A flamboyant showcase of Rajasthani architecture and a firm favourite on tourist itineraries as the third corner of India’s ‘Golden ...
The region of Chettinad which also includes Karaikudi, the capital, is made up of 74 small villages in what is known as the Sivaganga district of the southern Tamil state. It is also considered one of the driest regions of southern India.
Chettinad is also the homeland of Nattukottai Chettairs who were renowned for their business and banking prowess many of whom migrated to South East Asia in the 19th Century where they also prospered as a business community. This area is rich with cultural heritage, walking around the local area you will see great mansions, the region is also famous for temples originally built by the early Tamil Dynasties such as the Cholas.
Chettinad is probably most famous for its culinary delights; the curry produced in this region is renowned as some of the spiciest, oiliest and most aromatic in India. It is famous for its variety of spices used in preparing mostly non-vegetarian food. The dishes are hot and spicy with fresh ground marasalas and usually topped with a boiled egg, considered an essential part of a meal.
In the non vegetarian versions a variety of sun dried meats and salted vegetables, reflecting the dry environment of the region can be used. The meat is restricted to fish, prawn, lobster, crab, chicken and mutton, there is no beef or pork in the Chettair diet. Most dishes are eaten with rice or rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams, idiyappams, adais and idlis. Due to their contact with Burma the Chettairs learnt to prepare a type of rice pudding made with sticky red rice.