Coimbatore also known as Kovai, is the second largest city in Tamilnadu. My visits to this city have always been very short but as usual we don’t leave a city without experimenting its culinary delights 😉
Coimbatore and its surrounding areas are called as the Kongunadu, and the authentic Kongunadu cusine is a absolute delight to devour. Even my hometown Namakkal is also a part of Kongunadu and so my mom makes a lot of authentic kongunadu dishes, though I have tasted most of the recipes at home, eating south indian food in coimbatore is an experience on its own.
Kongnadu Cuisine holds a special place in the South Indian Food Menu for the following reasons
1. Erode a part of the Kongunadu is the largest producer of Turmeric in India and so turmeric is a indispensable ingredient in the south Indian Menu.
2. The whole area is abundant with coconut trees and almost all the dishes have coconut in one form or the other.
3. Instead of the regular cooking oil, many dishes are cooked with Gingelly oil which not only improves the taste but is also very nutritious.
4. Like other south indian cuisine, it is not very oily or spicy and that is one reason that is a favorite for all.
5. Non vegeterian dishes especially chicken and mutton are cooked mostly without marination and they tatse awesome. Still my mouth waters on thinking of my grandma’s Kongu style Chicken Kulambu.
6. Pickles are also very famous, pickles are made with the seasonal vegetables and fruits and stored for the whole year.
7. Desserts are always payasam or halwa or poli which form an important part of south indian menu.
Yummy Kongunadu Kids friendly Dishes
1. Arisi Parupu Satham (Khichdi)
I tasted this dish in my chitti’s house first and became a great fan of it, after I got married most of the days my lunch was this scrumptious dish. Now it is a favorite dish for my kids too 🙂
Arisi Parupu sadam comprises of rice and toor dal as a base with onions and tomatoes flavoured with freshly ground spices. Pacha puli rasam (Raw Rasam) makes a great combo for this dish.
2. Kongu Style Chicken fry or Pallipalayam Chicken fry
This one of the easiest and most yummiest chicken fry that can be done to suit the kids palate too. It uses small onions, turmeric and coconut.
3. Sweet Pathaneer Payasam and Elaneer Payasam
Pathaneer is a juice extracted from the palm tree and it makes a yummy dessert.
Elaneer payasam uses the tender coconut flesh, coconut milk, full cream milk and flavoured with elaichi.
4. Kollu Rasam and Kollu Chutney ( Horsegram Rasam )
Kollu or Horsegram is a nutritious legume with medicinal properties. Even here in Raipur we make this kollu chutney and rasam atleast once in a week. Kollu Rasam or Horse gram helps treat cold and cough in children.
5. Kalkandu Pongal
It is a very yummy dessert made with rice, moong dal and Kalkand or rock sugar or Mishri Sugar.
A yummy list isn’it !!!
If you visit Coimbatore, here are some highly recommended restaurants for south indian food in coimbatore.
1. Shree Anandhaas (Veg) at Lakshmi Mills Junction.
2. Valarmathi Mess for authentic Kongu Non Vegetarian Cuisine.
3. Haribhavanam Restaurant – If you relish spicy south indian food then it is a good choice in Coimbatore.