Tamil Nadu is a land known for many aromatic delicacies that rule the local kitchen. It has introduced to the world the underdog dishes like Upma and the timeless favorites such as Dosas and Idlis along with spicy curries and gravies. We have been talking a lot of boastful things about our classic dishes; it’s high time we tell you a little bit about our influence of Chettinadu in our food and our culture.
Chettinadu, home to the people of the Chettiar community, remains to be the land authentic to its varieties. Majority of the people are Bankers, Merchants, and Traders; and they bring a balance of their culture and dynamics with the spices and the flavor into their cuisine.
Chettinad cuisine is considered to be one of the spiciest cuisines in the country. It is loaded heavily with pepper and other local spices like stone flower (kalpasi) and dried flower pods (marattai mokku). The cuisine includes fresh meat, seafood, vegetables, and rice, and it always simmers with a distinct aroma of freshly ground spices that include fenugreek, cumin, clove, bay leaf and turmeric. Along the coastline of the land, the Chettinadu platters are decorated with curries and fries of fishes, prawns, and crabs.
From feather-light and fresh Idiyappam with Mutton gravy to famous Chicken Chettinadu curries, Chettinadu cuisine has found itself a veritable place in the world. Here are four of their favourite dishes that can be defined as culinary masterpieces.
Kuzhambu is a popular variety of gravy base with curry among the Tamil people. The dish is a mix of Tamarind, Urad dal and Toor dal with Lamb meat. The dish is served hot with steamed rice on a platter alongside fish fries and boiled eggs. It is also eaten with Dosas and Idlis, an underrated combination from the land.
Favourites among the tongues of vegetarians, Palkatti or Cottage cheese, diced in fairly large cubes, bathe in a bowl of gravy made with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, onions, tomatoes and a fresh Chettinadu paste. The dish is served best with rotis or appams.
There can never be a list of Chettinadu dishes without mentioning the spicy Chicken Chettinadu. Defining the authenticity of a classic Chettinadu cuisine, Chicken Chettinadu is a fiery curry that has the tanginess of tomatoes and sweetness of onions along with hot red chillies. The seamless mix of flavours brings a sensory treat to your tongue.
While the dishes with meat do stand out in the list, this vegetarian cuisine is not far behind in standing apart. Diced mushrooms are flavoured with tamarind, coconut, chillies, and freshly ground spices that bring a heavenly aroma to it that you cannot choose to ignore.
Reading this post should surely make you crave for Chettinadu dishes. Amma South Indian Cuisine feel it an obligation to bring that authentic taste of Chettinadu and make you fall in love with our culture all over again.