Tamil Nadu Beyond Idlis and Dosas

Tamil Nadu Beyond Idlis and Dosas
Find out more of the variety of foods from Tamil Nadu, Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you are a fan of coconuts and tamarind, you are sure to find something you like on this list

Sahana Iyer
October 23 , 2019
09 Min Read

“I love Tamil food.”

“What do you like?” 

“Idli and Dosa” 

This is a typical (rather exhausting) conversation involving discussion of food from Tamil Nadu. While the appeal of soft idlis and crisp dosas is understandable, there are many other options that are hardly ever even mentioned, let alone tasted. Portions of coconut, vegetables, spices and tamarind mixed together in various proportions to make many delectable concoctions. If you ever get a chance to visit the state down-south, these are dishes you have to know about, if not to taste, at least to increase your knowledge of food from Tamil Nadu.

Tip: You will come across a lot of dishes with ‘zh’ in their name, this is pronounced as ‘r’ without rolling your tongue.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Shanthi Ramachandran (@shaanthram) on Jul 26, 2018 at 10:51pm PDT


Vatha kuzhambu

If you are a fan of intense spicy gravies, this one is ideal for you. This spicy, dark gravy is made with sun dried vegetables or berries or vathals. There are a few versions of this dish depending on the ingredients. The flavour has complex layers with sour, bitter, spicy components swimming on your tongue. The intense heat of the dish is generally balanced with a serving of curd rice along with the gravy. Tamarind is another key ingredient in the dish. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Julia George (@julias_keralakitchen) on Sep 13, 2019 at 11:21am PDT


There are various dishes in Tamil cuisine that are often not the star element of a meal at all. However, these additional dishes add interesting flavour profiles to the meal. One such dish is pachaddi. This accompaniment is a sweet and sour addition to one’s rice and (generally) kozhamba (lentils with coconut). While the ingredients do vary in different recipes or versions, tamarind usually is present in most of the lists.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Winston Raja (@thedebonairmaven) on Jul 1, 2018 at 12:31am PDT

Aatu Kari Kozhambu

Something that is not well-known to people is that a lot of food in Tamil Nadu is created with the help of powders (lentils and spices ground). These add various flavours to the dish. One such dish is Aatu Kari Kozambu, which is a delicious mutton curry. With strong notes of coconut, coriander seeds and spices, this mutton gravy is generally eaten with rice (as are most things in the south). The dish is easy to make and does not require a ton of preparation. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Sini (@siniscollection) on Apr 25, 2019 at 8:34pm PDT

Banana Bonda/ Sweet Paniyaram

Golden, deep-fried dough balls of banana, just the description sounds delicious. This dish is typically served as a snack in late afternoons or evenings. The backdrop of rainy weather would be ideal. The main ingredient is obviously, bananas. These are mixed with ginger and cardamom powder to make a batter and then deep-fried. The result is a crispy on the outside, soft and spongy on the inside ball. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Vasudevan Prasanna (@vpraz74) on Oct 4, 2019 at 7:49pm PDT


This one is soon to be every health freak’s favourite. This snack is low on fat and oil, protein-rich and best of all, delicious. Boiled chickpeas tossed in less oil and then combined with grated coconut, this dish is appetizing and filling. It is often served as prasadam after a pooja (prayer). The addition of spices and herbs add to the taste of the dish. 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by 🔸வாழà¯Â,வாழவிà®ÂŸà¯Ââ— (@_aishukarthik) on May 29, 2018 at 8:02am PDT

Mampazha Sambar

Now, we all know sambar. The delicious, flavourful dip for your piping idlis. But did you know that Tamilians combined the two greatest eatables into one irresistible dish? Mango and sambar together create Mampazha (mango) Sambar. Sweet, spicy and a punch of flavours, the dish is in every Tamil household in the summers. This gravy is generally served with a pile of rice. While the idea sounds like a dessert, it is certainly not. It is a meal gravy eaten just as any other version of Sambar is. 


