Chettinad Cuisine is often associated with Fiery Red coloured food items loaded with Spices. And, if that’s your idea of Chettiyar food then you are going to be highly disappointed with “Chettiyar Veedu”. Housed along with Higgin Bothams and Writer’s Cafe in Egmore next to Ethiraj College, this place is going to only give you homely chettiyar food experience. The name of the place already clearly indicates it.
My friend and me dropped in for lunch. Lunch menu was quite simple and the Dinner menu too looked inviting to me. Only a few dish adorns the Menu (as of now) and the minimalistic approach of this place is something that I’m appreciative of. Kitchen and Menu is controlled by Ms. Sivagami, a humble culinary Chef who has deep rooted heritage connection with Karaikudi and her signature is all over the food. I got to interact with her and got some deep insights about Chettiyar food and the Menu of Chettiyar Veedu.
The items in their Vegetarian Meals (₹240) change everyday. And, no Non-Vegetarian meals on the Menu. Eventhough, there was Biryani on the Menu, we settled for the Meals. The elaborate meal experience started with Panagam, which had a hint of Ginger that I liked. Raagi Adai along with the in-house Varamolagai Chutney and Podi was tasted good. Vazhaipoo Vadai under starters was pretty decent.
The inevitable Ghee pouring ceremony over Rice for Podi, which I always enjoy took place first. Enjoyed the Pappu & Mumum, too. Paasi Payaru (Green Gram) Kuzhambu was a revelation. Kudamilagai (Capsicum) Pachadi was quite different. Cabbage is not something that I enjoy in Poriyal form, so didn’t touch it. Rasam was brilliant. Curd and Appalam, the usual suspects did their part well. Saving the best for the last, their Maa Vathal Kuzhambu was the stealer of my heart. I’m in love with it. Raw Mango, Whole Garlic, Shallots, Sundakkai Vathal all of these goodness in a Puli Kuzhambu base, was just OMG!! The Glutinous Kavaniarisi was a killer.
The uniqueness of spices in Chettiyar cuisine hit me when I saw/tasted the Kelangan Fry (₹180). Bite sized Mutton Kola Urundai (₹200) was decent. Loved the spice levels in the Naatu Kozhi Milagu Masalai (₹180). The curious in me ordered the Kandarappam (₹90) and it’s by far the best that I’ve ever had.
Totally paid ₹1305 for the above items.
Perks of being a Food Critic is that you get to taste more than what you order for. So, we got a few on-the-house items to try.
I’m so very impressed with their Mutton Chukka (₹220). Perfectly sized chunks of soft Mutton pieces in home ground spices – Just my kinda Chukka, I must say. Muttai Mutton Chops (₹200), is clearly something that most of the customers are going to order. I finished gulping the Vettiver Sharbhat (₹140) in no time. Perfect!!