15 Tamil Nadu Famous Food Dishes

Tamil Nadu Famous Food

Tamil Nadu is a beautiful state located on India’s southernmost coast. It is home to some of the most delectable and flavorful regional cuisines. Each cuisine has its own set of culinary techniques and spices. Family recipes, old culture and customs, community history, and foreign influences have all been used to support these claims. Some of Tamil Nadu famous foods have carved out a particular place in people’s hearts and have traveled far and wide to win the hearts of many more people.

When you think about Tamil Nadu famous food, you probably think of filter coffee, idli-vada, and dosa. But did you know that the country of temples has a lot more to offer than just temples? Despite the popularity of cuisines from neighboring states, the state’s own foods– Chettinad, Kongunadu, Nanjil Nadu, and Tambrahm — are some of the famous and traditional food of Tamil Nadu. Every part of the state has its unique variants. And if you believe Tamil Nadu is largely made up of vegetarians who only eat curd rice, you’re wrong. Non-vegetarian meals are plentiful throughout the state, and the diversity is astounding.

This region is noted for serving a broad range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines, each with its distinct flavor profile. Payasam, biryani, chicken chettinad, rasam, mutton curry coconut chutney, parotta, curd rice, upma, lemon rice, and a variety of other dishes are among the Tamil Nadu famous food items that people love. A particular mention goes to the mouthwatering seafood of Tamil Nadu’s coastal locations, which may provide you with culinary vacations with an unmistakable flavor that you will remember for a long time. If you’re spending your holiday in the central and hilly districts, traditional foodstuff is waiting to fill your tongue with a unique flavor.

The diversity of its cuisine reflects the diverse civilizations that have come together to form the vast state. Every town has a few Tamil Nadu famous foods that have endured the test of time and are dear to its residents’ hearts. Everything utilised in cooking Tamil Nadu food items, from tamarind pulp to coconut to red chilies, leaves an indelible impression on the mouth. The traditional food of Tamil Nadu is thus spicy, tasty and incredibly delicious.

Tamil Nadu Famous Food

Apart from that, the whole southern area, including Tamil Nadu, is known for its diverse selection of spices, which are also sold to various countries. The state of Tamil Nadu produces chilies, tamarind, cardamom, coriander, pepper, curry leaves, cloves, and mint, among other spices. These spices are the secret behind the amazing scent and delectable flavor of the state’s traditional cuisine. Coconut oil, curry leaves, and drumsticks are three staple components used in practically every dish.

Snacks and side dishes, in addition to the main courses, are a significant element of Tamil Nadu famous foods. Murukku, Banana Chips, Bonda, Appalam, and Green Gram Sprouts (Moong) are some of the snacks and side dishes that you must taste when visiting Tamilnadu. Not to mention the state’s huge tea, coffee, banana, and coconut offerings, which, together with other delicacies, make Tamilnadu one of India’s great cuisine retreats. 

We’ve rounded together 15 of Tamil Nadu famous food dishes and specialties to whet your appetite for a south Indian feast!

Tamil Nadu Famous Food

The powerful meal known as Sambhar must be at the top of this list. It’s a lentil stew with tomatoes and/or tamarind as a flavor base. Sambar is a crucial element of practically every meal in Tamil Nadu and in Tamilian homes nationwide, whether it’s for breakfast or a large traditional Tamilian lunch buffet. To make the Sambar more tasty and healthful, vegetables like carrots, yam, drumsticks, and okra are added to the stew.

Sakkarai Pongal

This Tamil Nadu famous food is prepared with the addition of dried coconut, sesame seeds, raisins, milk, and cashew nuts. This sweet, buttery meal is cooked with newly harvested rice, jaggery, and desi ghee (clarified butter). Sakkarai Pongal is typically produced as a Sun God offering during Makar Sankranti, a three-day harvest festival held in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh in mid-January.


In Tamil Brahmin cuisine, tamarind, coconut, and rice are popular components. Pulioyodharai is a meal that is made by blending tamarind with rice. It’s a unique meal that’s typically served at festivals and special events. It is first presented to God as prasadam when praying in the temple, and then it is consumed by the general public. This tasty spicy & delectable meal is simple to prepare and is usually served with fryums or papadams.