Such an unbelievable post first-time I visit your site and I am glad to be here and examined this incredible post I have examined a few articles on your site and I really like your style couponstechiecom/promo-codes/amazon-kindle-coupon
will smith April 14 , 2020

After giving head too, Sly had already been close to the edge and the mere touch of Nate on his cock did it for him -- he howled in climax hotgaytubeporncom/hotgaytubeporncom Spurt after spurt of cum oozed from his cock, painting his own stomach, but that did not stop Nate from pounding him for all he was worth, slamming into that no longer tight hold over and over again as he forced it to conform to the wanton shape of him His seed came with a more powerful flow than Sly's and the werewolf's true breeding howl echoed through the room and down the hall -- perhaps even going further afield, but, well thefreegayvideochatcom/thefreegayvideochatcomit was not as if the neighbours were going to complain when they knew that he was a police officer! There were some odd perks to the job too, after all!
Anthony Chester March 04 , 2020

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly Your write up is a fine example of it multidmcom/ig dm
Muneer Ahmed February 01 , 2020

when looking for the _="https://rideons.com.au">kids cars_ then check out the site here
Ben Jones January 29 , 2020

I am unquestionably making the most of your site. You unquestionably have some extraordinary knowledge and incredible stories. _="_nourishdoc.com/TreatmentPlans/Magnesium-for-constipation-relief-constipation-indigestion">does magnesium help you poop_
Muneer Ahmed January 28 , 2020

definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog! _="https://royalcbd.com/">cbd oil for sale_
Muneer Ahmed January 28 , 2020

It was extremely all around composed and straightforward. Not at all like different online journals I have perused which are truly not that good.Thanks a lot _="_ispace1.com/Singles-Unattached">ispace1_
Muneer Ahmed January 20 , 2020

These dishes look so delicious, so varied, thanks for sharing such dishes with us. _="https://bubbleshooterfun.de">bubble shooter_
matthias junker January 15 , 2020

yes, I am a big fan of coconuts and tamarind Thank you so much for this wonderful Information. Regards I am Admin of _="_expertwriterz.co.uk" title="Online academic writing service uk">Online academic writing service uk_
oli via January 14 , 2020

The foods are very sumptuous! _="https://armorservices.com/">roofing florence ky_
Bobby Brooks January 13 , 2020

The collection of _="_sparksupport.com/machine-learning-solutions">machine learning examples_ ideas are making more topics than any other page. The collection of such ideas are making the page special than others. The good collection of topics are making the page more useful than others.
cary louder January 13 , 2020

_="_target-tours.com/honeymoon-tours.html">honeymoon tours in india_
Mahraja Express January 08 , 2020

I love Tamil Nadu food i will go there with my friends very soon to _="http://www.geturholidays.com/tamil-nadu-tour-packages.html">book Tamil Nadu holiday packages _then will try to taste sure.
Poonam Sharma January 01 , 2020

I love this type of food! I had a little bit of it while in Mauritius, an island with plenty of Indian descent... _="_septicpumpingslc.com/">septic tank pumping slc_
Weston Kolste December 31 , 2019

I like Tamil cuisine. my favorite is Pachaddi. you can book _="_honeymoonbug.com/india-honeymoon/tamilnadu-honeymoon-packages.html">Tamil Nadu Tour Packages_ with Honeymoon Bug.
vishnu joshi December 26 , 2019

Food in Tamil Nadu has a special and variety in taste which people will love from any other state as well. this information about the variety of tastes was very useful. The best part was the explanation about the traditional way _="https://organizetechnologies.com/social-media-marketing.html">social media marketing companies_ of cooking what they follow which is the secret of taste in their food.
moses antony December 12 , 2019

The food looks so delicious and very nutritious, I really love eating such foods. _="https://onlinejigsawpuzzles.co">online jigsaw puzzles_
minls suka November 28 , 2019

yes, I am a big fan of coconuts and tamarind Thank you so much for this wonderful Information. Regards I am Admin of _="_britishacademicwriters.co.uk/assignment-writing.php">assignment writing_
Ali Rehman November 19 , 2019

This is a great thing, I think everyone feels this information is very valuable, thank you _="https://basketball-legends.online">basketball legends_
goalken highlight November 08 , 2019

Boiled chickpeas tossed in less oil and then combined with grated coconut, this dish is appetizing and filling. It is often served as prasadam after a pooja (prayer). The addition of spices and herbs add to the taste of the dish. Online _="https://bulletforce.online">bullet force_
Chad Rai October 26 , 2019

Related Articles

Eat Like a Local:...

Siddharth Ganguly May 21 , 2020

Our Other Editions

Outlook’ is India’s most vibrant weekly news magazine with critically and globally acclaimed print and digital editions. Now in its 23rd year...

Explore All
Got a question?Ask Marco
  • Check out our Magazine of the month
  • Offbeat destinations
  • In-depth storytelling
  • Stunning pictures
  • Subscribe