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Top 5 local dishes to savour in Chennai

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Many external entities have influenced Chennai. This metropolis situated along the Coromandel coast has proven itself to be a vibrant culinary destination even when it is perceived to be skewed towards South Indian cuisine. If you are someone who believes that Chennai’s cuisine doesn’t stretch beyond Idli and Dosa, then you are in for a treat. Be it hotels in Chennai or local street food; you are bound to be surprised. Here are 5 local dishes straight from the heart of Chennai.


1. Mulligatawny Soup
The East India Company thrived from Madras, and its imprints are still visible in the city of Chennai. The British didn't just revamp the South Indian rasam but also borrowed the Tamil word - milagu thani (pepper water) and adapted it. This soup is a perfect amalgamation of traditional ingredients like grated coconut along with some British additions like apple, carrot and chicken, and is usually served with a few titbits of rice. Eat this at Gymkhana and Madras club.

2. Atho
Chennai’s Burmese connection is evident in Atho. A lot of Tamils left Burma in the 1960s, and a few of them opened small establishments where they serve Atho. This dish includes Atho – fried noodles tossed with cabbage, onion and tamarind juice. This delicacy can be found in places where the influence of Burma is stronger. You can find this scrumptious dish in the Burma Colony, Ma Tint Tint and also at prominent hotels in Chennai.

3. Nethili Fry
Chennai is a treasure trove of seafood and the hotels in Chennai are filled with the choicest of fishes. One of the crunchiest seafood snacks you can find is the Nethili fry. This dish is made by frying anchovies and tossing them in a spicy masala. This can be found anywhere from 5 star hotels in Chennai to local restaurants.

4. Sundal
Sundal is the perfect evening snack to sit and eat at the Marina Beach. A humble mix of boiled chana, mustard seeds, coconut, raw mango and curry leaves, and this snack is an all-time favourite of the locals. Sundal is a traditional snack that is served during the 10-days of Dusshera and also a popular bar snack in clubs and pubs.

5. Filter Coffee
Nothing is complete without the mention of the famous filter coffee. A staple drink of the people of Chennai, the filter coffee is consumed all day long. From Saravan Bhavan to Mylapore, the divine coffee is sold from sunrise to sunset. This concoction contains high-fat milk which oozes froth makes sure that the froth lingers on your tongue. This heavenly drink can be had at local establishments or even 5 star hotels in Chennai. 


From the local Chennai hotels to 5 star hotels in Chennai, the delicacies are similarly crunchy, tasty and delicious. From authentic South Indian to small hints from around the world, Chennai compels you to fall in love with the essence of Madras. Chennai turns out to be the city you fall in love because of its multi-characteristic cuisine, and it makes you stay.