Chettinad is very famous for its deliciously tasty and spicy foods. That is how people World over come to know about Chettinad and its Recipes. The really original Chettinad food or recipe is harmless with minimum spices and little oil. Minimum oil, little spice, more tamarind and less coconut is used in an authentic Chettinad recipe. But the foods that are served in restaurants, in the name of Chettinad recipe, are vice versa.
A full meal of Chettinad or in Chettinad marriages, the after noon lunch comprises of parboiled rice, cooked dhal with ghee for flavoring the rice, drumstick sambhar, one or two vegetable kootu, poriyal, curry or masalai, masiyal, raitha or pachchadi, kara kuzhambu, soup, thaneer kuzhambu, butter milk, curd, variety of pickles, appalam or vadagam and desserts like payasam, fruit salad and Ice cream. The kara kuzhambu or Pakkoda Kuzhambu is much regarded as the tastiest Chettinad Side Dish.
The word Chettinad recipe, consists of numerous hot and spicy mouth watering preparations that have crossed many boundaries and has created a worldwide following. Generally, Chettinad Recipes are less spicy, the typical Chettinad menu depicts an aristocratic and rich life of the Chettiars led.
As the Chettiars of the Ancient Chettinad had business relationships throughout the world, the Chettinad Cuisine uses a variety of spices in preparing, mainly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and spicy with freshly ground spice mix known as masalai. Chettiars of Chettinad also make a lot of preserved foods suchas sun dried and salted vegetables called vatthal, during the hot summer season and use them throughout the year. The meat is restricted to Chicken, Mutton, Fish, Prawn and Crab only. Chettiars do not take beef, pork, etc,. Most dishes are served as side dish for rice and rice based items, like Idlis, Dosais, Appams, Paniyarams and Idiyappams.
Chettinad Cuisine offers a variety of non-vegetarian and vegetarian dishes. Some of the popular vegetarian dishes are Vellai Paniyaram, Kuzhi Paniyaram, Masalai Paniyaram, Paal Paniyaram, Karuppatti paniyaram, Idiyappam, Kozhakattai, Puttu, Seeyam, Masala Seeyam, Adikoozh, Kandharappam, Kavuni Arisi and Adhirasam.