Chettinad - Introduction
|The main entry of Chettinad homes are intricately carved.|
"Chettinadu" is the collective name given to the group of villages situated near Pudukkottai, TamilNadu.
This community of traders - the Nattukkottai Nagarathar's - are renowned for their prudence, hospitality and delicious cuisine. Chettinad delicacies spring forth from the frugal resources available in the dry stretch that they have migrated to.
Trading took the Chettiars to many Southeast Asian counties like
, Burma , Thailand , Malaysia and Indonesia . They incorporated various aspects of the foreign culture into their way of life. This may be seen in the grandeur of their architecture, the embellishments in day to day objects, cuisine, etc. Ceylon
Chettinad Cuisine is aromatic, spicy and hearty. The specialty lies is in the simplicity involved in the preparation of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food (all manner of fish and fowl and meats). Marinades are used for meat, rendering it extremely tender. Oil and spices are liberally used in cooking and most dishes have generous amounts of peppercorn, cinnamon, bay leaves, cardamom, chilies, etc.
Some of the popular dishes are masala – a spicy dry dish with onions and spices, poriyal – a dry dish with minimum spices to compliment the varieties of rasam and kuzhambu – ranging from rich gravies to simple ones, embellished accordingly with spices and coconut; and of course the staples – idli, dosai, idiappam, puttu, kuzhalkattai etc., side dishes and thuvayals.
Although well known for their delicious preparations, their repertoire of food items is famous and their range of preserves include pickles, podi’s - roasted and ground spices, preserved sun-dried fruits, vegetables, legumes and berries, meats, vaththals, vadagams and varieties of flour and rice flour that the Achi’s (the ladies of this community are thus referred to) stock for instant preparations to entertain at short notice.
The picture of the entrance door is displayed at Dakshinchitra.