Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What is ' Chettinad cuisine '?

What is ' Chettinad cuisine '?
Chettinad cuisine is the cuisine of the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu state in South India. 
Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of a variety of spices used in preparing mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and pungent with fresh ground masalas, and topped with a boiled egg that is usually considered essential part of a meal. They also use a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region. The meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and lamb. Chettiars do not eat beef and pork.
Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams, idiyappams, adais and idlis.
Dosa or Dosé or Dosai is a fermented crepe or pancake made from rice batter and black lentils.
It is a staple dish in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as being popular in Sri Lanka.
Appam is also a dish of fermented bread made with rice batter and coconut milk. It is a staple diet of Kerala, India.
Idiyappam or string hoppers is a traditional Kerala, Tamil and Sri Lankan food consisting of rice flour pressed into noodle form and then steamed. It is made of rice flour or wheat flour, salt and water. It is generally served as the main course at breakfast or dinner together with a curry (potato, egg, fish or meat curry) and coconut chutney.
Idli also called idly or iddly, plural idlis, is a traditional breakfast in south Indian households. Idli is savory cake of south Indian origin popular throughout India.
In Chettinad food the most important spices are dried flower pods, star aniseed and "black stone flower", also known as dagad phool. In addition, tamarind, whole red chillies, and fennel see are also used along with cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorn, cumin seeds, and fenugreek.
The Chettinad cuisine has been influenced by the nature of the region, which is a dry, arid and hot region. At the same time the Chettiars trace back their history to a life near the coastline, so their cuisine also has great seafood like prawns and crabs.
Even today, the cuisine is an integral part of the Chettinad life.
The aroma of spices and oils follows you as you walk the by lanes of the town, as each home prepares for its meals.

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