A Brief Study on the types of Food consumed by Ancient Tamilians

Thread started by virarajendra on 21st November 2016 04:02 PM


Brief Study on the types of Food consumed by Ancient Tamilians

The Sangam period Tamils of Tamil Nadu have been both Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians as gleaned from the great Literary Works of this period. The types of Foods further differed according to the Landscapes of the regions they lived namely the Kurunchi, Mullai, Marutham and Neithal, and also according the Tribes in these regions.

The third Sangam period Tamil Literary work named "Perumpaanaatruppadai" provides some details of the types of foods consumed by various Tribes in Thondai Nadu of this period.

Vegetarians - Vellaalers

Vegetarians - Paarpaner

Non-Vegetarians -

Food with "Arusuvai"

Ancient Tamils consumed Foods traditional to Tamil Nadu, made to tastes classified by Tamilians as "Arusuvai" (Aru-Suvai = Six Tastes) namely,

(1) Inippu
(2) Pulippu
(3) Uraippu
(4) Kaippu
(5) Kaarppu
(6) Uvarppu

Types of Food

Sangam Period Foods - as per Sangam period Tamil Medical Treatise of the (Sittha = Siddha) Medical Researcher "Theraiyar" of that period

(1) Ittaly (Iddly)
(2) Thosai (Dosai)
(3) Pongal
(4) Mothakam
(5) Kerlvaraku Kali (Kelvarahu Kali)
(6) Addai
(7) Paayaasam (Payasam)
(8) Pittu
(9) Moar Kulambu
(10) Paal Kulambu

Types of Cereal Food

The Tamils of the Sangam period Tamil Nadu used eighteen different "Cereals" (Kooalm in Tamil) as their Food Items which is gleaned from the Tamil Dance treatise namely the "Kooththa Nool" by Saaththanaar of this period which are follows.

(1) Nellu
(2) Pullu
(3) Saamai
(4) Irungu
(5) Varahu
(6) Thinai
(7) Thorai
(8) Iraaki
(9) Ellu
(10) Kollu
(11) Payaru
(12) Ulunthu
(13) Avarai
(14) Kadalai
(15) Thuvarai
(16) Mocchai
(17) Kariung Kalai
(18) Vilaiuri

Rice Preparations

Rice preparations were called by the general term Choru. However during the medieval period Tamil Nadu the Rice Preparations were also by the name Amuthu.

(11) Paal Choru (Paal Amuthu)
(12) Sakkarai Choru (Sakkarai Amuthu)
(13) Manjal Choru
(14) Thayir Choru (Thayir Amuthu)
(15) Pulich Choru (Puli Amuthu)


Additional Medieval period Foods as per Medieval Chola period Tamil Temple Inscriptions

Poori Avalamuthu
Adaikkaai Amuthu
Thiruamuthu Perum Thiruamuthu
chatti choru


Plain Rice preparations are normally consumed with accompanying Curries with one from the following categories namely,

(1) Aviyal
(2) Thuvaiyal
(3) Sundal
(4) Poriyal
(5) Rasam
(6) Kulambu


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