Nandu rasam/Crab soup

Egg Varieties[edit]

  • Muttai thokku/Egg masala
  • Muttai aviayal/Egg aviyal
  • Muttai milagu varuval/Egg pepper fry
  • Chettinad spicy egg curry
  • Muttai paniyaaram/Egg Paniyaaram
  • Odachi oothina muttai curry/ Egg poached curry
  • Muttai kalakki/Egg Kalakki
  • Muttai korma
  • Egg in thick coconut milk gravy
  • Egg in spicy coconut and tamarind gravy

Sweet Dishes[edit]

  • Arisi thengai payasam/Rice coconut pudding
  • Pasiparuppu paaysam/Moong dhal pudding
  • Kadalai paruppu paayasam/channa dhal pudding
  • Aval paayasam/Puffed rice pudding
  • Khasa khasa paayasam/Poppy seeds pudding
  • Vazhai pazha paayasam/Banana pudding
  • Adai Paayasam/Cooked rice flakes pudding
  • Paal Paayasam/Milk pudding
  • Thengai Paayasam/Coconut pudding
  • Pala pazha Paayasam/Jackfruit pudding
  • Mampazha paayasam/Mango pudding
  • Javvarisi paaysam/Tapioca sago pudding
  • Samba godhumai paayasam/Cracked wheat pudding
  • Semiya paayasam/Vermicelli pudding
  • Thinai paaysam/Foxtail millet pudding
  • Carrot paayasam/Carrot pudding
  • Badam paayasam/Badam pudding
  • Rice paayasam/Rice pudding
  • Sorakkai paayasam/Calabash pudding
  • Elaneer paaysam/Tender coconut pudding
  • Brown rice kheer
  • Sweet potato kheer
  • Apple kheer
  • Thengai bholi/Coconut bholi
  • Paasi paruppu bholi/Moong dhal bholi
  • Then mittai/Honey comb sweet
  • Ingi marappa/Ginger fudge
  • Pori urundai/Puffed rice jaggery balls
  • Kadalai mittai/Peanut jaggery balls
  • Maalaadu/Roasted channa dhal sweet balls
  • Paasi paruppu laddu/Moong dhal sweet balls
  • Ravalaadu/Rava sweet balls
  • Thinai laddu/Fox millet sweet balls
  • Godhumai laddu/Wheat sweet balls
  • Raagi nilakadalai laddu/Raagi peanut balls
  • Ellurundai/Black sesame seeds sweet balls
  • Vella elluruandai/White sesame seeds sweet balls
  • Coconut laddu/Coconut sweet balls
  • Aval laddu/Poha sweet balls
  • Sweet somas
  • Suyyam
  • Kadharppam
  • Mangaadi/Sweet mango in jaggery stew
  • Sakkapalathirattu/Jack fruit in jaggery stew
  • Thirattu paal/Paalguva
  • Palambali/Kongunaadu style rice pudding
  • Apppam
  • Nei appam
  • Unni appam
  • Ammini appam
  • Adhirasam
  • Aravanai
  • Paal kozhukattai
  • Pazham Paniyaram
  • Sakkarai kozhukattai
  • Sakkarai Pongal/Sweet Pongal
  • Aval pongal
  • Kalkandu pongal/Sugar candy pongal
  • Sweet seedai
  • Puttamudhu
  • Mundhiri Kothu
  • Akkaravadisal
  • Jangiri
  • Rava Kesari
  • Pineapple kesari
  • Mango kesari
  • Aval kesari
  • Halwa varieties - Thirunelveli Halwa, Ashoka halwa, Jack fruit halwa, Wheat Halwa.

