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Traditional and exotic platter

The Chettinadu Food Festival at Malgudi brings a spicy fare for the food aficionados in the twin cities.

LIP-SMACKING: A truly Chettinad meal.

THE REGIONAL flavours, brought out by the usage of cereals and spices native to the area, add to the richness of Indian cuisine. The ongoing Chettinadu Food Festival at Malgudi Restaurant is a case in point that brings a fare from the region in southern Tamil Nadu--most of the dishes take their names from the districts here. The cuisine is rich, flavoured by spices such as anasipoo, japathry, kalpasi and vettiveru apart from cinnamon, bay leaf, aniseed and cloves used liberally in the preparation of the a la carte offering.

For the soups to start with, the ideal options are Pudur vendakai soup -- a mildly flavoured ladies finger soup or the strong Alagapuri attukal soup— made from lamb trotters. Pudur valaipoo (banana flower) vadai and Kaaraikudi kozhi (chicken) roast are sure to spur up the appetite before you settle down for the main course.

TRADITIONAL SETTING: A festive look for the fest.

In the vegetarian fare Nemathan patti ennai kathrika--the brinjal curry and Pallathur vellai poondu kozhambu— a hill garlic preparation that is known for its health giving benefits go well with Kottaiyiur kaikari (vegetable) biryani or Chettinad pall sadam— coconut milk rice. Kanchipuram idli with red chillies tempering and Idiyapam served with coconut milk go well as accompaniments.

The non-vegetarian fare is elaborate with some exotic line up such as Athangudi (shark) sorra puttu, Pallathur brain masala and Deva Kottal vankozhi (turkey) roast and Pallathur vankozhi (turkey) biryani as well. The Kallal liver fry, Chettinadu mutton chukka fry and Chettinadu kozhi milagu fry are deep fried and scrumptious as also Kondanur (crab) nandu in masala and peppery fry options and Pudur (prawn) erra masala, though on a milder spicy note.

FAMILY FORTUNES: Take a peep into the future.

Pudur muttai (egg) biryani, Chettinadu kozhi chicken biryani or the Chicken kothu paratha— scrambled paratha with chicken, tomatoes and onions go well with rice and rotis.

Desserts include Chettinadu carrot halwa and Kaaraikudi pumpkin halwa. Or one can settle for a traditional Pallathur paal payasam.

ETHNIC FARE: Indulge in some authentic tastes.

Chef Ganesan, the master Chettinad chef has sure lined up a traditional fare that is different from the regular day-to-day cuisine. One can look forward to hearing some old Tamil film songs by P. Suseela while you are here for the food festival, which is open for dinner (7 p.m. onwards) till May 19. For reservations contact Malgudi, My Home Tycoon Building (above Lifestyle), on 55632277.


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