With Chennai Super Kings winning IPL 2023, it is time to indulge in celebrations with the sweetest treats from Tamil Nadu. From popular favourites like Payasam and Mysore Pak to less-known delicacies like Thaen Mittai, Boorelu and Thoothukudi Macaroons, these desserts from the South Indian state should be on your must-haves list today.
Chennai Super Kings, the Indian Premier League team based out of Chennai, Tamil Nadu, has won the IPL 2023 season by a whopping 5 wickets, beating Gujarat Titans in what was a nail-biting match of cricket. The Chennai Super Kings team, led by captain MS Dhoni and guided by ace cricketers like Ravindra Jadeja, has done the state proud all over again by winning the IPL title for the fifth time since its formation in 2008. Yes, this is just the occasion to celebrate the brilliance of Chennai Super Kings!
One of the best ways to engage in celebrations for Chennai Super Kings’ victory today would be by indulging in sweet treats from Tamil Nadu. You may know this state as the birthplace of some of yummiest savoury dishes like Neer Dosa and Puliyodarai, but there are plenty of sweets and desserts that originate in the state. In fact, while some of them like Payasam and Mysore Pak are quite well known, others aren’t.
For example, did you know that the state was the birthplace of Thaen Mittai, a bright orange coloured candy that is even now made at home on special occasions? Did you know that the French aren’t the only ones to whip up macaroons, and that Tuticorin or Thoothukudi has its own version of the sweet treat too? Tamil Nadu clearly boasts of an immense culinary culture where sweets and desserts hold a place of pride and significance. If you are hoping to celebrate Chennai Super Kings’ victory with sweet treats, then these popular and rare Tamil goodies should definitely be on your list.
Video Credit: YouTube/Hebbar's Kitchen
This is a sweet and creamy pudding-like dish made with milk, sugar, and a variety of ingredients such as rice, vermicelli, lentils, or fruits. There are several types of Payasam in Tamil Nadu, each with its unique flavor and preparation method. For example, Pal Payasam is a classic Payasam made with milk, rice, sugar, and flavored with cardamom and sometimes garnished with saffron and nuts. Paruppu Payasam is made with split yellow moong dal (lentils) cooked with jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) or sugar and coconut milk.
Rawa Kesari, also known as Kesari Bath or Sheera, is a popular sweet dish from Tamil Nadu as well as other parts of South India. Known for its bright orange or kesari colour, this is a semolina-based dessert that is quick and easy to prepare. Rawa Kesari is often served as a dessert during festivals, religious ceremonies, and special occasions.
Mysore Pak is a well-known sweet delicacy that originated in the state of Karnataka but is also popular in Tamil Nadu and other parts of South India. It is a rich, melt-in-your-mouth sweet made primarily from ghee (clarified butter), sugar, and chickpea flour (besan). Mysore Pak is often prepared during festivals, weddings, and special occasions as a traditional dessert.
Known in Andhra Pradesh as Poornalu, Boorelu is the traditionally prepared Tamil counterpart of the sweet treat made during festivals and special occasions. Boorelu are essentially deep-fried dumplings filled with a sweet stuffing made of jaggery (unrefined cane sugar) or sugar, grated coconut, and cardamom. The outer covering is typically made from a batter of soaked and ground black gram lentils (urad dal) or rice flour, which is then shaped into small balls and deep-fried until golden brown.
Ukkarai, also known as Okkarai or Paruppu Puranam, is a traditional sweet dish from Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. It is typically prepared during the festive season, particularly for the celebration of Diwali (the Festival of Lights). Ukkarai is a sweet lentil delicacy made primarily with split Bengal gram (chana dal), jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), coconut, and flavored with cardamom and ghee (clarified butter). It is known for its rich aroma and distinct taste.
Kozhukattai, also known as Modak in states like Maharashtra and the Konkan region, is a traditional sweet dish from Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. It is a popular delicacy prepared during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi and other special occasions. Kozhukattai is a steamed dumpling made from rice flour or wheat flour dough and filled with various sweet or savory fillings. The sweet filling is traditionally made with jaggery, coconut and cardamom.
Athirasam, also spelled as Adhirasam, is a traditional sweet dish from Tamil Nadu, a state in South India. It is a deep-fried, disk-shaped sweet made from rice flour, jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), and flavored with cardamom. Athirasam is a popular and auspicious sweet that is typically prepared during festivals, weddings, and other special occasions.
Thaen Mittai, also known as Honey Candy or Honey Sweet, is a popular traditional sweet from Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Bright orange in colour, this is a soft and chewy candy made from a mixture of rice flour, jaggery (unrefined cane sugar), and honey, with flavors of cardamom and sometimes saffron. Thaen Mittai is commonly enjoyed as a snack or dessert, especially during festive occasions.
Palkova, also known as Theratti Paal, is a popular sweet dish from Tamil Nadu that is round in shape and delicious to eat. It is a delectable milk-based dessert made by slowly reducing and thickening milk until it reaches a solid, fudge-like consistency. Palkova is a traditional treat that is often prepared during festivals, celebrations, and auspicious occasions.
Thoothukudi Macaroon, also known as Tuticorin Macaroons, is a famous sweet delicacy from Tuticorin (Thoothukudi), a coastal city in Tamil Nadu. Tuticorin Macaroons are small, round cookies that are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. They are made primarily with egg whites, sugar, and almonds, and are known for their distinctly sweet flavor and crumbly texture.