Tamil Nadu has always been a hub for food connoisseurs to take a great pleasure of some of the finest traditional cuisine in the country. Accordingly the state to be one of the best places for offering a bagful of culinary treasure for tourists to savor. But the fascinating thing about Tamil Nadu is the touch of their customary culture which with its every delectable fare. Idly, Sambar, Dosa, Uthappam, and Vada are just a few names whenever it comes to popular South Indian food. Albeit there are some other equally popular traditional food of Tamil Nadu that are not much in outside world except the region but are sure to delight your taste buds. Also these includes payasam, biryani, chicken chettinad, rasam, mutton curry, coconut chutney, parotta, curd rice, upma, lemon rice and much more.

Traditional Food of Tamil Nādu:

1. Sambar:

traditional food of tamil nadu

Although this list has to begin with the mighty dish called Sambhar. Altogether vegetables such as carrots, yam, drumsticks and okra to the pot of Sambar to make it more delicious and nutritious.

2. Puliyodarai:

food of tamilnadu

Another traditional food of tamil nadu comes from combining tamarind and rice is Puliyodarai. It is a special dish and during festivals and special occasions. First, it to God as prasadam while praying in the temple and then enjoyed by people. It is really easy to prepare this tangy delicious dish and with fryums or papadams.

3. Pollachi Nandu Fry:

tamilnadu food

This one is for the seafood lovers! Tamil Nadu is a coastal state and there are many cities who have the pleasure of feasting on some incredible seafood dishes. One such dish the Pollachi Nandu Fry.

4. Rasam:

famous tamilnadu food

Rasam is a tangy, peppery broth that has with typical spices like curry leaves and mustard seeds. These frequently in Tamil cooking and the rest of South India. It is very different from Sambar and can with rice or just on its own. Rasam tastes best when its steaming hot and can any time of the year. Depending on the season, you can experiment with different lentils and ingredients (can add meat or seafood into the mix too) and enjoy this yummy Tamilian dish!

5. Mutton Kola Urundai:

food of tamilnadu

These mutton keema balls flavoured with Chettinad spices will be one of the best dishes that you will eat in Tamil Nadu. They are so flavoursome that when prepared well, there is you will be eating them like popping candy in your mouth! The use of spices in making the deep-fried appetizer is perfect and everything sings together in harmony rather than overpowering one another.

6. Chicken Chettinad:

top food of tamil nadu

This mouth-watering dish is a specialty of the Chettyar community of Tamil Nadu. Contrary to popular believes, there are many regional non vegetarian dishes within the broad category of Tamil food. Every region has its variations and Chettinad cuisine happens to be one of them. It is chicken marinated in yogurt, turmeric, a variety of spices such as poppy seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds, and other flavour add ons. It can be prepared in a dry or gravy style and with either steamed rice or a rice flour paratha.

7. Filter Kaapi:

tamilnadu famous food

A meal in South India is complete when you enjoy a cup of Filter Kaapi (filter coffee) afterwards. It is customary in South Indian homes to offer a cup of Filter Kaapi to guests before and after a meal. The coffee in a special metal device that resembles two cylindrical cups. If given the chance, you need to watch how the coffee and what makes it so frothy while serving.

8. Pongal:

pongal food of tamil nadu

In Tamil, Pongal means ‘bubbling up’ and it’s a very special dish of Tamil Nadu. The main ingredients in Pongal are rice, milk, moong dal (sometimes) and other regional additions. There are four variations of Pongal that you can enjoy in the state – Venn Pongal, Puli Pongal (made with tamarind), Sakkara Pongal (made with jaggery) and Melagu Pongal (made with black pepper). Tamil Nadu’s main festival also goes by the same name. It is a harvest festival and as a manner of celebration, women in Tamil Nadu gather in a social space and prepare the Sakkara Pongal in clay pots.

Traditional Sweets of Tamil Nādu:

1. Paayasam:

sweets of tamil nadu

This is a thick, creamy dessert that is ubiquitous throughout Tamil Nadu. Ingredients used can include vermicelli, rice, chickpeas or green gram with the base being milk or coconut milk. It is prepared during all auspicious occasions including festivals.

