Ten Dishes in Chennai Food That You Simply Must Try!


The delicious cuisine of Chennai is something that everyone must experience. And if you think that all there is to it is idli-dosa and vada-sambar, then today might just be your lucky day for you can finally escape that rock you’ve been living under and encompass the true delight of Chennai’s dishes because we have got you covered. The cuisine of Chennai forms a truly essential part of the South India thali and is one of its kind. It additionally offers a great variety of dishes so there is something for everyone in it. Let us dive into the scrumptious journey of ten dishes of Chennai food that you simply must try!

1. Murukku Sandwich

Dishes of Chennai Food-Murukku Sandwich

Who doesn’t love the taste of the crunchy and twisty murukku? Now imagine a murukku sandwich. Sounds odd at first but the taste is what makes it worthwhile. The origin of the dish was a happy accident. This delicious sandwich consists of layers of the ever-amazing murukku, acting as the bread only it’s crunchy which makes it all the way better. The filling remains the same (onions, cucumber, and tomatoes). The sandwich is, of course, incomplete without the seasoning of some homemade masala and cheese.

2. Mysore Pak

Dishes of Chennai Food-Mysore Pak

To all confused as to why a dish that originated in Mysore is included in the list of must-try dishes of Chennai? It might surprise you to know that Chennai has sold more than its namesake itself. This dish is a staple of every household and is the go-to sweet for celebrations. It is the dish that people bring you back from when they visit Chennai and it is that same dish that melts in your mouth with each bite being truly heavenly.

3. Chicken 65

Dishes of Chennai Food-Chicken 65

A dish now eaten with delight throughout the country, the credit for its origin goes to the very own Hotel Buhari of Chennai. This spicy fried chicken dish is something that one must eat. You must be wondering: why 65? The reason behind this is widely thought to be the number of chilies that are used in this flavorful dish that will have you reaching for water. If in Chennai, your meal isn’t complete unless you order a fiery plate of Chicken 65, that is if you dare.

4. Atho

Image – FOOD JUNKtion/FB

This is again a dish that did not originate in Chennai but as is our habit, we took it and made it our own with a delicious spin. The Madras Atho is an amalgamation of Burmese and Indian cuisines, attributing to its unique taste. It is one of the most prominent and delectable street foods in the city. A truly crunchy and invigorating dish, it is all the more perfect for anyone looking for a little spice but not too much.

5. Filter Coffee

Filter Coffee – Wikimedia

In Chennai, your day doesn’t start without a cup of fresh filter coffee and you must have heard the expression, ‘When in Rome, do as Romans do,’ so following the same spirit, a must-try for anyone visiting Chennai becomes the infamous filter coffee. This meticulously brewed coffee gives truly delectable results with its specialty being the froth which will coat your mouth in its entirety. The reason behind this is the heavy milk and strong coffee that is used in its preparation.

Suggested Read – Delicacies of Tamil Nadu Food that You Must Try!

6. Kozhukattai

Dishes of Chennai Food-Kozhukattai

Kozhukattai, a popular dish of Chennai food, can be considered similar to Modak. The dish itself is made from rice flour, with the filling inside traditionally consisting of either grated coconut sweetened with jaggery syrup but can consist of a savory filling as well. Another staple of households in Chennai, these sweet dumplings are also a popular item exchanged at weddings because their plump shape represents good health as well as fertility.

7. Sundal

Image – Wikimedia

A dish found in every corner of Chennai, Sundal is one of the most widely available street foods in Chennai that is offered at every beach and temple. This is a dish that is quite simple to make at home with its primary ingredient being soaked Chana which is then given flavor by adding grated coconut, a variety of spices and chilies, unripe mango along with other ingredients. Peanuts, lentils, chickpeas, etc. are common additions to this spicy and tangy dish of Chennai.

8. Kothu Parotta

Dishes of Chennai Food-Kothu Parotta

The resourcefulness of the people of Chennai is truly reflected by this next mouth-watering street food of the city. As its name suggests, the foundation of this dish is a classic Kerala Parotta but it’s so much more than that. The Parotta is mixed with eggs, chunks of meat, and a spicy tomato sauce which is popularly referred to as salna, hence giving form to the Kothu Parotta. This delicious and unique dish is, therefore, a must-try.

9. Uthappam

Dishes of Chennai Food-Uthappam
Image/Ewan Munro/Flickr 

An eminent dish of South India, uthappam is similar to pancakes but savory. They became popular as a breakfast dish because of the sour nature of leftover dosa batter and they soon became a favorite, because of course, they’re delicious. The ingredients of this delicious uthappam are rice, spices, lentils as well as herbs. Vegetables are added on top to enhance their taste. They are consumed with either chutneys or sauce.

10. Puttu

Dishes of Chennai Food-Puttu

A dish renowned for its unique taste and texture, puttu is made from steamed rice, which is in the form of a cylinder with a filling inside that can be either sweet or savory. Furthermore, it is layered with coconut shavings. This delicious dish is served with side dishes such as sugar, banana, lentils, curry, or even ghee. The preparation of puttu takes meticulous prep as water is added to rice until the perfect texture is achieved.

These diverse and delicious dishes are bound to leave one hungry for some mouth-watering delicacies such as these! After all, eating good food is equal to a good mood as it brings us a sense of joy and you have to admit that there is nothing that brings people together as much as food does. Don’t eat to live, live to eat, and explore the cuisines of the world as much as you can! So, what was your favorite dish from this list? Let us know in the comments below.

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