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Nanjil Nadu cuisine is a delicious blend of the rich culinary traditions of Tamil Nadu and Kerala that you can experience in the southernmost tip of India. It conveys the flavours of these adjacent states with its copious use of coconut and coconut oil.

The southernmost part of Tamil Nadu – Kanyakumari and its surroundings – are fondly called Nanjil Nadu from where this cuisine gets its name. The cuisine is highly inspired by the culinary traditions of its neighbouring state, Kerala, both in its choice of ingredients and the method of preparation. Like other cuisines of Tamil Nadu, Nanjil Nadu cuisine has a distinct and authentic flavour that reflects the residents’ love for fish and coconut. The people of the region prepare dishes with a lot of vegetables, pepper, shaniya, green chilli, ginger and garlic. Borrowing certain traditions from their neighbouring state, they use the thicker, reddish-brown rice, that’s served piping hot with an assortment of vegetable- and fish dishes.  

The cuisine charms the connoisseur with an impressive line-up of authentic dishes like Theeyal (a traditional vegetable stew), Ulunthanchoru (lentil rice), Vendhaya Kuzhambu (Fenugreek Stew), Kinnathappam (Plate cake), Nanjil Fish Curry, and Mutta-avial (assortment of vegetables steamed with egg).

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Kondaikadalai Theeyal or Chickpea Theeyal is a flavoursome curry from Nanjil Nadu cuisine. Most recipes from this land are known for their generous use of coconut, Theeyal being no exception. The roasted coconut in the curry brings in a distinct flavour that is accentuated by the chickpeas added to it. The speciality of the Theeyal is that the chickpeas added here can be replaced with drumstick, brinjals, onions or garlic, each of which never fails to bring out the authentic flavour of the curry

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Ulundhu Choru / Ulundhu Saadam

Ulundhu Choru or Ulundhu Saadam from the Nanjil cuisine is loaded with nutrients and is a traditional recipe. Made by making use of black urad dal and rice, it is a one-pot meal and served with spicy fish curry or any curry of choice.

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Nanjil Fish Curry

There is no other dish in Nanjil cuisine that proves the residents’ love of fish and coconut than the aromatic Nanjil Nadu Meen Kuzhambu (fish curry). The ingredients sometimes vary depending upon the choice of vegetables such as drumstick, raw mango or tomato but the base gravy is always made of grated coconut.

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Munthiri Kothu

Munthiri Kothu is a traditional sweet recipe which is also popular in Kerala. This can be a guilt-free indulgence for those who are health-conscious and yet have a major sweet craving. This snack doesn’t contain any refined sugar and is made using green gram and jaggery coated with a layer of rice batter and deep-fried.

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Pazham Sarbath / Fruit Mix Sarbath

Pazham (fruit) Sarbath is a refreshing summer thirst-quencher and popular street drink in Kanyakumari and parts of Kerala. Sarbath is a traditional juice made using natural flavours. The Nannari syrup used to make the cooling drink is extracted from the roots of a herb called Nannari. Its roots are ground and boiled with jaggery to form a syrup.

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Flavours of Tamil Nadu

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