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Relish the royal flavours of Tamil Nadu, that date back to the reign of the Pandya kings. Explore the unparalleled assortment of traditional dishes marked by its spicy and tangy flavours.

You might know Madurai for its legendary Meenakshi Temple but did you know it is also called the food capital of Tamil Nadu? With a culinary tradition that goes back to the 12th century, the region has developed a mouth-watering line-up of dishes that rivals some of the best cuisines of Tamil Nadu.  

Their idiyappams, uthappams, and panniyarams are dishes to die for. Madurai cuisine with its refinement of culinary practices over the years attracts foodies from all over Tamil Nadu who will swear by the unparalleled taste the region offers. Madurai idlis are famous for their fluffiness, and when combined with Mutton gravy, take the definition of taste to new heights. On the sweet side of things, one of the must-taste dishes that comes from Madurai is the popular milk dessert called Jigarthanda. 

Non-vegetarians have a reason to rejoice at Virudhunagar because the region’s Coin Parotta, a deep-fried flatbread, served with Mutton gravy is guaranteed to send them over the moon. The lanes of Madurai also host a variety of street foods (check out some of the food tours that happen here) like Kothu Parotta, Mutton Chukka, Kari Dosa (dosa topped with choice of meat), Kola Urundai (meatballs), Elumbu Roast (made using goat bone), and Paruthi Paal (milk extract from cotton seeds). Madurai’s Bun Parotta along with Vazhiyal (batter of beaten egg, onion, and mutton gravy) is a must-have dinner combo if you are staying over.


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Jigarthanda is a much-sought-after roadside drink in Madurai, a beverage that literally translates to “that which cools the heart”. This cooling drink from the city that never sleeps has its similarities with Falooda, though the key differences lie in the ingredients used.

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Mutton Chukka

Mutton Chukka is one of the popular dishes from Madurai made of tender goat meat. The word ‘chukka’ means ‘dry’ and the dish is made by cooking the mutton till the water content dries up. It is an authentic recipe made using freshly ground spices with lip-smacking flavours that any meat-lover would kill for. The dish pairs well with any kind of rice, porotta, naan or dosa.

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Kari Dosa

The mouth-watering Madurai Kari dosa is the best bet for any meat lover to fall in love with the legendary Madurai cuisine. The three-layered Kari dosa made of a bottom layer of plain dosa, omelette and a top layer of spicy mutton keema (minced mutton) brings out the true local flavours that reward one of the most fulfilling experiences.

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Elumbu Roast

Madurai Mutton elumbu (bones) roast is another scrumptious dish from the Pandiya Nadu cuisine that has an unparalleled variety of meat dishes made with the most delectable flavours. Elumbu roast is a rich and flavourful dish where the bones of the mutton are simmered in a spicy gravy and served with piping hot rice or dosas.

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Paruthi Paal

The street food scene in Madurai has some unique dishes that are uncommon in other parts of Tamil Nadu. One such dish is the Paruthi Paal, a nutritious beverage commonly served to guests as a welcome drink. Paruthi Paal, made from cotton seeds is packed with many health benefits that include antioxidant properties, and it is also believed to improve digestion and blood circulation

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Flavours of Tamil Nadu

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