Top 20 Authentic Dish You Should Never Miss in Chennai
Chennai city has many chain of restaurants and hotels that serves typical authentic foods. The specialty of the city is it also houses many famous street food corners and low cost eateries which every class of people can afford. The Nat Geo Traveler magazine’s recognition which featured Chennai in top 10 cities for best food around the world is a testimony to the fact that Chennai is a true food city of India.
Though there are many new restaurants with different cuisines, there are number of authentic South Indian dishes that are all time famous and most preferred by people here.
Here, we will see some of the mouthwatering authentic dishes that you should never miss in Chennai.
Idli is a very famous breakfast in Chennai which is prepared by the mix of rice and black gram flour. Idli is generally served with Sambar and varieties of Chutneys.
Where to eat: Murugan Idli Kadai, A2B, Saravana Bhavan, Balaji Bhavan, Ratha Café, etc.
Vadai is a deep fried delicious dish served in almost every hotels for breakfast. There are varieties of Vada like Medu vadai, Masala or Parupu vadai, Sambar vadai, Thayir vadai, etc.
Where to eat: A2B, Saravana Bhavan, Balaji Bhavan, Ratha Café, Murugan Idli Kadai
This delicious dish is prepared by the mix of rice and black gram flour and it is one of the favorite food for many across the globe. There are varieties of Dosas like Masala Dosa, Onion Dosa, Ghee Dosa, Uthappam, etc.
Where to eat: A2B, Saravana Bhavan, Balaji Bhavan, Rathna Café, Murugan Idli Kadai, etc
Idiappam is a noodles like dish which is prepared by boiling rice flour in steam. Idiappam is often served with Sugar and coconut milk.
Where to eat: A2B, Saravana Bhavan, Balaji Bhavan, Rathna Café, Murugan Idli Kadai
Paniyaram is another authentic dish of Tamils which is cooked in a special vessel called as Paniyaram Pan. This yummy dish comes in two versions, sweet and spicy.
Where to eat: Murugan Idli Kadai, A2B
Pongal is another common breakfast dish in Tamil Nadu which is served with Chutney and Sambar. This healthy dish is prepared using raw rice, Ghee, lot of pepper and nuts.
Where to eat: A2B, Saravana Bhavan, Balaji Bhavan, Rathna Café, Murugan Idli Kadai, etc.
Sakkarai Pongal is another version of Pongal which is sweeter. It is generally prepared for all festive seasons in Tamil Nadu. This dish is prepared using Jaggery for sweetness.
Where to eat: A2B, Saravana Bhavan, Balaji Bhavan, Ratha Café, Murugan Idli Kadai
Koozhu or Koozh
This true authentic dish is known for its healthy and nutritious value. It is a widely served dish in almost every Tamilian homes in olden days. This dish is mostly served in Pots and Glasses. You can find many street side vendors who still sell this in Chennai.
It is a variety of Biriyani which is commonly called as Dindigul Thalapakkatti Biriyani. This mouthwatering Biriyani is authentic to Tamil Nadu and it is originated from a place called Dindigul. The Dindigul Thalapakkatti Biriyani is served in many outlets across the city which is also called by the same name. This Biriyani is best known for its unique flavored masala and it tastes totally different from the regular Biriyanis.
Where to eat: Dindigul Thalapakkatti Briyani
Chicken 65 at Buhari
Photo Credit:Divya P(https://www.flickr.com/photos/113955566@N08/)
Chicken 65 is a deep fried chicken starter which was first introduced in Hotel Buhari in the year 1965. Today, it is one of the most preferred chicken starter in almost every South Indian hotels.
Where to eat: Buhari, Anjappar, any other Chettinad Hotels
Plantain leaf Meals
Eating meals (lunch) in Plantain leaf (Banana leaf) is a tradition followed in Tamil Nadu. It is a common practice where food is served in Plantain leaf for the relatives who are visiting their home. A typical Plantain leaf meal will have unlimited rice, varieties of Porials (Cooked Vegetables), Kuzhambu (Veg or non-veg gravy), Rasam (Pepper soup), Curd, More (Diluted curd with masala) and a sweet. Though the tradition is to serve every meals in Plantain leaf but it is very famous for lunch and many hotels in Chennai follow that.
