It was a while back,when we were newly married and had gone out with friends to a newly opened restaurant in Besant Nagar.They said it served pure Chettinad fare.When I opened the menu card,I was in for a shock.Out of almost a 6 page-menu card,there were only four vegetarian dishes and out of those two were Brinjal and Bhindi based[which are obviously on my dislike-list].I had to chose between a mixed vegetable curry and a stew.Our friends were feeling bad for me since they had no idea I was a vegetarian.I ordered the mix veg curry with Idiyappam.I had the idiyappam with pickle though..ask me why..the pickle was less spicy than the curry itself..:)
So there ended my Chettinad fiesta.
I’ve read and seen so much about Chettinad food that I really wanted to try it.I have also read that originally Chettiars were pure vegetarians,it is their travel abroad on business which made them non-vegetarians.[I read this on Vanitha Pachakam and hence this is not my opinion].
During my never ending search for side-dishes for roti,I came across this recipe which sounded easy and looked delicious.I did not follow the recipe exactly-after all,who needs 400gms of Dalda to make a curry which serves four?
Recipe source – Vanitha Pachakam
Mixed vegetables – 2-3 cups[I added chopped carrot,potato,beans and green peas]
Onions – 2 big,sliced
Tomato – 2,medium,pureed
Whole mixed spices – 1 tbsp[Cinnamon,clove,cardamom and bay leaf]
Oil – 2 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – 1 tbsp
Cashewnut paste – 3 tbsp [I ground a handful of cashewnuts in 1 tsp milk]
Whole red chillies – 2
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1-2 sprigs
Salt to taste
Cook the vegetables till soft and drain the water.
In a kadai add the oil and sauté the onions till light brown.
Add ginger garlic paste,whole chillies,red chilly powder,coriander powder,haldi and garam masala.
Mix in the tomato puree and keep stirring till everything gets mixed.
Now add the cooked vegetables,cashewnut paste and salt to taste.
Add freshly chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves.
Sending this to Srish kitchen for the event EFM-Parathas and Gravies.