Chettinad cuisine is heavily influenced by geography and climate . For centuries, the Nagarathars or Chettiars, a community of traders and ship chandlers of the Chola kings lived at Poompuhar on the Coromandel Coast. A great flood in the 8th century forced them to settle in an arid region in inland Tamil Nadu. They started their fortunes from scratch by trading for Kings and close ties with British. Their business expansion led them to go to Ceylon, Mauritius, Africa and the Far East. All the twists in history reflect in their culinary tradition.
Signature Chettinad Cuisine dishes:
- Nandu (crab) masala
- Sura puttu (shark fin curry)
- Eral (prawn) masala
- Meen kuzhambu (fish gravy)
- Vaalai yaley meen (fish wrapped in banana leaf)
Unique kitchen practices for Authentic Chettinad taste:
- Masala’s hand-pounded in stone grinders
- Vegetables cut with aruamanai (iron blade)
- Use of particular firewood for specific dishes
Best place to explore Authentic Chettinad Cuisine in Tamil Nadu:
- Karaikudi town– Local eateries dish out no-frills non-veg meals and side orders like kada fry and mutton chukka at affordable prices. Thatched garden restaurants with mud floors like ARC and Friends off 100 Ft Road are very popular. Nearby, Saffron Restaurant at Hotel Subhalakshmi Palace serves good veg fare – appam, dosa, idlis and paniyaram.
Learn Chettinad Cuisine :
- Kanadukathan Village (14 kms from Karaikudi)
© All content, text and photos on this blog are copyrighted by Soul Indian Journeys and may not be used without explicit permission.