Tamil Nadu

Where is Tamil Nadu in India?

Tamil Nadu is in the south west of India. The capital of Tamil Nadu is called Chennai, formerly Madras. You may have heard of the dish Madras curry which is found in many Indian restaurants, but curiously is not a well known dish in Chennai, and may have been created in British curry houses in the 1960s.
Chennai in Tamil Nadu
You can see that Chennai is in the top left corner of Tamil Nadu on the coast. You can find many wonderful fresh seafood dishes in Chennai as the sea is very close to the city.

Cuisine of Tamil Nadu

Both Vegetarian cuisine and Non-Vegetarian cuisine is popular among the Tamil people and has been since ancient times.  Dairy products and tamarind are used to provide sour flavors. A typical breakfast meal consists of idli or dosa with chutney. Lunch includes Rice, sambar, Curd, kuzhambu, and rasam.
On special occasions, traditional Tamil dishes are served in a traditional manner, using banana leaves in place of utensils. After eating, the banana leaves are then used as a secondary food for cattle.
Sapad Banana Leaf Meal
Puddings such as payasam are eaten last.
Coffee and tea are the staple drinks.

Culinary terms stemming from Tamilian Language

  • "Curry" comes from the Tamil word kari.
  • The Tamil phrase milagu thanneer refers to "pepper soup", literally pepper water or mulligatawny
  • "Congee" is derived from the Tamil word kanji.

10 Must Try Dishes of Tamil Nadu

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1. Idli - is a soft & fluffy protein packed steamed cake made of fermented rice & Lentil batter (Black Urad Dal). A perfect accompaniment with Sambar or Fish curry. 
2. Sambar - Sambar is a slightly thick lentil-based vegetable stew/curry cooked with tamarind broth, originating from South India. It is popular with South Indian meals.
3. Dosa is a thin crepe like savoury dish made from fermented lentils and rice. It can be served with a potato curry inside, this version is called Masala Dosa, or if can be served plain with chutney or sambar.
Masala Dosa
4. Tomato Rasam is the most basic and essential dish in a south Indian meal eaten with steamed rice. Tomato rasam is made with tomato pulp and cooked lentils to create a soupy tangy dish which is garnished with chopped coriander and tempered with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
5. Chicken Chettinad is a delicious chicken curry from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu. This chicken curry is made with freshly ground aromatic spices & herbs.
6. Madras Fish Curry This is a dish that originated in Chennai’s Fishing Hamlets long before the British established Madras in 1639. This Fish Curry (Meen Kuhzhambu) is an explosion of flavours with pieces of fish fillets in a tangy curry made with ground onions & tamarind juice with the distinct aromatic flavour of sesame oil and ground spices.
7. Potato Poriyal Madras or Chennai style Potato Poriyal fry is a stir-fried dish consisting of chopped potatoes tossed with chopped onions, freshly chopped garlic, herbs and spice powders to create a lip-smacking vegetable dish that serves as a perfect accompaniment.
Potato Poriyal
8. Lemon rice is a popular South Indian flavoured rice where steamed rice is infused with aromatic Indian spices, turmeric, zesty lemon juice, crunchy fried lentils & peanuts to pair with any Indian side dish. This dish was more so reputed in “Railway Travels” where it worked as the most affordable & convenient meal on the go. 
9. Chicken 65 is a deep-fried chicken dish originating from a Chennai based restaurant called Hotel Buhari. It quickly gained popularity as a quick snack or munchies and has become a party favourite all over the country with different variants. Chicken pieces are marinated in yoghurt, ginger & garlic paste along with spices and then deep fried. The Fried chicken pieces are then tossed in a wok with curry leaves, green chillies and finely chopped ginger and garlic.
10. Filter Coffee The traditional South Indian Filter coffee is a beverage made by infusing frothed milk with a coffee decoction made in a special South Indian Coffee Filter. Also referred to as ‘Madras filter coffee’, this rich, milky (usually sugary) brew makes for a comforting cup of hot coffee.
south indian filter coffee

Tamil Nadu Language

In Tamil Nadu the common language is called Tamil. Kayden’s home town in Chennai and he learnt to speak Tamil as a child, however being Anglo Indian his mother tongue is English. The name Khushee is a Tamil word which means joy, delectable, happiness.

Tamil Nadu (Brief) History

There is evidence that pre homo sapiens existed in Tamil Nadu 1000 years before homo sapiens arrived from Africa. In Adichanallur, archaeologists from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) unearthed 169 clay urns containing human skulls, skeletons, bones, husks, grains of rice, charred rice, and celts of the Neolithic period, 3,800 years ago.
Prehistoric finds in Tamil Nadu
The history of Tamil Nadu begins with the establishment of a trinity of Tamil powers in the region—namely, the Chera, Chola, and Pandya kingdoms—all of which are of unknown antiquity. These kingdoms enjoyed diplomatic and trade relations with distant lands. The Pandyas were mentioned in Greek literature dating to the 4th century BCE, and in the 4th century CE, the Roman emperor Julian welcomed a Pandyan embassy.
Among the most famous of the state’s temples, which number in the tens of thousands, are the 7th- and 8th-century structures at Mamallapura, which were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
Unesco Mammallapuram
In 1640 the East India Company of England opened a trading post at the fishing village of Madraspatnam (now Chennai) with the permission of the local ruler. The history of Tamil Nadu from the mid-17th century to 1946 is the story of the British-controlled Madras Presidency in relationship to the rise and fall of British power in India. After Indian independence in 1947, the Madras Presidency became Madras state. The state’s Telugu-speaking areas were separated to form part of the new state of Andhra Pradesh in 1953. In 1956 Madras was divided further, with some areas going to the new state of Kerala and other areas becoming part of Mysore (now Karnataka). What remained of Madras state was renamed Tamil Nadu in 1968.

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