Tamil Nadu - Tamil Nadu Cuisine

Tamil Nadu Cuisine

Our Land of Tamil Nadu provides the visitor with a large variety of delicious food both for vegetarians as well as for non-vegetarians, though most food in Tamil Nadu consists of grains, lentils, rice and vegetables. Different kinds of spices are added to give a distinctive taste to the dish.

Breakfast, which is simply called Tiffin includes idly (steamed rice cakes), dosai (which is like a pancake made from a batter of rice) and lentils crisps fried on a pan, vada (deep fried doughnuts like, which is again made from a batter of lentils), pongal (a mash of rice and lentils boiled together and seasoned cashew nuts, pepper and cummin seed sometimes with ghee), uppuma (cooked semolina seasoned in oil with mustard, pepper, cummin seed and dry lentils.)

  TamilNadu Cuisine

There are also variations in dishes mentioned above which are often eaten with coconut chutney (nothing but coconut paste), sambar (which is seasoned lentil broth) and mulaga podi (a powdered mix of several dried lentils with oil or ghee).

Cuisine of Tamil Nadu


  • Idli
  • Dosai
  • Lentils crisp fried on a pan
  • Vadai (deep fried doughnuts made from a batter of lentils)
  • Pongal (a mish mash of rice and lentils boiled together and seasoned with ghee, cashew nuts, pepper and cumin seed)
  • Uppuma (cooked semolina seasoned in oil with mustard, pepper, cumin seed and dry lentils.)
  • Coconut chutney
  • Sambar (seasoned lentil broth)
  • Molagappodi (a powdered mix of several dried lentils eaten with oil)
  • Lunch

  • Cooked rice served with an array of vegetable dishes
  • Sambar
  • Chutneys
  • Rasam
  • Moru/Thayir (Yogurt)
  • Crisp appalam
  • Lunch or meals consists of cooked rice served with different kinds of vegetable dishes, sambar, chutneys, rasam (a hot broth made from tomato and tamarind juice with pepper) and curd (yogurt). For a non-vegetarian lunch, curries or dishes made from mutton, chicken and sea foods. The meals are incomplete without crisp papads or appalam.

    Chettinad cuisine

    Chettinad cuisine is very special in Tamil Nadu and which will be really delightful for people who like hot and spicy food. This type of food has several varieties including non-vegetarian dishes like fish, mutton and chicken dishes. The Tamil style of Mughali food can be tasted in biriyanis and payaa. This payaa is a kind of spiced broth which is eaten with parathas and appam. Tamil Nadu’s capital, Chennai is known for its filter coffee as most Tamilians have delicacy for instant coffee.

    Filter Coffee

    The making of the famous filter coffee is traditional, where coffee beans are first roasted and then ground. The powder is then added into a filter and boiling hot water is added to it, to prepare the decoction. The decoction is then added to milk with sugar. The drink is poured from one container to another in rapid succession to make an ideal frothy cup of filter coffee.

    Like all other South Indian states, Tamil Nadu is also known for a wide variety of delicious food both for the vegetarians as well as the non-vegetarians. Grains, lentils, rice and vegetables are the main ingredients of the traditional foods of Tamil Nadu. Spices add flavor and give a distinctive taste to the Tamil cuisines. Some of the most common and popular dishes of the region are idly, dosai, vada, pongal and Uppuma. Coconut chutney and sambhar invariably form a part of most of the Tamil dishes.