Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu and an important part of South India is home to a potpourri of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian cuisines and is famous for its exclusive food culture and traditional range of cuisine, which is known as the South Indian food. An actual South Indian person starts the day with a cup of hot filtered coffee, which is the signature beverage of the capital city, and also of the South Indian region. Rice is the staple food of South India and this is why most of the food items are made of rice: be it the breakfast, lunch, snacks or dinner.
In breakfast, people prefer to have idli (steamed rice cakes) or dosa along with coconut chutney or tomato chutney. Both these are made from a fine paste of rice and lentils. They also like to have upma (made of rava), idiyappam or vada. In lunch, there is a variety of food including steamed rice served with sambar, rasam, kootu, buttermilk, chutney and curry. The non-vegetarian meal includes curry or dish prepared by chicken, mutton or fish. However, the lunch is incomplete without pickle, salad and papad or appalam. In the evening snacks, they love to have chilly or onion pakoda, vada, murukku along with filtered coffee.
From idlis and parottas to idiyappam and curry dosa, the streets of Chennai are swarming with stalls that cater to everyone’s palate. There’s a variety of street food to choose from in Chennai with hundreds of such vendors selling local delicacies. It is a craze among the young crowd, cheap and convenient for people on-the-go and of course tasty as ever. Let’s have a look at some of Chennai’s best known street appetizers.Made from a batter of fermented black lentils and rice, these rice cakes are a popular street food in the streets of Chennai. It is a traditional breakfast item and makes a tasty snack on the streets when served with a combination of nariyal or coconut chutney and sambhar.
Chennai, the land of historical and cultural legacies, is noted for its rich classical music, centuries old film industry and finger-licking South Indian delicacies. The mildly hot traditional cuisine of Chennai, loaded with rice, legumes, lentils and a host of spices, promises to be a sensory overload. From yummy appam to finger-licking Chettinad Chicken to highly aromatic filter coffee, Chennai cuisine is all about zest and flavors. But that is not all to Chennai food. If you think that food options in Chennai are limited to idli, vadas and upmas, then you couldn’t be more wrong. Chennai has legions of restaurants catering to cuisines from all across the globe. With an exciting variety of both local and continental cuisine catering to a host of delish delicacies from all across the globe, dinning in Chennai definitely promises to be a memorable experience for the epicureans.
The deep influence of Tamil culture can be well perceived in the local cuisine of this coastal city. Chennai cuisine is a blend of different flavors like sweet, sour, bitter and spicy and offers quite an extensive range of delicacies when it comes to talking of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Idli, vada, dosa, idiyappam, uppma and pongal are some of the city’s favorite breakfast choices. For lunch or dinner, you can bet on traditional meal of rice, vegetable curry, sambar, rasam, curds etc. If you love non-vegetarian food, then the famous Chettinad dishes are a must-try. Apart from this, Chennai is also known for its filter coffee. The Saravanaa Bhavan Group of restaurants in Chennai is quite famous for its excellent vegetarian meals.
Although the city’s food tradition is majorly influenced by authentic Tamil Nadu cuisine, Chennai has some delectable regional cuisines to offer to its gastronomists. With the changing trend and lifestyle, Chennai has become home to spicy North Indian, sweet Bengali, rich Punjabi and many other regional foods. With a huge number of restaurants catering to diverse dishes from other states, people can enjoy any regional dish of their choice during their trip to Chennai. Bay Leaf restaurant on Ambujambal Street in Alwarpet is famous for its mouthwatering Punjabi and Bengali foods.
Chennai cuisine is not just limited to traditional and regional cuisines, but has extended its platter to a diverse range of dishes that caters to the globetrotters from all over the world. Although European, Chinese and Continental cuisines have been an integral part of city’s a la carte, Mexican, Thai, Italian, Japanese and Korean have slowly and successfully made their to the menu cards here.
Eclair - The Patisserie ,Chennai (Madras), Tamil Nadu
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