Chettinadu saapadu

“You are vegetarian?” Everyone’s face falls, some shake their heads in disapproval or dismay. But there I am, exploring Chettinad and wanting to eat authentic local food. The Chettiar community has been known for its fiery cuisine and that notion has somehow attached itself firmly to cooking from that region. But the truth is that their food is not so much spicy as it is flavourful. Each meal is a delicate mix of different subtle tastes.

Just to give an idea on what I ate there (vegetarians have enough options, so there…)

This is breakfast at the beautifully restored Visalam – dosa with three varieties of chutney (coconut, coriander and tomato), paniyaram (in some places it is also called appam) and idiyappam (string hoppers) eaten with slightly sweet coconut milk.

And this, lunch at The Bangala, the first of the Chettinad mansion hotels. The meal served on banana leaves is a huge spread, against a play of various flavours and the badam halwa is to die for. And they feed till you beg them to stop.

Lunch at Bangala

I am working on a larger piece on Chettinad – will update here when it appears…

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Wow! Both those platters look so simple and, yet, so yummy!
    I have been wanting to try out Chettinad food for quite some time… should do that sometime soon! 🙂

    1. charukesi says:

      Am not sure where it is available in Bangalore but loads of places in Chennai, Madurai… and oh yes, yummy yummy 🙂

  2. NS says:

    I love Appams!! The first pic is sooo enticing…

  3. charukesi says:

    Chettinad food rocked – and am speaking as a vegetarian. For meat lovers, it must be heaven 🙂

  4. Poorna says:

    Nice post. No doubt the Food in Visalam is very good. For the best Chettinad food, you should head to “The Bangla” in Karaikkudi. It is just out of the world.

    1. charukesi says:

      Poorna, I had breakfast in Visalam and lunch in The Bangala. Perfect foodie day!

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