10 delicious dishes from Tamil Nadu you must try in Chennai

What is Tamil Nadu cuisine? This cannot be determined in a sentence or with a binary response. Like every region in India, the culinary traditions of Tamil Nadu go back many centuries. But not every dish has a timeless heritage, many of which we define as Tamil cuisine today may have actually taken root in restaurants in state capitals and culinary destinations. other real like Madurai. There is no better place to explore Tamil Nadu’s rich culinary arsenal than Chennai. It is impossible to create an exhaustive list of dishes but our list is a good starting point:

Kari dosai: The three-story dosai in Madurai’s Konar Mess is a local legend. A thick dosa, an omelet and a layer of minced lamb. This is not a dosai you can take lightly. Repeat order at your own risk and wash it down with Bovonto, Madurai’s very own refreshing drink. This is available now at their Chennai store.
Try it at Konar Kadai, Whannels Road, Egmore

Dindigul Biryani: Dindigul’s biryani gets its unique flavor from local lamb, fine grained rice (samba samba) and a water source near the town. Chennai version approaching. Thalappakatti Biriyani is one of the flag bearers for Dindigul style biryani. The restaurant started in Dindigul and takes its name from the founder’s preference for wearing a turban (thalappakatti).
Try it at Dindigul Thalappakatti, 11th Avenue, Ashok Nagar

Curry Vada: a quintessential Chennai dish, this is a mixture of raw dal in a flavorful gravy. It’s almost like the common way of preparing masala vada. One of the theories surrounding the origin of Vada curry is that this dish is made from leftover vada flakes that are added to the sauce. By all accounts, curry vada was invented in a restaurant before it became a popular Sunday breakfast option in many homes. It is commonly served in many homes and restaurants with idli, idiappam, set dosa. I like to dig into the bowl with a spoon.
Try it at Mari Hotel, Saidapet or Motel Mamalla, East Coast Road, near Mamallapuram

(Also read: 8 best restaurants in Chennai that you must visit)


Curry Vada

Idiappam Paya: Idiappam or wire funnel may taste the same everywhere but there is a marked difference in the accompaniment. Some of Chennai’s iconic restaurants do pay-for-pepper dishes cooked with mutton gravy. Samco is one of those legendary restaurants that hasn’t tweaked its Pepper paya recipe since the 1960s. It’s like Nihari Gosht cooked with lamb. A lot of butcher shops in North Chennai offer special smoked lamb chops for salary.
Try it at Samco Hotel, Eldams Road or Zum Zum Hotel, Second line beach, Parrys

Sakkarai (Sweet) Pongal: is an indispensable part of the menu on the day Pongal Thirunaal or Pongal is the most important day of the Pongal festival. This harvest festival is the largest on the state’s festival calendar. Sakkarai is the Tamil word for directions but oddly enough, Sakkarai Pongal is usually cooked with jaggery rather than sugar. The melting process of jaggery is the key process in this dish, this syrup is blended with a mixture of rice and greens. There is also a little camphor that gives the dish a unique flavor
Try it at Murugan Idli (T Nagar or Besant Nagar) shop

Uthappam onion: For the uninitiated, Uthappams may be very similar to dosa but they are not exactly the same. Crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside, this is pretty much where dosa meets idli and is a popular evening snack or dinner dish that can be cooked in a flash. It tastes even better with the slightly sour dosa dough. Onion Uthappam is the most popular version and is cooked with chopped onions and green peppers with the reassuring flavor of gingelly (sesame) oil.
Try it at Murugan Idli outlet (Besant Nagar) or ID at Chennai Airport (Domestic Departure)


onion uthappam

Meen Kuzhambu: there is a legend that the chefs at the Velu Army Hotel still talk about. Their founder (Velu Ambalam) has to enjoy their signature Meen Kuzhambu (Fish gravy) every day when he drops into the restaurant (from at least a few buildings). If not, he’ll burst into the kitchen, pour in the day’s cooked gravy, roll up his sleeves, and make Meen Kuzhambu from scratch. This fish gravy has deep roots in Tamil popular culture and in homes across the state. It tastes equally good with rice and as an accompaniment to idli or dosa.
Try it at Velu Army Hotel, Eldams . Road

Adhirasam: CHEAPThese popular sweets date back to the reign of the formidable Chola dynasty nearly a thousand years ago. This deep-fried pastry is actually a combination of two ingredients – jaggery and rice flour; The flavor is enhanced by the quality of the oil (gingelly or groundnut oil). The cooking process is laborious and requires skill and experience.
Try it at Grand Sweets Adyar or Suswaad Mandaveli

Percolator: Ask any true blue Chennaite they miss the most away from home, and you’ll most likely hear filter coffee. It’s not just a drink that most Chennaites wake up to, it’s an emotion. Chennai’s version of filter coffee is quite similar to the state’s famous Kumbakonam specialty coffee. Most restaurants brew this drip coffee in large colored pots and serve it in cups and glasses (cups). Strong coffee with condensed milk that coats the tip of your tongue is always invigorating.
Try it at Sangeetha Adyar or Mami Mess Mylapore

(Also read: 8 of the best Chinese restaurants in Chennai)



Chicken Pallipalayam: One of Tamil Nadu’s most famous chicken dishes and a dish synonymous with the Kongunad region of West Tamil Nadu. This dish takes its name from a small town near Erode that perfects this unique condiment – Pallipalayam chicken powder. It elevates this chicken nuggets cooked with shredded coconut. While some families and restaurants have switched to raising broilers, the traditional recipe for Pallipalayam chickens is free-range chicken.
Try it at Kovai Alankar Mess, Anna Nagar or Junior Kuppana Nungambakkam 10 delicious dishes from Tamil Nadu you must try in Chennai

Ryan Perry

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