Chettinad CuisineApart from Chettinad mansions and splendid architecture, the city is famous for its mouth watering cuisine. It offers a wide range of delicacies to delight food lovers. Foodies state that Chettinad restaurants are the biggest anywhere in this world. The cuisine's exquisite aroma and spicy flavors are famous across distant nations. Chettinad cuisine uses lots like butter, cheese and cashews. A major ingredient in Chettinad varieties would be coconut.
History of the Chettinad Cuisine
During early 19th century, Chettinad's Chettiars were regarded as powerful money lenders who travelled across distant nations. The professionals moved through the whole of Southeast Asia. Conversely, they brought many spices into Chettinad. Meanwhile, the Chettiars learnt to make special podis. The podis was a unique blend of various ingredients that made it a thick soup called Sambar.Today, sambar is a widely used dish in the South Indian cuisine.
Taste of Chettinad CuisineFood lovers consider the Chettinad Cuisine as South India's spiciest dishes. It is also one of India's most aromatic cuisines. The cuisine is extremely famous for its extensive use of rare spices. These spices are used in both, non vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Traditionally, the Chettinad dishes are made with masalas that are grounded by hand. These masalas are then used to top various meals. Additionally, boiled eggs play an integral role in Chettinad meals. Experienced Chettinad cooks tend to make use of salted vegetables and sun-dried meat varieties. The practice is followed to reflect the dry nature of Karaikkudi. Also, the meat varieties in Karaikudi are restricted to chicken, fish, lamb, lobsters, crabs and prawns. You will not find pork or beef dishes in Chettinad.
Most of the Chettinad curries are consumed with rice. The accompaniments include rice based varieties like adais, idlys, dosais, idiappams and appams. Due to the link between Chettinad and Burma, the local cuisine learnt how to make red rice puddings. These puddings are famous for its nutritional content.
Special Chettinad Spices
Cooks from different parts of the world rush to Karaikkudi, to learn more about the Chettinad spices. Chettinad food acquires its fame through these spices. Most important and commonly used spices in chettinad dishes would be dried flower pods ( maratti mokku), fenugreek ( mendhiyam), aniseed ( anasipoo), cumin seeds ( jeeraga), stone flower ( kalpasi), pepper corn ( karu milagu), fennel seed (sombu), cloves (lavangam) and cinnamon ( pattai). Few other spices would include red chillies, tamarind and bay leaf. Chettinad is extremely famous for its pickles due to these spices.
The list of Chettinad desserts begins with Tender Coconut Mousse. This is a special dish that combines tender cocunut kernels with fresh milk. Another dessert includes the Banana Appam, which is made of nuts, raisins and grilled bananas. Also, snacks like Murukku are extremely famous in the town. These are hand made dishes that go well with hot beverages like coffee or tea.
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