Flavours of Chettinad

Flavours of Chettinad

Flavours of Chettinad
Chettinad cuisine is a spice lover’s delight. Dishes that were originally cooked in households of the Chettiar community in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu, have made inroads into restaurants across the world. Predominantly non-vegetarian, the cuisine is known for its mouth-watering seafood delicacies including meen kuzhambu (fish curry), nandu (crab) masala, sura puttu (shark fin curry), and eral (prawn) masala. With the heavy use of chillies, peppercorns and whole spice masalas, this cuisine is not for the faint-hearted.

Vijayalakshmi Reddy gives us some lip-smacking Chettinad recipes.

CHETTINAD CHICKEN FRY

Ingredients: Chicken 1 kg, 2 tbsps of red chilli paste, 1 tsp of chilli powder, 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, juice of a lemon, salt to taste, a few curry leaves and 4 tbsps of oil

Method: Skin the chicken and cut it into medium-sized pieces. Place the pieces in a bowl and add chilli paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste and a tablespoon of oil. Mix well and marinate the chicken for two hours. Heat oil in a pan and add the pieces of marinated chicken. Fry well. Later add half cup of water, and cook till it becomes dry. Finally, add a few curry leaves. Garnish with lemon wedges, onion rings and slit green chillies.

CHETTINAD GRILLED CHICKEN

Ingredients: Chicken 1 kg, 1 tbsp of chilli powder, 1 tbsp of black pepper powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of garam masala powder, 2 tsps of ginger-garlic paste, 1 tbsp of oil, a few curry leaves and salt to taste

Method: Skin the chicken and cut it into medium-sized pieces. Add salt, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, black pepper powder and oil. Mix the masala well with the chicken. Marinate the chicken for two hours. Insert the chicken pieces into skewers, and grill them till they are cooked. Keep turning the skewers, and baste the pieces with oil while grilling. Garnish the dish with curry leaves, onion rings and lemon wedges.

GRILLED KING FISH

Ingredients: A kilogram of king fish, 1 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tbsp of chilli powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tsp of tamarind paste, 2 tsps of pepper corns, curry leaves, 10 shallots, oil and salt to taste

Method: Fry the pepper corns, curry leaves and shallots in oil and grind them into a paste. To the paste, mix in tamarind paste, coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Cut the fish into thick fillets. Smear the masala paste on the fish fillets and marinate them for 30 minutes. Grill the fish on a grill pan or on a dosa tawa. Serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.

PRAWNS MASALA

Ingredients: Half a kg of jumbo prawns, 1 tsp of turmeric powder, 1 tbsp of ginger-garlic paste, juice of a lemon, 1 tbsp of maida, 3 tbsps of cornflour, 1 tbsp of rice flour, 2 tbsps of garam masala powder, 1 tsp of red chilli paste, oil for deep frying and salt to taste

Method: Take the prawns in a bowl and add salt, ginger-garlic paste, red chilli paste, turmeric powder, lemon juice, maida, cornflour, rice flour and garam masala. Add some water and mix the prawns well in the masala. Heat oil in a pan and deep the fry prawns in batches. Serve with onion rings, slit green chillies and lemon wedges.

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