Chettinad kozhi
Tamil Nadu Famous Food

Chettinad kozhi is a typical curry meal with chicken as the main component that originated in the Tamil Nadu area of Chettinad. Turmeric, yogurt, and a mixture prepared with coconut, red chili peppers, cumin, coriander, poppy seeds, tomatoes, black pepper, fennel, onions, garlic, lemon juice, and oil are used to marinate the meat. Needless to say, this dish is one of the tastiest Tamil Nadu famous foods.

Mutton Kola Urundai

One of the spiciest foods you will eat in Tamil Nadu would be these mutton keema balls with Chettinad spices. They’re so flavorful that if you cook them properly, you’ll be eating them like candy in your tongue! The usage of spices in the deep-fried appetizer is spot on, and everything works in unison rather than competing with one another.

Banana Bonda

I know you’ve all seen and eaten Bondas, but this one has a different stuffing from the others while being baked in the same way. Instead of potatoes and other vegetables, it is packed with bananas and then deep-fried in oil. In contrast to the customary hot Bonda, this one is sweet from the banana and is served as a tea snack. Tamil Nadu cuisine never fails to astonish the foodies!


Pongal means ‘bubbling up’ in Tamil, and it’s a unique delicacy from Tamil Nadu. Rice, milk, moong dal (sometimes), and various regional additions are the major components in Pongal. Venn Pongal, Puli Pongal (made with tamarind), Sakkarai Pongal (made with jaggery), and Milagu Pongal are the four types of pongal available in the state (made with black pepper). The primary celebration in Tamil Nadu is likewise known by the same name. It is a harvest festival, and women in Tamil Nadu assemble in a social area to create sakkarai pongal in clay pots as a way of celebrating. 

Tamil Nadu Famous Food

The foundation of this soup-like meal is tamarind, with tomatoes, pepper, and cumin seed added. The rasam is almost like a small pre-dinner snack that won’t fill you up too much before your dinner. The rasam is a well-known meal that is served over rice like a curry. It has a blast of flavor while being practically colorless. It can also be consumed as a soup. It can also help with a sore throat.

Vada Curry

This is a Tamil Nadu famous food dish that is typically served with rice. Chana daal, red chilies, fennel seeds, and other spices are used to make the Vada. The vadas are added to a curry composed of onion, tomato, ginger, and garlic. It has a unique flavor and scent because of the inclusion of curry leaves and tamarind. 

Elumichai Sadam

Lemon rice is another name for this traditional food of Tamil Nadu. Rice, lemon, split black gram, mustard, red chilies, and curry leaves are used to make it. It is also a typical variety of rice cooked in Tamil Nadu homes. It’s a soothing dish, especially in the heat. It’s one of the most delicious Tamil Nadu famous food items that everyone should try. 

Medhu Vadai
Tamil Nadu Famous Food

In Tamil, the word “medhu” means “soft.” Soft vadas (fritters) composed primarily of urad dal that are crisp on the exterior but soft on the inside is what this traditional Food Of Tamil Nadu is all about. It can be served with sambhar, gunpowder, or curry leaf powder, as well as tea or coffee, as an evening snack or appetizer. These are a little hot, but they are delicious.

Paruppu Urundai Kulambu

Dal kofta curry is another name for this dish. It’s a dish cooked with dal koftas or balls that have been dunked in a sour sauce. This curry is typically made with tamarind pulp and curry leaves, giving it a distinct flavor and aroma. This is one of the most loved Tamil Nadu food items which is tasty and light at the same time.

Onion Uthappam

This Tamil Nadu famous food item is very similar to a dosa, except it’s thicker. It may be topped with a variety of ingredients such as onion, capsicum, tomato, coconut, beetroot, eggs, and so on, but the Onion Uthappam is the most frequent and easiest to make. Onion, idli batter, coriander leaves, and green chilies are combined to make this dish. It’s usually served with sambhar, but it’s equally delicious on its own.

Nei Payasam
Tamil Nadu Famous Food

This Tamil Nadu famous food is made with rice, jaggery, ghee, cashew nuts, and raisins. It’s designed for special events such as birthdays or when individuals visit each other’s homes. It is customary in Tamil culture to serve it as a dessert before a meal. It’s wonderful, and the cardamom powder adds a distinct flavor and scent.

Semiya Kesar 

This is a sweet dish from India’s south. Vermicelli, milk, sugar, cardamom, ghee, saffron, chopped almonds, and orange food coloring are used to make it. It’s a delicious dish that can only be found in Tamil Nadu. It’s a meal that everyone should try.

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