Tamil cuisine is quite incredible and it’s not all about dosas and sambars. A typical full course South Indian meal consists of all the six tastes. Known as Arusuvai in Tamil, the six tastes are sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent. Yes! You read it right. No meal is complete without a dessert.
Come every festival like Pongal, Navaratri, Deepavali the womenfolk of the Tamil families are busy whipping up the traditional sweets for that occasion. Let’s find out the list of traditional sweets of Tamil Nadu.
Sweet Pongal is a delicious porridge-like dish made with rice, moong lentils, ghee, jaggery, cardamom, and dry fruits. It is a traditional dish made to offer gods during Pongal.
2) Maanga Pachadi
Maanga Pachadi or Raw mango Pachadi -a sweet, sour, bitter dish is made with raw mangoes, jaggery, neem flower is a must in the Tamil New Year’s menu
This is sweet with strong connection with Diwali across homes in Tamil Nadu. This deep-fried snack is a combination of two ingredients – Jaggery and Rice Flour. One must visit The Grand Sweets and Snacks outlets to taste an authentic Adhirasam.
4) Wheat Halwa (Tirunelveli)
This quintessential wheat Halwa is made by extracting milk from wheat before cooking with ghee and sugar. This sweet is mandatory for everyone who visits Tirunelveli to return with a few boxes.
5) Macaroons (Thoothukudi)
These are European Macaroons with an Indianised version specially made in the port town of Tuticorin. Macaroons in general are made up of almonds, while Tuticorin macaroons are made with cashew nuts.
6) Ashoka Halwa (Tanjore)
Also known as “Thiruvaiyar Halwa”- this dessert has its origin in Tanjore district. Made from Moong dal, wheat flour, ghee and sugar, this dessert is a must for a great Diwali treat.
7) Sweet Somas
This is the traditional recipe of Tamil Nadu distributed during festivals especially during Diwali. Also called as Karchikai or Somasi. The process is similar to that of a Samosa. Like samosas, the base is made from all-purpose flour. But the stuffing is made from fried gram, coconut, sugar, and cashews.
8) Sweet Pidi Kozhukattai
Basically Kozhukattai is the South Indian version of Modak made in Maharashtra. Like modak, these rice dumplings are also offered to Lord Ganesha during Vinayaka Chaturthi. As the name indicates, these are shaped with the grip of hands (pidi) which gives the distinct shape and the finger marks.
9) Kadalai Mittai (Kovilpatti)
Kovilpatti – a major town in the southern district is a hub for matchsticks. Another export that is suffixed to its name- Kadalai Mittai. This peanut chikki is an excellent anytime sweet snack. Liked by all ages, this candy is made from split peanuts, jaggery, and glucose.
10) Achu Murukku
Murukku is a South Indian crunchy snack. There are many varieties of Murukku. Achu Murukku is a sweeter version made using a mold. Also known as Rose cookies, these are made during Christmas and Diwali.
11) Jigarthanda (Madurai)
This is a very popular drink in Madurai made with almond Pisin and nannari as the main ingredient. Jigar means “heart” and thanda means “cool”.This special drink is considered soothing the heart.
How many of these sweets have you tried?
If you have a favorite, think we missed out any particular sweet on our list, leave a comment below.