Tanjore is the medieval capital of the Great Chola Kingdom of the Tamil country. The Cholan period is the most creative epochs of Indian culture, art and overseas trade-often compared in artistic achievement to classical Greece. Travel historian Micheal Wood in his History of India BBC series called Cholas the “Last of the Classical Civilizations”.
The name Tanjore evokes the finest in art and creativity. Tanjore region is the Rice Bowl of the South India famous for its lush paddy fields and coconut groves. Here local produce combined with imported pulses and spices provided a rich variety of ingredients for the culinary art to develop and flourish. The word "curry" is derived from the Tamil word “kari” which means a side dish accompanying rice or bread. The Saivite faith of the Chola period encouraged vegetarianism. This created a unique genre of vegetarian cuisine with such flare that these dishes still defines what is quintessentially South Indian or madrassy fare.