U is for Unequivocal Favorites #BlogchatterA2Z

Unequivocal : Leaving no doubts

I had been married for barely 3 months when I attended my first wedding in Chennai. They always say that you remember a wedding by the food you had there.

This wedding surpassed all expectations I may have had. The menu was exhaustive, I counted 9 different cuisines before I gave up and walked away  with a plate of Jasmine Rice and Thai Green Curry.

As I was enjoying my food, I spotted a small crowd at the other end of the wedding hall. I didn’t give it much thought, till the crowd began swelling.

The number of people, at what looked like were crowding  around a table, increased at such a speed that my curiosity got the better of me, and leaving my meal half eaten I made my way towards the crowd. Needless to say I couldn’t get past the throng of people. However, waiting on the outskirts of the crowd I could see people breaking away from it, carrying their heaped plates with a smile on their faces. I still didn’t get it till I asked a passing waiter what was being served and the reply was, ‘Tayir Saadam’ (Curd Rice).

When the crowd thinned there sat a giant bowl of Tayir Saadam, which was only half full by now. Going back to my table I resumed eating my meal but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from that giant bowl. It was the only dish that was being replenished with clockwork regularity and emptied thus too.

Thayir- Sadam-Sirimiri-Chennai
Curd Rice

I was fascinated then and I am fascinated even now at the reverence shown towards Tayir Saadam or Thayir Sadam. No meal is complete without it. It is the full stop to a meal. Scientifically speaking, it is great for the stomach and digestion too. Since Curd is a probiotic eating it keeps your gut healthy. Thayir Sadam also keeps the body cool.

Thayir Sadam is one favourite and Filter Kaapi is another.

Kaapi here is serious business. Don’t even think of mentioning or serving Instant Coffee to Coffee purists! Only the real deal, made from coffee decoction and milk will do, served in a Davara ( A traditional steel glass and bowl set used for serving coffee) no less.  There are two types of Filter Kaapi drinkers. The ones who drink , ‘Pure Kaapi’ (coffee beans ground without any additions) or  those who prefer drinking the one ‘with Chicory ’(a plant added while grinding the coffee beans. It is known to give ‘body’ to the coffee) .

Filter Kaapi

So there you are, everything may come and go but Tayir Saadam and Filter Kaapi remain unequivocal favourites, forever.

Written for the theme

My A to Z of Chennai: The City Viewed Through An Outsiders Eye


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  1. Mayuri Nidigallu Noor Anand Chawla

    I didn’t know that curd rice was called Thayir Saddam but it’s one of my favourite dishes too! I also love filter kaapi but I only ever drink it in restaurants here in Delhi.

  2. Ah, the two ultimate dishes from Tamil Nadu. I can live my life with just these two 🙂

  3. Having spent more than a decade in Karnataka, I have learned to savor the taste of curd rice. Even today our meals in summer are never complete without curd rice as the last dish. And filter kaapi is Bae.

  4. A new discovery for me yet again, Mayuri. Taayir Sadam is curd rice, never heard of it in fact. My husband loves curd rice but I don’t though I love filter kaapi.

  5. Hey Mayuri, my wife gave me Thayir Saadam and mor molagai for lunch today. Unfortunately I can’t have rice for both lunch and dinner as I am diabetic. Mor molagai is a special preparation in which chillies are soaked in thayir and dried in the Sun. These are then fried in oil till they become brown in colour and they taste great with thayir sadam. And avakkai pickle also goes well with curd rice. And I love my filter kaapi with chicory. This series of yours on Madras (being an old timer I stubbornly refuse to call it Chennai) is simply fabulous.

  6. Filter Kapi is my favorite from south. I can have countless. Didnt know the original name of curd rice. Have a funny story to tell. Will share in detail some other time. Nice post.
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

  7. Same pinch 🙂 In Andhra too there is a thing for Perugu Annam or Curd rice. No meal is complete without it. Kaapi here is with chicory mainly.

  8. Curd rice was acceptable to us only when we were sick. Period.
    I cannot imagine so much of love and importance given to it, or may be I haven’t tasted the real deal. The one in the pic with the tadka on top looks so good!

  9. I enjoy the curd rice in Chennai and learnt from colleagues out there that is a must-have in all their meals. It’s yumm.

  10. Those two are the all time favorites of Chennaites

  11. Hahaha, I can imagine M. When I saw this craze of crud rice for the first time in Bangalore, it shooked me out of senses. Ppl can eat anything and in whatever quantity but their heart fill comes only after having a nice portion of Thayir Sadam.
    Kaapi, yes thats pure pleasure.

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