10 Best Chettinad Recipes

   |  Updated: November 22, 2017 12:15 IST

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10 Best Chettinad Recipes

Here are our 10 best Chettinad recipes, simple and delicious.

Tamil Nadu boasts of a brilliant variety of delicacies that simmer in its local kitchens. Celebrated across the country, Tamil delicacies range from simple Upmas, Papads and Pachadis to sensational Dosai, Uttapam and Idlis along with some spicy curries. Talking of Tamil cuisine, Chettinad preparations are top of the pile. This cuisine hails from the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, an area which is dominated by the Chettiar community. This community brims with a clan of bankers, merchants and traders. Their calculated lifestyle reflects in their culinary culture where every dish offers a perfect balance of flavours.

It is believed to be one the spiciest cuisines in India. While the preparation and presentation is simple, Chettinad cuisine is known for the complexity of flavours. Most traditional dishes are loaded with pepper along with heavy use of local spices like star anise, kalpasi (stone flower) and maratti mokku (dried flower pods). Chettinad food bristles with a distinct aroma of freshly ground spices including cumin, fenugreek, fennel, clove, bay leaf, turmeric and tamarind. Meats, seafood, vegetables, grains and fermented rice are used regularly. Being blessed with a long coastline, a variety of seafood like fish, crabs, lobsters and fresh prawns adorn a Tamil table.

The fiery base or gravy that adds depth to most of its curries is usually made with a combination of tomatoes, chillies, freshly ground spices, coconut, ginger and garlic and is reasonably hot. A unique characteristic of this cuisine is the use of a boiled egg as garnish. Another distinct feature is that they mostly use sun-dried vegetables and even meats, a technique which is known to enhance the nutritional value. Most curries are served with rice-based preparations like Appams, Idlis, Idiyappams, Adais and Dosais. The mild taste of these accompaniments compliments the fierceness of the curries. Their meals are also accompanied with sips of buttermilk to tone down the heat.

From feather-light, stringy Idiyappams and fried fish to the classic chicken curry, Chettinad food is vibrant, vivid and vivacious by all means. We bring you the best flavours from Chettinad, every recipe here is a culinary masterpiece.

1. Paal Payasam
Recipe by Chef Kishore D Reddy

A kheer-like dessert made with milk, rice, nuts and cardamom. The rich and creamy taste lingers on your taste buds for long.

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2. Chettinad Masala
Recipe by Chef Niru Gupta

A lovely mix of local spices, this Chettinad has all key flavours in place.

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3. Chicken Chettinad
Recipe by Chef Kishore D Reddy

A fiery curry, Chicken Chettinad is one of the most popular dishes from this region. The tanginess of tomatoes, the sweetness of the onions and cinnamon and the heat from red chillies, all of these together make this dish a treat for your senses.

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4. Mushroom Chettinad
Recipe by Chef Aditya Bal

Made with mushrooms, this recipe is boldly spiced. Tamarind, coconut, chillies and freshly ground spices make this dish stand apart.

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5. Chettinad Fish Fry
Recipe by Chef Aditya Bal

Fleshy surmai fillets are wrapped in an exquisite Chettinad masala paste and then pan fried.

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6. Palkatti Chettinadu
Recipe by Chef Vikram Kumar

Velvety cubes of cottage cheese are bathed in a gravy made with mustard seeds, urad daal, curry leaves, onions, tomatoes and a freshly Chettinad paste. (Recipe Video)

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7. Urlai Roast
Recipe by Chef Praveen Anand

Baby potatoes tossed in fragrant masalas. This quick and easy recipe is just what you need when you are short on time. (Recipe Video)

8. Cabbage Poriyal
User Recipe by Gowtham K Karingi

Poriyal is the Tamil word for fried or sautéed vegetables. This recipe uses shredded cabbage along with mild spices and lots of grated coconut.

9. Aatukkari Kuzhambu with Steamed Rice
Recipe from Foodistan

Kuzhambu is a popular Tamil curry with a gravy base that is made with tamarind, urad dal and toor dal. This version also uses lamb meat.

10. Nariyal and Soya Paneer Vada, Thayir Sadam and Tomato Chutney
Recipe by Chef Manish Mehrotra

Crisp vadas made with coconut, soya and cottage cheese. Serve them with freshly made tomato chutney and curd rice.

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