Chettinad Cuisine has more to relish
Known for the rich flavours and fresh ground spices, Chettinad cuisine is world renowned. It is one of the most known cuisine in Tamil Nadu and is a traditional food of Nattukotai Chettiars, or Nagarathars community.
According to a Chettiar, one is lucky to eat the Chettinad Food, as the food is aromatic and subtle. The food includes many spices which is what a Nagarathars community is known for. Nagarathars are traders of the Chola Kingdom and one who have traded spices in exchange.
The culinary traditions of Chettinad have evolved from a pure vegetarian to amalgamation of non-vegetarian, with use of spices from Sri Lanka, Burma, Indo-China and Dutch East Indies.
Here is a list of delicacies you can try out, next time when you are at a Karaikudi Restaurant or in a locale of Tamil Nadu.
Karaikudi tiffins as it is called by the locals are light, delicious and healthy meal one can eat. One among them is Kuzhi Paniyaram which is made steaming the batter in moulds with an option of sweet or chillies and generally served with tomato chutneys.
Idiyappam is another breakfast which is made with rice flour and combined with egg gravy which is the essence of Chettinad food. To mention a few more snacks one can try Kozhukkatta, dumblings similar to modaks from Maharashtra.
The main course in an important part of the meal, and the Chettinad culinary brings in various dishes varying from vegetarian to non-vegetarian which is served on banana leaves. As the Chettiar’s live-in a close vicinity to sea they have adapted many seafood’s food.
Some of the scrumptious dishes you must try Karaikudi Eral Masala (Prawn Masala) where the prawn is cooked with fresh grounded spices and ghee. Another must try is the Chettinad Chicken which is quiet common one and another mouth-watering dish must try is Mutton Chukka– marinated mutton, slow cooked with curry leaves, cloves cinnamon, cardamom and other spices.
If you prefer vegetarian they you have plentiful on the list- count Ennai Kathirikai (eggplant gravy) fried eggplants, which is stuffed with roasted spices and cooked in tamarind curry. Cabbage-carrot poriyal, lightly spiced, boiled vegetables which you can find in any Chettiar’s platter.
The Chettinad cuisines serves some of the amazing desserts, the well-known one is Paal Payasam (vermicelli pudding), made with milk and vermicelli and giving it a Karaikudi flavours with coconut milk, cardamom and nutmeg. Another traditional sweet is Kandarappam which is made from rice flour and types of lentils and jaggery. This golden brown appam with smooth puffed is worth a try.