The capital of Tamil Nadu, Chennai, is a gateway to south India. Formerly known as Madras, this coastal town is known to have an interesting history. While it developed during the reign of great dynasties including the Cholas, Pallavas and Vijaynagara Empire, it was properly developed and flourished only during the reign of the British East India Company. This rich history and interaction of different people has deeply influenced the culture and customs of Chennai, including its dietary practices. Despite of the fact that Chennai is a melting pot of cultures, the cuisine of culture has managed to retain its authenticity. This blog lists out all the places where you can enjoy the local cuisine in this wonderful city.
Situated adjacent to the popular Alsa Mall, Montieth Road houses numerous shop-on-wheels, which serve an array of delectable snacks. Locals are often seen enjoying favourites like bread omelette, sandwiches with innovative fillings, aloo tikki and jalebis. However, the one thing that particularly stands out is their piping hot eclectic dosas, which are any culinary aficionado’s delight! After you enjoy the local cuisine, you can drop by at the mall next door and satiate your appetite for some shopping.
While this area is celebrated for housing restaurants offering a plethora of cuisines, it is known for being home to some of the restaurants serving the most authentic dishes of the region. It will take you on a gastronomic voyage across the interiors of Chennai. Here, you can enjoy classics such as the various varieties of Kuzhambu – ‘Manathakkali Vathal Kuzhambu’ or fruits dried overnight and then cooked in tamarind curry, ‘Kongunadu kuzhambu’ or the one cooked in mushroom masala and ‘Mangai vathal kuzhambu’ or dry mango kuzhambu. You can also enjoy Poriyal, which basically refers to any vegetable that is cooked using lots of freshly grated coconut.
Comprising of numerous bistros, this area has quite a few dining options serving some of the best South Indian delicacies in town. You can also enjoy a typical South Indian thali serving dishes like sambhar (lentil cooked with vegetables), appam (fermented rice pancakes made with coconut milk), Pachadior Raita (chilled yoghurt mixed with spices & chopped vegetables) and payasum (a desert consisting of dessert consisting of rice/vermicelli boiled in coconut milk which is flavoured with cardamom & garnished with nuts). After this fulfilling meal, you can drive to the stunning Marina Beach for a relaxing stroll.
Not just authentic Chettinad cuisine served on banana leaves, it is famed for its flavourful Chicken Chettinad (chicken cooked to perfection with a spicy curry made out of a complex contrast of flavours ranging from the tanginess of tomatoes contrasted with the sweetness of onions and the piquancy of red chillies). Other popular dishes include Urlai Roast (potatoes tossed in aromatic spices) & Thayir Sadam (yoghurt rice). After satisfying your hunger pangs, you can visit Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam Temple, which is located nearby.