Coimbatore food is distinctly South Indian and rice based dishes are a plenty here. Its South Indian roots are obvious and the multi cultural populace reflects in the range of Coimbatore cuisine. The flavors are predominantly mild and most dishes have a variation or two to suit the diverse population.
Cultural Influences on Coimbatore Cuisine
Some of the popular dishes include idli, dosa, halwa, mysorepa, vada sambhar and biryani. In recent times there has been a significant influx of pizza shops and coffee shops which are now popular hangout places for youths. Popular Indian food brands such as Annapoorna, Snganna, Sri Krishna Seets , Hari Bhavana etc originated in Coimbatore. Though fiercely traditional, Coimbatore has also accepted Chinese and North Indian dishes into its ever growing cuisine. Traditional Coimbatore food is served on banana leaves.
Popular Dishes of Coimbatore Cuisine
- Idli : Idly is a popular snack and breakfast item for many Tamilians in Coimbatore. They are basically rice pancakes. They are considered to be nutritionally very good as it contains both carbohydrates (rice) and protein (urad dhal). It is usually eaten with chutney(side dish).
- Dosa : Dosa is fermented pancake made using black lentils and rice batter. It is the staple dish not just limited to Coimbatore but also in most of the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu.
- Avaraikkai Kootu : Avaraikkai or Field beans is a commonly eaten vegetable side dish in South India.
- Pongal : Pongal is the special food prepared during the harvest festival in Tamil Nadu. It is prepared in different ways, the favorites being Sakkarai Pongal and Ven Pongal.
- Thenkai (Coconut) Chutney : In South India, thenkai chutney is a very common accompaniment to breakfast dishes like idli and dosa. It is made using coconut and is an easy to make side-dish that adds a nice flavor.
- Vendakai(Ladys Finger) Poriyal
- Vendaikai is a very common vegetable in Indian cooking. In South Indian cooking, Vendaikai Poriyal is made by cooking or sautéing Lady’s finger with gravy based combinations.
- Katti Pruppu : Dhal curry is made with dried and shelled red gram (tur dhal or pigeon pea). It is a simple dish which is usually served at the start of a meal along with rice. Goes well with most Coimbatore food.