Where to eat (Non Veg version): Ponnusamy, Anjappar, and any other Chettinadu Hotels
Where to eat (Veg version): Saravana Bhavan, A2B, Balaji Bhavan, Sangeetha, Rathna Café, etc.
Parotta is a common dish in every hotels in Chennai. It is prepared from Maida flour and it looks like a multi layered bread. Though it is not considered as healthy food, it is one of the most selling dish due to its taste. Parotta is commonly served by Kuruma(or Chalna) or any other gravy. There are many varieties of Parotta like Veechu Parotta, Egg Parotta, Kothu Parotta, coin Parotta, etc.
Where to eat (For Non Veg): Buhari, Anjappar, and any other Chettinadu Hotels
Where to eat (For Veg): Saravana Bhavan, A2B, Balaji Bhavan, Sangeetha, Rathna Café, etc.
Appam is another authentic food of Tamil Nadu which is made from specially grinded rice flour. This dish is commonly served with sweet coconut milk and also with spicy gravy. There are many varieties of Appam like, stuffed Appam, Chicken and Mutton stuffed Appam, etc. The most famous outlet that serves this dish is Nallas Appa Kadai.
Where to eat: Nallas Appa Kadai and many other Chettinadu Hotels
Jigarthanda or Jil Jil Jigarthanda is a famous refreshment drink originated from Madurai, Tamil Nadu. This delicious drink is prepared by mixing milk, nuts, Nannari Sarbath syrub and Ice cream.
Where to eat: Murugan Idli Kadai
Kozhukattai is a famous snack prepared using rice flour and Poornam. Poornam is mixture of dhal and Jaggery which is stuffed inside the layers of rice flour. This yummy dish is mostly prepared during Hindu festival times like Vinayagar Chaturthi, etc.
Where to eat: Saravana Bhavan, A2B, Balaji Bhavan, Sangeetha, Rathna Café, etc.
Filter coffee is prepared by mixing boiled milk and decoction brewed from Coffee powder through a special process. It is generally served in Dabara set, which is a combination of silver tumbler (Glass) and a small bowl. The other famous filter coffee is Kumbakonam Degree Coffee which is served in copper bowl.
Where to eat: Saravana Bhavan, A2B, Balaji Bhavan, Sangeetha, Rathna Café, Kumbakonam Degree Coffee outlets.
Puliyodarai or Tamarind rice is prepared by mixing rice with specially cooked tamarind paste. Puliyodarai is a common dish in Tamil Nadu and it is mainly prepared for takeaway when people are travelling. This heavenly dish is also served every day in many temples in and around Tamil Nadu.
Where to eat: A2B, Saravana Bhavan, Balaji Bhavan, Vasantha Bhavan, Sangeetha
Karandi omelette and Kalakee
Picture Credit:Masala Kart(https://www.flickr.com/photos/100233820@N06/)
Karandi omelette is prepared through a special process where the egg is cooked using a karandi(a big spoon). The omelette will look like a ball which is commonly stuffed with Chicken or Mutton pieces. Kalakee is another version of half boiled (or Bulls eye) egg where the egg is blended on the cooking pan itself to make the yolk and egg white are mixed together.
Where to eat: Junior Kuppanna, Dindigul Thalappakatti
Meen Kuzhambu with Meen Varuval
Meen Kuzhambu is an authentic fish gravy prepared by mixing unique masala and tamarind with fish. This gravy is best tasted with boiled rice and it also taste heavenly with Idli and Dosa. Meen Kuzhambu with rice and Fried Fish(Meen Varuval) is a must try combination in Chennai.
Where to eat: All Chettinad Restuarants like Anjappar, Ponnusamy, etc
Picture Credit:Pradeep Sekar(https://www.flickr.com/photos/pradeepsekar)
Karuvattu Kuzhambu is also a gravy prepared similar ingredients like Meen Kuzhambu but using a dried fish. Dried Fish are very famous in Tamil Nadu where the Fish are marinated with salt and dried under sun to store for future. This gravy is generally served with rice and it is one of the common food in coastal Tamil Nadu. This dish is mostly not served in hotels and it is best cooked at home.
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