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Food as a part of Tamil culture plays a role in everyday life as well as in festivals. In many families, everyday meals are sit-down affairs consisting of two to three main course dishes. Eating with hands is considered important in Indian etiquette. Rice predominates in most of the dishes of the Tamilians. Lentils come next.This post highlights some popular dishes of Tamil Nadu, and also refers to its certain age old practices of food habits for good health..


Meen  Kuzhambu: It is spicy red colored fish gravy. Chief ingredients being chili powder, coriander powder, tamarind extract and shallots. In most villages, it is cooked in a mud pot over a charcoal fire.

Dosas:  Made with rice and lentil, it is eaten with chutney and sambar. Refer to one of our earlier posts to know more about Dosas.

Idly: This is a steamed dish made with rice-lentil batter, and eaten with chutney.

 Idiappam:  They are made of rice flour and are steamed. Refer to our previous post for its varieties.

Puttu:  This is made from rice flour, and is served steaming hot with gravy of chickpeas. The garnish to the sides is generally made up of coconut.

Appam:  It is a dish made predominantly with coconut milk and batter of rice. Variants of appam include egg appam.

Sundal: Sundal is essentially a dry dish made from desi channa, kabuli channa or black eyed beans, seasoned with mustard, green chillies, ginger and coconut.

Uttapam: Uttapam is made from rice flour as the base. Fried onions, chilies and pepper are added to its top.

 Kozhukkatta: A traditional steamed dumpling made from rice flour. This again has many varieties.


Fermented foods: Idly , dosa, appam  are made from fermented  batter. Fermented food is rich in vitamins, compared to the raw unfermented ingredients. It can be used as a dietary supplement to treat people suffering from malnutrition and kwashiorkor.

Ghee: It is an integral practice of ayurvedic herbal formulation. It helps balance excess stomach acid, and maintains the mucus lining of the stomach.

Jeera Water: It is very good to control flatulence, dyspepsia, diarrhea and cold.

Jaggery: It has more mineral salts and is beneficial in treating throat and lung infections.

Coconut: It is rich in short and medium chain fatty acids. Lauric acid , the major component of coconut has been recognized for its antibacterial, antiviral and antiprotozoal functions. Coconut helps lower the risk of both atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Curd: Curd is basically a milk product made by fermentation of milk. Yogurt is good for the digestive system. It is a good source of calcium, carbohydrates and proteins to the body.

We, at Amma South Indian Restaurant, with great concern for the good health of our customers, follow to the tee the age old customs of our roots. Visit us; We are here to serve you!

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