A Taste of Tranquebar: Unveiling the Famous Dishes in Tamil Nadu

Tranquebar or Tharangambadi, boasts a rich history and a vibrant culture. This captivating town, influenced by Danish, French and Portuguese colonial settlements, offers a unique blend of these influences in its architecture, traditions and most importantly, its cuisine. In this blog, we will embark on a delectable journey to explore the local food scene of Tranquebar, savouring its unique flavours and hidden gems.

Delights Unique to Tranquebar

  • Meen Kulambu (Fish Curry): This flavourful fish curry is a speciality of Tranquebar. Freshly caught fish is simmered in a coconut-based gravy infused with aromatic spices like turmeric, coriander and chillies. The result is a rich and flavourful curry that perfectly complements steamed rice or appams.
  • Korma Kozhi (Chettinad Chicken): While a Chettinad staple, the version found in Tranquebar boasts a unique twist. Tender chicken pieces are marinated in a blend of spices like cloves, cinnamon and star anise, then cooked in a creamy gravy containing poppy seeds and cashew paste.
  • Tharangambadi Puzhukku (Shellfish Fry): Seafood lovers rejoice! This dish features a variety of locally sourced shellfish like mussels, clams and prawns marinated in a spicy masala paste and then shallow-fried. The result is a crispy exterior and juicy interior bursting with flavour, perfect for a light meal or a side dish.
  • Vettukadu (Sun-Dried Fish): A unique Tranquebar speciality, Vettukadu is a sun-dried fish preparation. Small fishes are cleaned, seasoned with salt and spices and sun-dried for several days. The resulting dried fish can be enjoyed as a crunchy snack or used to add a smoky flavour to curries.

a bowl of fish curry as seen from above with dry chillies on the side
a filter coffee kept on a table with coffee beans littered next to it

A Street Food Symphony

  • Murukku: These crunchy, twisted snacks are made from rice flour and lentils and are seasoned with various spices.
  • Vadai: The most famous food in Tamil Nadu, these savoury fritters are made from lentil or chickpea flour and are deep-fried until golden brown.
  • Filter Coffee: No exploration of South Indian cuisine is complete without a cup of filter coffee. Voted the 2nd best coffee in the world by TasteAtlas, this strong and aromatic coffee brewed in a traditional filter is served with hot milk and sugar, offering the perfect way to kickstart your day or end a meal on a high note.

Tranquebar's Renowned Food Homes

  • Anamma Mess: This local favourite is known for its authentic Chettinad cuisine. The menu features an array of flavourful curries, biryanis and seafood preparations, all prepared using traditional methods.
  • Buhari Hotel: This historic establishment, erected in the early 20th century, offers a diverse menu catering to various palates. From South Indian staples like dosa (fermented rice and lentil crepes) and idli (steamed rice cakes) to Mughlai dishes like kebabs and biryanis, the Buhari Hotel offers a delectable culinary journey.
  • Local Street Vendors: Don't miss the vibrant street food scene in Tranquebar. Sample fresh fruits, sugarcane juice and an array of sweet and savoury snacks from local vendors.

a local street vendor looking at a crowd while they order food from his cart

Beyond its historical and architectural marvels, Tranquebar offers a unique and flavourful culinary experience. From unique local dishes to vibrant street food, the town promises a journey for your taste buds. So, embark on your culinary adventure in Tranquebar and discover the hidden food items in Tamil Nadu that make this town a true foodie's paradise.

And when in Tranquebar, think about staying at Coconut Alley by Neemrana Hotels. This former British Captain’s home is a dream stay for travellers with its attractive rooms, strategic location and aesthetically pleasing decor. Book now for an unforgettable stay in Tranquebar at Neemrana's Coconut Alley while tasting the food of Tamil Nadu.