BM # 56
Week :2 , Day: 5
Theme: Indian States
State : Tamil Nadu
We are in the third week of this mega marathon and this week we are doing Indian States. I have been making Thali’s for all different states. Today is the fifth day and I have a Tamil Spread . While choosing states, I was hesitant in choosing Tamil Nadu. I have so many blogger friends from this state that I felt I would not be presenting anything new to them. At the same time I felt I should do a Tamil or for that matter something from South. I finally decided on Tamil. 
While on my trip to Haridwar I had picked a book at the airport called Southern Flavors by Padma Chandran . This is a beautifully written book where you have recipes from different states of South. It definitely was a boon for me. I shortlisted a menu, but wanted it to be authentic. Valli came to rescue and helped me to plan it. She even drew a picture to tell me how to place the dishes. Thanks Valli ! This would have been difficult without a friend like you! 
Coming to Tamil Cuisine
It is characterized by the use of rice, legumes and lentils. Its distinct aroma and flavor is achieved by the blending of flavorings and spices including curry leaves, mustard seeds, coriander, ginger, garlic, chili, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, green cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, 
On special occasions, traditional Tamil dishes are prepared in almost the same way as they were centuries ago. The recipes are passed from one generation to the other, and served in traditional style and ambiance. The traditional way of eating a meal involves being seated on the floor, having the food served on a banana leaf, and the food is generally eaten with hands. Of course with time spoons too are used. After the meal, the fingers are washed, and the banana leaf becomes food for cows.
While serving a Tamil Spread the dishes are served in a particular sequence, and each dish is placed on a particular spot of the banana leaf. Traditionally, sweets are eaten first. After having worked through the preliminaries, the long haul starts with rice. Sambar is the first course , probably with some ghee. This is followed by rice with Kuzhambu and rice with Rasam. A final round of rice with curd or buttermilk signals the end of meals. A banana may be served last.

Caramel Payasam
Let’s check the menu for The Tamil Spread
(a thick creamy Indian sweet with rice and milk , with a mild caramel flavor )
( Indian semolina cake , rich in ghee, saffron and cardamon )
( a spicy tangy lentil curry with veggies )
( a soup from south flavored with cumin seeds and black pepper )
( a tangy curry with shallots and lady fingers)
( bottle gourd and lentil stew,a simple comforting dish )
Arvi Roast
( a spicy side dish with french beans and coconut )
(a simple comforting side dish with cabbage )
( a potato curry simmered with onions and tomatoes)

( batter fried plantain chips)

Thakkali Rice

( tomato flavored rice, with a delicious nutty spice powder)

Boiled Rice

( plain simple white boiled rice)


( clarified butter)

Pachimilagai Kothamalli Thayir Pachadi

( green chilly, coriander and beaten curd mixed to make a raita)


(deep fried puffed Indian flat bread)

Neer mooru

( buttermilk tempered with mustard and curry leaves)


(sundried green chilly)


( rice papad)

Banana Chips

( crisps made from raw plantain )



Rawa Kesari

Podi Potta Paruppu Sambar

Jeera Milagu Rasam

Vendakkai Puli Kuzhambu

Paruppu Suraikai Kootu

Arvi Roast

Masala Beans Poriyal

Cabbage Poriyal

Potato Kurma

Thakkali Rice

Pachimilagai Kothamalli Thayir Pachadi

Vazhakkai Bajji

Neer Mooru

This spread was a complete treat for the family, as South Indian is one of the most relished cuisines with the family and we ate it the traditional way, served it on a plantain leaf. The Bhindi Kuzhambu , Potato Kurma, Arvi Roast and Beans Poriyal were most preferred dishes and are now in the list of Daily Menu.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 56

Tamil Spread

18 thoughts on “Tamil Spread”

  1. this thali would put a south indian to shame :-))) so beautifully done Vaishali !!

    btw the book u r referring to is by Chandra Padmanabhan right ?? or Padma Chandran :-))

  2. Vaishali, I had to peep into this post..:)..and showed it to Amma as well..she was so impressed!…will come back again to read on the rest!..I simply love this spread you have on well done…

  3. Seriously amazing, wonderful,mindblowing spread.I would only dream about and can never think of cooking so many dishes in a day.You have done marvelous posts in this BM.Everything looks delicious.

  4. this is a life saviour post for me..i will tell u soon why….i loved the presentation and liked the idea of using small katoris on banana leaf…this is as always another awesome thali frm your repertoire

  5. My mouth is just watering here, wat an impressive thali and loved the way you displayed all those wonderful dishes, after seeing your Thali i feel seriously bad for not making a thali for this week's theme.

  6. Another amazing thali.. This is the first time, i knew all the dishes in your thali 🙂 I love my food on banana leaf..In our native , almost everyday we have our food(esp lunch) on banana leaf, in gives unique flavor to the food ..Well made & kudos to your effort.

  7. Vaishali, how do you even manage to make such elaborate meals? You are just amazing. Kudos to your efforts. Your Tamil spread looks just so inviting and tempting.

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