Updated: June 7, 2022 1:11:19 pm
Travel is not always for the adventure and thrill of being in a new place. It’s also about finding new cuisine authentic to a particular place. Tamil Nadu is bestowed with a huge number of mouth-watering dishes that also have several regional variations. The appealing aspect is, that most of these snacks aren’t close to being unhealthy like western junk food. It’s an impossible task to jot everything down on a single page, but we’ve tried our best to narrow it down to a few nonpareils.
If a Dosa can be coupled with a Vada, this combo can only be found here—the ‘Vada Curry’. The taste of curry immersed deep into the powdered Parippu Vada (dal vada) is simply ecstasy. The dish is spicy, slightly crunchy, and very healthy too! One can even have Vada Curry just as it is, without combining it with other dishes. Vada Curry is the best side dish replacement you can opt for if you’ve had enough sambar or chutney for your daily idli or dosa or even some rice. Vada Curry delicacies can be found in almost all parts of Tamil Nadu, where you can find a decent lunch option. Shoutout to ‘The Maari Hotel’ in Saidapet, Chennai, just in the vicinity of Karaneeshwarar temple, which provides an authentic flavour and delicious Vada Curry along with crispy dosa and chutney. Vada Curry is a dish that will satisfy your taste palate as well as satiate your stomach – something always worth relishing!
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If you get a chance to seal a dessert into your taste buds forever and ever, it has to be nothing other than the luscious and sweet ‘Elaneer Payasam’ (Tender Coconut Pudding) of Pollachi. The authentic Elaneer Payasam can be tracked down to western Tamil Nadu, especially in Erode, Coimbatore, Pollachi, Namakkal, etc. regions. The dish is a combination of tender coconut water, coconut pulp, and milk, with a pinch of sugar.
The distinct aroma of cardamom, along with coconut flesh and milk, adds to the blending of flavours. This Elaneer Payasam is a must-try delicacy on the list of any foodie taking a trip in Western Tamil Nadu.
Kathirikai Gothsu/ Brinjal Gothsu
Are you a fan of the “Ven Pongal”? The authentic Pongal dish of Tamil Nadu! Yes, maybe not many are fans on a daily basis, but you will surely become one if you have it in combination with this tasty “Brinjal Gothsu” instead of the regular sambar-chutney. Brinjal Gothsu is a brinjal curry that gives the pure taste of brinjal and onion along with tamarind – all in perfect consistency.
This Gothsu (also called ‘Gotchu’) not only goes well with the Ven Pongal, but is also an amazing side dish for idli, curd rice and the epitome of all with the ‘Thinai Pongal’. You can get the best and most authentic Brinjal Gothsu in Chidambaram, Cuddalore etc. It’s one of the sought-after Tamil breakfasts to have while planning a trip to the Nataraja Temple or the Pichavaram Mangrove Boating.
Nanjilnadu Meen Kuzhambu/ Fish Curry
The dishes from the southern coastal Tamil Nadu region are known for their genre of speciality seafood, fish in particular. The ‘Nanjil Nadu Fish Curry’ is a bona fide coastal fish recipe, native to the Kanyakumari district, which can play tunes on our tongues. The ‘Meen Kuzhambu’ is filled with the sweet aroma and delicious taste of tomato, chilli powder, and the luscious fish, added with the oil which oozes out from the grated coconut. This spicy gravy goes best with hot South Indian boiled rice on a banana leaf. Get down south and never miss this spice trail on your plate and palate along the coasts of Kanyakumari.
Nagercoil Adai Aviyal
In this day and age, somewhere in our routine lives, we seem to forget that some of our simple yet traditional dishes were indeed much healthier and so much tastier than any of the modern ready-made, fast-food stuff. The ‘Nagercoil Adai’ is the perfect Adai/Dosa which is a crispy, fulfilling, and unforgettable authentic dish of South India. The days were amazing when mom or grandma used to make Adai on a firewood stove and all the kids would sit around waiting for their Adai to be served hot from the thick dosa Tawa filled with smoke but also with love. This is best with, once again, an authentic South Indian dish – Aviyal. The Aviyal is the combination of so many vegetables all cooked together in steam with grated coconut or coconut milk. It is the best side dish for a vegetable lover and never fails to grab the attention of all. Sit down at a hotel on the roadside on a nice morning to enjoy the soulful Aviyal and Adai in and around Nagercoil.
Salem Thattu Vada Set
Want to eat something crunchy, spicy and tasty! Get to Salem Road and grab a Thattu Vada set. It’s available at roadside stalls and bigger eateries, too. The dish is a combination of spice-filled grated carrots stuffed in between crunchy and yummy Thattu Vadai, which is a flat, crispy, deep-fried rice cookie slathered with green mint and smeared with tomato-onion chutney. It’s the bliss of having ‘one more’ after one more, and on. The snack is indeed so famous that it’s available even in Coimbatore and Erode districts, and one can’t stop having it again.
Virudhunagar Ennai Parotta
Parotta is a ubiquitous bread found almost everywhere in and around India, but Virudhunagar offers something special. The Parotta is not made on a Tawa but instead dipped in hot oil and fried to perfection. Guess what? This special Parotta is much crispier and more fulfilling than a regular Parotta and tastes so much better. The side dish, called “Empty Salna,” is a plain curry with pure vegetarian ingredients. The spicy food, along with crunchy Parotta, shouldn’t be left without trying authentic chicken curry too. On every other trip, hit the eateries in Virudhunagar to devour these Parottas and quench your thirst for food-love.
Hope we have managed to trigger the palates of food connoisseurs to visit Tamil Nadu and try out these food wonders!
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