Friday, 10 February 2012

Flavours from Karaikudi

Karaikudi is the largest city in the Sivaganga district of Tamil Nadu known as the capital of Chettinad because of the predominance of ‘nattu kottai chettiars’ who have  ventured far and wide to set up their businesses since the turn of the 20th century.

Chettinad also translates to ‘chetti land’, the ancestral abode of the chettiyars.

Their type of cooking is also called as ‘Achi Samayal’. The foods are cooked with special masalas using a unique processes.
Karaikudi specialities are; Masala Cheeyam, Kozhi Varuval, Attu Kari Milaku, Karaikudi Meen, Adhirasam, Mochai Kulambu, Mutdai Kosh Poriyal, Keerai Vathakkal, Vengaya Thiyal, Kandharappam, Thalicha Idiyappam, Veechu Parotta, Paladai Dosai, Paniyaram, Chettinadu Kapi, just to name a few.  

Earthenware, curries, poultry, seafood, grills, vegetarian delights, local breads, rustic preparations, sweets and coffee are part of a fabulous dining experience called Karaikudi.  
Spice blends are skillfully orchestrated to bring you the aromas which are worth remembering and takes you through another culinary quest and nostalgic journey of the heritage cuisines of India 

Vazhakkai Vada ( Serves  10 )

Skinned Raw Banana ( small pcs )                    01 kg
Soaked Dhuli Urad Dal ( paste )                          400  gms
Coconut Oil                                                                     to temper
Mustard Seeds                                                              01 tbsp
Fresh Curry Leaves                                                     02 tbsp
Dry Red Chilli ( small pcs )                                      01 tbsp
Cashewnut broken                                                     04 tbsp
Turmeric Powder                                                         01 tsp
Salt                                                                                       to taste
Lemon Juice                                                                    half lemon
Refined Oil                                                                       to deep fry


Take the coconut oil in a thick bottomed kadhai, add mustard, curry leaf, red chilli, cashewnut and turmeric. Add the banana and salt. Cover and cook till the banana is soft. Squeeze in the lemon juice. Cool the sautéed banana, mash it lightly with a fork and mix it with the dal paste nicely . Make nice round dumplings and deep fry in refined oil. Serve immediately with a chutney of your choice.

By : Devraj Halder

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