Traditional Snacks[edit]

Pickles[edit]

  • Elumichai oorkaai/Lemon Pickle
  • Poondu oorkaai/Garlic pickle
  • Ingi oorkaai/Ginger pickle
  • Thakkali oorkaai/Tomato pickle
  • Vengaaya oorkaai/Onion pickle
  • Mangaai oorkaai/Mango pickle
  • Nellikaai oorkaai/Gooseberry pickle
  • Naarthangaai oorkaai/Citron pickle
  • Carrot oorkaai
  • Milagai oorkaai - Green Chilly pickle
  • Red Chilli pickle
  • Sun dried tomato pickle
  • Maavadu
  • Mor Milgai/Sun dried big chillies
  • Puli ingi/ Ginger tamarind pickle

Podi varieties/Chutney powder[edit]

These are the dry chutney powder varieties to be mixed with cooked plain rice and ghee.

  • Paruppu podi/Lentil chutney powder
  • Poondu podi/Garlic chutney powder
  • Idly milagu podi/ Idly chutney powder as a side dish for idly and dosas
  • karuveppilai podi/Curry leaves chutney powder
  • Milagu podi/Pepper chutney powder
  • Ellu podi/Sesame seeds chutney powder
  • Kollu podi/Horse gram chutney powder
  • Nilakadalai podi/Groundnut chutney powder
  • Kothamalli podi/Corriander chutney powder
  • Mint chutney powder
  • Raw banana chutney powder for infants and toddlers

See the notes for the recipes

Regional cuisine[edit]

Over a period of time, each geographical area where Tamils have lived has developed its own distinct variant of the common dishes in addition to dishes native to itself. The four divisions of ancient Tamilakam are the primary means of dividing Tamil cuisine.

  • Chettinad region comprising Karaikudi and adjoining areas is known for both traditional vegetarian dishes like idiyappam, uthappam, paniyaram and non-vegetarian dishes.
  • Nanjilnadu cuisine comes from Nanjilnadu region of Kanyakumari district which forms the southern most part of Tamil Nadu and India.
  • Kongunadu cuisine of Kongunadu region has specialties like Santhakai/Sandhavai (a noodle like item of rice), Oputtu (a sweet tasting pizza-like dish that is dry outside with a sweet stuffing), 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, Kambu Paniyaram, Ragi Pakoda, Thengai Barbi, Kadalai Urundai, Ellu Urundai and Pori Urundai. the region is known for non-vegetarian food made of mutton, chicken and fish. Parota made with maida or all-purpose flour, and loosely similar to the north Indian wheat flour-based Paratha.
  • Madurai region has its own unique foods such as muttaiparotta (minced parotta and scrambled egg), paruthipal (made of cottonseeds), Karidosai (dosai with mutton stuffing) and jigarthanda.

Tamil culinary terms in English[edit]

  • The word curry is an Anglicization of the Tamil word kari.[6]
  • The Tamil phrase milagu thanneer meaning pepper soup, literally pepper water, has been adapted in English as mulligatawny[7]
  • The word congee derives from the Tamil word kanji.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Amma canteen: Where an Indian meal costs only seven cents". BBC News. 2016-07-04. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  2. ^ Shankar, Shylashri (16 December 2016). "A coffee break in tradition". Open the magazine. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. ^ https://www.kannammacooks.com/puliyodharai-iyengar-puliyodharai-kovil-puliyodharai/
  4. ^ Mukund Padmanabhan, Subash Jeyan and Subajayanthi Wilson (26 May 2012). "Food Safari: In search of Ambur biryani". The Hindu.
  5. ^ "Biryani bistro". The Hindu. 11 March 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  6. ^ "Curry; Define Curry at Dictionary.com". Dictionary.reference.com. Retrieved 2013-09-14.
  7. ^ "mulligatawny, n.". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2003.
  8. ^ "congee". Academic Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Retrieved 2017-03-26.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Ammal, Meenakshi, S., The Best of Samaithu Paar: The Classic Guide to Tamil Cuisine: Penguin Books India
  • DeWitt, Dave and Nancy Gerlach. 1990. The Whole Chile Pepper Book. Boston: Little Brown and Co.

External links[edit]