2. Rava Kesar:

traditional sweets of tamil nadu

This is a delectable sweet perfect for all occasions. Brightly coloured with saffron, this dessert is very creamy and inviting and similar in texture to sooji halwa.

3. Mysore Pak:

traditional sweets of tamil nadu

This is a simply bewitching dessert made from gram flour, sugar, and fragrant cardamom powder roasted in oodles of ghee. It and cut into squares. Popularly known as the ‘king of sweets’ in the south, it is a must-have dessert during Dussehra festivities and other occasions.

4. Boorelu:

tamil nadu traditional sweets

Symbolizing joy and festivities, these deep-fried ball shaped sweets are a wonderful delicacy in Tamil Nadu. The filling of boiled and mashed chickpeas flavoured with jaggery, coconut and cardamom powder with a thick batter of black gram and rice before frying. They are worth every bite of hard work that goes into its making!

5. Ukkarai:


A popular dessert served during Deepavali in Chettinad, it’s made of steamed green gram and Bengal gram flavoured with jaggery, coconut and cardamoms.

6. Kozhukkatai:


A sweet dumpling made from rice flour and had a filling of coconut and jaggery. These melt-in-the-mouth snacks to Lord Ganesh during Vinayaka Chaturthi.

Street Food of Tamil Nadu:

1. Parotta:

street food of tamil nadu

Parotta flat bread that from Maida. It has its roots from the North Indian- Paratha. The Maida dough, rolled and finally flattened to make this delectable dish. Parotta is so famous that a Parotta stall can after every other building. Parotta with a type of Korma which differs in every region. In some regions it with egg curry and in other, there is a special curry called the – Chalna to go with it. This curry using chicken or mutton. Parottas by Tamilians for every other occasion and once you try them, you’ll know why.

2. Kalaki:


Kalaki is a type of South Indian omelette that in Parotta stalls. This Omelette recipe is so similar to the regular one and yet so different that you will want for more. This omelette using whole egg and onions that to cook on the flame for about minute before they are taken out, so that they are only half done. This is a dish for all the egg lovers who like to eat eggs no matter the occasion. Have it after your Parotta for a fulfilling experience.

4. Mutai Dosai:

Mutai Dosai

Known as the brother of Idlis, Dosas are another favourite of the Tamilians. Made from the same batter from which the idlis, Dosas are prepared by spreading the batter on a Tava and cooking it. Mutai Dosai literally means- Egg dosai. An egg opens on top of the dosai when it is cooking and later garnished with onions or pepper. Mutai Dosai is absolutely yummy.

5. Vada:


One of the favourite street foods of the Tamilians are the Vada’s. There are different types of Vada’s. Some are sweet while some are salty and spicy. But the most well-liked and flavoursome of all the Vada’s is the Ulundi Vada. Ulundi is the Tamil name of a type of lentil-Urad. This Vada is characteristically extraordinary because it has a hole in the middle (no one knows why.). All the Vada’s are either had with Sambar or Coconut chutney or both. Vada’s are the most popular snack which with tea or coffee.

6. Chicken Fry:

chicken fry

Chicken fry may the most preferred fast food by all, but it is emerging as the most popular street food across Tamil Nadu. A lot of stalls that up these days are those of Chicken. People are becoming more inclined towards eating non-veg and the results are these stalls. Mostly these are what they call- Chicken 65 stalls that are becoming exceptionally popular.

7. Sundal:


Chana Sundal is a South Indian stir fry dish made with white chickpeas. Sundal by people on the beach, and they can with newspaper cones filled with Sundal in them. Sundal by boiling these Chickpeas and later giving it a tadka and finally garnishing it with coconut. There are some spicy varieties of the dish as well, but the traditional way is always better. The smell of Sundal is evidently the best.

8. Biryani:


Biryani is the all-time favourite of all the Indians. Be it the Muslim Biryani, the Hyderabadi Biryani or the South Indian Biryani, people never seem to get enough of it. The taste of the best South Indian Biryani is on the streets. After 7:00 pm, a lot of Biryani stalls up and most of them serve Chicken Biryani. If you feel you are too late to eat at a restaurant, you can always eat at these Biryani stalls and trust me the taste of the Biryani served by them is much better than those of the hotels.


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