When you are in Chennai, you are not just in the capital city of Tamil Nadu – the southernmost state in India, but are also in the third largest metro city of the country, and the epicenter of South Indian culture. With a history dating back of the many centuries ago, the culture and vibe of the city exuberates a sense of great interest and richness. The same is evident from the cuisine which is prevalent in the city, with a host of authentic South India delicacies to delve. Listed below is a list of the most famous dishes from the platter of this southern most metro city of India itself. Have a look:-
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There is no better way to start your day in Chennai, by having a bite into the authentic daily breakfast – Puttu. This literally translates into jacketed cylinders made from rice, and is served steaming hot with a gravy of chickpeas. The garnish to the sides is generally made up of coconut, and many other variants of side curries are also popular.
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Another popularly consumed breakfast delicacy and something which health experts all across the country would encourage you to indulge into is ‘Appam’. Composed predominantly of coconut milk and batter of rice, this is Chennai’s answer to the pancakes of the West. If the concentration of the base ingredients is increased, the same delicacy is referred to as Pallapam. Many other variants of Appam are also commonly served in Chennai such as Honey and Egg Appam etc.
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An extremely Chinese looking dish from the South Indian hues of delicacies is the ‘Idiyyapam’. Made from the flour of rice, which is battered into the shape of noodles and cuddled into a concentrated palette, Iddiyyapam is generally served with some form of a curry or ‘chutney’ made from egg, fish, meat or potato.
4. Sundal of Chana
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The south Indian kitchen has a long lived fetish with chickpeas, and this is yet another dish composed of the cherished grain. Made into a stirred fried form, Sundal is composed of whole grain chana or chickpeas, with rice and curry added to it while stirring. You can obviously not miss the spicy flavor of the dish, thanks to the generous hand of spices used on it by the authentic cooks.
5. Chicken Chettinad
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For the non-vegetarian relish’s, the city of Chennai is not at all disappointing. Bite into the spicy taste of chicken chettinad, made from poppy seeds, roasted chilies, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds and many other authentic spices, made into a curry to amalgamate with the chicken.
6. Puliyogare Rice
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Chennai obviously has to offer all that you can ask for, and more in terms of delicacies made from rice. ‘Puliyogare’ is what the Tamil call ‘Tamarind’ as, and the dish is made by mixing boiled rice with a paste made from the same. This is usually served with the traditional chutney made from coconut, called as ‘Thengai’.
8. Bhath or Bisi Belle
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Another rice made delicacy, the traditional form of Bhath is made by mixing rice with nutmeg, toor dal and a host of other spices. An interesting add-on with the dish is either potato chips or pappadums.
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You cannot afford to miss the famous Uttapam, made from rice flour as the base, and fried with vegetables and spices added to its top.
9. Kothu Parotta
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Another Chennai offering for the non-vegetarians, Kothu Parotta is made from eggs and meat, and has a unique traditional sauce called Salna added to it, to give it the spicy tinge. Leave the comforts of plush restaurants, and head to the streets for the best taste.
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For a quick and light evening snack, try the crunchy taste of the Murukku, made from a combination of rice and urad dal flour. Grab a few while you sip on authentic filter coffee in Chennai.
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Try something sweet in rice delicacies, with broken wheat and tapioca added to it, cooked with sugar to give you Payasam. Having a milk base and loaded with dry fruits, it is a health desert as well.
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A traditional dumpling made from rice flour, the Kozhukkatta is sweetened using jiggery and is a not to be missed desert.
13. Mysore Pak
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This is one delicacy which is common to the Kannada cuisine as well, and would melt in your mouth.