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Top 10 Street Foods of Chennai

We all know that home-made food is hygienic and nutritious but somewhere somehow we all would like to taste funky, spicy, tangy, mouth-watering – Street Food. We forget the unnecessary calories, fats, and hygiene when it comes to gulping those tangy – Pani Puri, Masala Dosa on the roadside vendors. We neglect everything and keep our focus on the taste and availability. Every city or town has a specific road, location or market where you find these street foods. Every food in each location has its unique local touch which differentiates it from the other.

Each food has a distinctive recipe and process but the best part is each one of them is loved and cherished by people of all age and every category of the society. Be it a child of 4 years or an adult of 50 years, be it a middle-class customer or a rich factory owner street food is tempting for all.

Top 10 Street Foods of Chennai

Let’s find out the street foods which are famous in Chennai.

1) Idli Sambhar

Idli Sambar

One can find this food anywhere and everywhere across south India, which has two main constitutes- Idli and the Sambhar. Idli is steamed batter of a mix of fermented black lentils and rice. Sambhar is a kind of a vegetable stew on a broth of tamarind. The food is served hot with white chutney made up of coconut and green chutney.

2) Parottas


Across all streets, hotels, and restaurants of City, this layered bread made of Maida is served. Maida, egg, ghee and water is kneaded, made layers and then baked into crispy bread. The flatbread is served hot with Sambhar and white chutney made of coconut.

3) Idiyappam


Also known as Semige or the string hoppers this is a traditional food of south India and is made of rice flour. Kneaded into the dough by mixing rice flour and water, occasionally ghee, and then pressed into noodles. These noodles are then steamed and are served hot with Sambhar or coconut Chutney.

4) Dosa


Not to be mentioned as to where it is found and how many types of Dosa are available. This traditional “customary” pancake is world famous and is made from a fermented batter of rice and black gram. The batter is then spread on a hot oiled griddle and is rolled like a wrap. It may have a filling of vegetables or may be served plain. It is best served when hot with, hot Sambhar and coconut chutney.

5) Pongal


This street food is prepared by cooking rice and split moong dal and is usually served in the breakfast or dinner. Usually served with Sambhar it has vegetables and is one of the famous and readily available street foods.

6) Uttapam


Though it seems like dosa but unlike dosa, it is thick with toppings. Prepared from urad dal and rice in the ration of 1:3, it is first mixed, grounded and then fermented. It is then spread on hot oiled flat tavva and fried. It has a topping of tomato, onion, chilies, capsicum and Cabbage mix. This dish is also served hot with Sambhar and coconut chutney.

7) Murukku


The word in Tamil means – Twisted, and actually known by its shape. This crunchy savory is prepared and is used in many other snacks in the city. Made of rice and Urad dal flour mixed, with water, with salt, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and asafetida and then is deep-fried in spirals. It is usually served with chutney, tomato, cucumber and raw onions.

8) Muttai Dosai

Muttai Dosai

It is a unique form of Dosa which is quite famous as street food, with its own taste and texture. Just like dosa, it is also made of fermented rice and Urad dal flour. The pancake is made crispy with a layer of egg and toppings of tomato, onion, and capsicum.

9) Atho


This “Burmese” dish is quite popular on the city streets and is basically noodles with chopped cabbage, onion, tamarind, friend Onions, tomato, and is served with chutney. Sometimes it is garnished with coriander leaves and vinegar. It also has ingredients like Ajinomoto and garlic. Some even like it with eggs as a variant.

10) Biryani


One of the most famous Mughal dishes across the world- Biryani is also a super hit as street food in the city. This Rice preparation with its unique processes ok cooking is matchless and can be prepared in a numerous variety starting from vegetable biryani, to Mutton Biryani (with goat meat), Chicken biryani (with chicken meat), egg biryani (with eggs) etc.

No doubt the list is endless and so is the unique taste and texture which is so unique to Chennai. The crowds standing in the stalls of the city are also unique in the sense that they carry the tradition and local taste which is specific, only to the southern India and the city of Chennai.

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About Anirudh Singh

Anirudh Singh is a passionate blogger and the man behind Amazing India Blog. He has 5 years of experience in the newspaper industry and he founded Amazing India Blog in 2015. Apart from writing and editing articles on Travel, Business and Technology at Amazing India Blog, he also contributes to other well known newspapers and online news blogs.