Coming back to the Chettinad Cuisine, I would like to enlighten those who share my level of understanding of the Cuisine. So to start with- Chettinad cuisine is originated from Southern District of the state of Tamil Nadu and has evolved a lot with time. Making it an interesting mix of flavours from ancient cities like Bangalore, Tanjore, Madurai, Udupi, Mysore, Cochin and of course Chennai.
These were just my two pennies about the origin and history of this Masaaledaar Cuisine, you can always refer to Wikipedia for more information. As of today I am going to give you a recipe that speaks for itself. This Chettinad Pakora Curry was suggested by Priya for this month’s challenge of South v/s North team. Being a part of the North team, I prepared this last weekend for Lunch. And what an amazing treat it was, I could still taste lingering my buds.
This was my first time preparing Chettinad cuisine and since I had not tasted this particular curry before, I was not entirely sure about what to expect or how it should really taste. But take my word for it, it was absolutely delicious.
The use of coconut, cashews and roasted chana dal in this curry adds a whole new dimension to the regular onion-tomato gravy. Curry leaves and the roasted chana dal reinforce the South Indian flavors while the vada with crushed fennel seeds offer a new surprise at every bite.
Do I sound like bragging? Maybe I am. You would too if you had this curry. Go on. Try this super tasty Chettinad vada curry
Chettinad Pakora Curry : Pakoda Kuzhambu
For the vada:
- 1/2 cup Channadal
- 3-4 Dry red chillies
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- Oil for frying
- 2 Onions chopped finely
- 2 Tomatoes chopped finely
- 4-5 Garlic pods chopped
- 2-3 Green chillies
- 1 tbsp Coriander powder
- 1 tsp Red chilly powder
- 2 tbsp Oil
- Salt to taste
- leaves Fresh Coriander chopped
- 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
- 2 Green cardamoms crushed
- 2 leaves Bay
- 1 tsp Fennel seeds
- leaves Few curry
To grind together:
- 1 tsp Poppy seeds
- 4 tbsp Grated coconut frehs or frozen
- 6-8 Cashew nuts
- 1 tbsp Roasted Chana dal
Prepare the vada:
Soak the Chana dal for two hours.
Take the soaked dal, dry red chillies, fennel seeds, salt together and grind as bit coarse paste with very little water.
Heat oil for frying, and fry small shapeless pakodas (vada) with the batter
Fry the pakodas until they turns golden brown. Drain the excess oil with a paper towel and keep aside.
Grind all the ingredients given under the list 'to grind' as fine paste with enough water. Keep aside
Prepare the curry:
Heat oil in a pan, add the spices given under 'for seasoning' and fry until they turns brown.
Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, garlic, green chillies all together for 4-5 minutes till the tomatoes get all mushy and nion leaves its raw smell
Now add the grounded paste to the onion-tomato mix, and cook for 4-5 minutes on low flame. .
Add 5cups of water, red chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt, give a stir and cook in medium flame. Add some more water if needed, to keep the gravy a bit runny and not dry since Pakodas also would need enough water to soak in
Once the oil gets separates slightly from the gravy, add the pakodas immediately and close the lid.
Dont stir the gravy after adding the pakodas, but just bring it to a boil once and turn off the flame.
Granish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rice or Chapathis
This is very similar to the Kofta Curry we make in North India, but with the addition of Coconut and Poppy Seeds. These two ingredients actually changed the whole taste of the curry, which was very much liked by us
You can also sprinkle some Garam Masala on top, or add some cream before serving. Just to give this curry a creamier and richer taste.
You can also add a bit of Moong or Urad Daal to the Chana Daal batter for a slightly different taste
Some more curries you might like: