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Updated: August 9, 2012 18:54 IST

Inside story

Catherine Rhea Roy
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And all things nice
And all things nice

Adupadi literally means kitchen in Chettinad. Discover more fun facts about the quaint town and its glorious cuisine at Adupadi

Remember the outrage that followed after Oprah said something idiotic about how Indians ‘still’ eat with their hands? All the silverware in the world cannot make food taste as good as it does when you eat with your fingers, and at Adupadi I recommend you eat with your hands.

Run by a Chettiyar from Chettinad, this place is the real thing – starting from thick wooden pillars that have been brought in for the décor, to the cooks that have come down to make our experience most authentic.

Lamb’s tales

We begin lunch with mutton bone soup, a leg of lamb that has been cooked in a concoction of traditional spices. The soup is light, refreshing and a recipe I remember from my grandmother’s lavish kitchen.

For starters the kitchen sends me mutton sukka – and it was a wholesome plate of boneless lamb with just enough heat from the pepper. Vegeatrians, do not despair, there is vaalaaikaai karuvattu varuval which translates to fillets of raw banana that have been cooked in a handful many different spices. The flavours are so powerful that I forget that it is raw banana and not something more exotic.

Transformation

Try the egg kotthu parotta, just to see what wonderful things you can do with an otherwise plain Jane parotta. With bits of beaten egg, tomatoes, crisp onions and of course and abundance of spices, this plate is a harbinger of happiness. Cleanse your palate with small sips of nannari sarpath, which is a traditional secret with some fizz to make it fun.

As much as the thought of a vegetarian meal excites me, it is never my first option only because there is too much happening and I am unable to give enough attention to everything on my plate.

Take a deep breath now, and prepare for the vegetarian meal, a gastronomic delight that begins with white rice, sambar, rasam, karam kolambu, any vegetable kootu, any vegetable poriyal, keerai, sweet dish, curd, appalam, parupu podi and ghee.

So while I nibble politely at everything and try to decide what I like most, I am put out of my misery by the mutton biryani.

A healthy portion of spiced rice and marinated meat – Chettinad style – need I say more? If you are considering dessert.. Of course you are considering dessert, and if you weren’t you should consider it for kavani arasi, a black wild rice dessert that is laced with sugar, cardamom, ghee and garnished with coconut. It looks and sounds exotic but comes straight from the core of Chettinad, rich in tradition, ghee and antioxidants. Visit Adupadi at 201, Double Road, Indiranagar and for reservations call 30412940.

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