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Treat for food buffs

Staff Reporter

Chettinad festival on till July 17

KOZHIKODE: The spicy and mouth-watering Chettinad food comes to the Taj Residency here as part of the Chettinad food festival that will be on till July 17.

Chettinad cuisine reflects the lifestyle of Nattukottai Chettiars, who have made their presence felt as far as South East Asia.

Rice is the accompaniment to most Chettiar dishes. Dosa griddles are greased with a rolled up banana leaf. Panniyarams are small bits of fermented rice flour made like idlis and fried lightly.

In Chettinad food, black pepper is preferred over red chilli, perfumed spices such as saffron to cumin and coriander. Marinades are used for meat, rendering it extremely tender. Organ meat is common. Dishes of chicken and seafood are also popular.

Chettinad masala comprises spices such as marathi mukku, kalpasi and star anise, says chef Jesudas of Famous Raintree Restaurant, Taj Connemara Hotel, who had come to the Taj Residency to present the food festival.

The buffet will comprise vegetable and non-vegetable dishes in 10 varieties with a different dish served on every day. Desserts, including `kashi halwa,' `pal payasam,' will be available in 10 varieties with a different dessert served each day, says Jesudas. He has been preparing Chettinad food for the past four years at the Taj Connemara Hotel. The wide array of delicacies include `Kozhi Rasam', the mouth-watering `Karaikudi Nandu Masala', `Chettinad Parotas,' `Chicken Chettinad,' `Kalan Milagu Perattal' and `Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram,' `Karuveppilai Yeral' which can be eaten with `idiappam,' `vallai appam' and `chettinadu kal dosai.'

The food festival is on at the Coffee Shop at Cape Camorin at the Taj from 7.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. The dishes can also be ordered for lunch at the hotel.

S. Nirmo Thambapillai, general manager, Taj Residency, Calicut, says the Taj Group of hotels are focussing on Mappila cuisines. Efforts are on to make the cuisine available in all the hotels, he says.

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