By the food habits of the tamilians, one can easily assume the nature of the particular communities movement. The food habit depends on the lifestyle, environment, livelihood, social status, economic level of the people.
There were the tremendous changes in the food culture of the peoples over 100 years. Nowadays the tastes of the foods are taking in count rather than the health care factor. So the good health care village recipes are forgotten by the modern culinary world. Boiling, Steaming, Frying, deep frying, grilling these are the common cooking methods used by the Tamil peoples.
The word ‘Cooking’ means preservation. The tamilian houses would face any directions, but they are more particular of the directions of the house kitchens, their kitchens should face either northeast or southwest directions.
One can identify the truth if closely watch the food habits of the tamil peoples. Frying, boiling, grilling, deep frying are the cooking methods commonly used by our people. The deep frying stuffs have been seen the rapid growth since 60 years. In Tamilnadu, the groundnut oil highly used for the deep frying was introduced by the vijayanagara dynasty. In this generation, the people are more eager to taste the deep fried dishes, so that cause the dishes prepared by steaming, boiling and without oil are diminishing fastly nowadays.
There was a food script of peppercorns, ghee, tamarind, spinach and meat in sangam literature. The historians witnessed the food script of Italika (Idli), Dosa, Adhirasam in the vijayanagara regime inscriptions. In ancient devotional literatures speaks on sarkarai pongal, paniyaram, Ilavattam (ladoo), Appam, ellurundai etc., the famous tamilian cooking method Steaming was introduced by the Indonesians at the time of their voyage.
The hard food substances are boiled. Adding jaggery, palm jaggery to the boiled grains called as payasam. Mixing heat molasses to the pounded flour, gives desire shapes and taken as sweets (Ma urundai). Grinded and Pounded flour are cooked in the steaming process (Idiyaapam, Idli, Kozhukkatai etc,).
Sugar molasses are poured into the flour and after that deep frying dishes like Adhirasam, munthiri kothu are prepared. Adding spicy masalas to the flour and it has been made to deep fry called as Bhajji, vadai etc.
The word “KaiKari” includes both the vegetables and chillies. In15th century AD chillies are imported from the Chile country. At that period tamilians used black pepper corns (Karunkari) to enhance the spiciness, pepper corns are highly used in the meat preparation, so that still now the meat preparations are called as (Kari) in tamil. Vegetables, meat products etc., are flavoured with the spices and tempered it later; it can be used as curries or as accompaniments.
Lala Mithai Stall introducing new sweet dishes to the Tamilnadu. They are the hindi speaking peoples brought to Tamilnadu by the Nayak kingdom of Madurai. Sugar, wheat, ghee, gram flour are the main ingredients of their sweet preparations. The Nadar community peoples are using jaggery and palm jaggery instead of sugar for their sweet preparations, their sweat stalls are called as Mithai kadai.