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Top 10 Facts About Chettinad Cuisine

Feb 15, 2021
The love for spices is found pan India with different versions of the same dish that have a unique balance of spices. Chettinad cuisine is a must-try for foodies that love the prominence of spices in their food.

1. Chettinad cuisine is a blend of fiery spices that do not burn your taste buds but leave a lasting taste on your palate. The cuisine is known for its aromatic spices and red chilies that yield a dark color to the otherwise pale dishes.

2. Chettinad cuisine hails from the Chettiars community. The people were avid traders and contributed a lot to the trade flow of spices to Burma, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Java.

3. The Chettinad cuisine notion is that it is immensely hot and unbearable to the palate, which is not true. On the contrary, the Chettinad cuisine is an amalgamation of spices that aid in digestion while leaving a tad bit of spicy note on the palate.

4. An authentic Chettinad masala mainly consists of a mix of whole spices, namely, stone flower, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, black peppercorns, carom seeds, coriander seeds, dry red chilies, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, Fenugreek seeds, mace, and poppy seeds. The main takeaway is that every household prepares the Chettinad masala differently and may miss out on one or more spices.

5. The Chettinad masala involves roasting the spices mildly. Mild roasting prevents the spices from burning while extracting the flavor and oil from the whole spices. This process is slow and takes about five to ten minutes. After the spices start crackling, transfer them to a plate. The transfer ensures that the whole spices do not overcook or, in this case, burn. After the spices cool down, they are ground, or the spices lose their aroma.

6. The Chettinad masala is the core of any Chettinad preparation. The masala is usually freshly prepared each time a Chettinad dish is in the works. Chettinad masala has a great shelf life and can last up to 4 months if kept in an airtight container. Spice brands also provide prepackaged pouches, but they lack the freshness of the homemade masala.

7.Chettinad cuisine has a stern way of presenting the meal, which highlights its flavors. Usually served on a plantation leaf in which the dish items can overwhelm you. Each plate consists of salt, pickles, chutneys, vegetables, and rice. You always have the Chettinad sambhar, a rasam, and a curd based gravy along with the dishes. The rice is piled in between and absorbs the gravies, and the vegetables served with it.

8. Famous dishes of the Chettinad cuisine include the Idiyappam, Dosai, Vendakkai Varuval, Kaikari Pirattal, Mutton Chukka, Kada Fry, Nandu Masala, and a few others. Chettinad chicken is the renowned dish emanating from the cuisine that adds punch to the otherwise bland chicken. The original dish is dry and fiery, but it has transformed into a gravy that is eatable with rice, roti, and parottas over the years.

9. Gaithersburg might not be in India but has a crafty food outlet that serves authentic Chettinad cuisine. DosaandChat presents its authentic version of the Chettinad chicken that tastes well with rice and roti. The gravy is dark brown and uses the Chettinad masala, coconut, curry leaves, tomatoes, shallots, and a few secret spices that make it an absolute joy on the palate. Extensively cooked chicken tends to be dry and bland, but the Chettinad chicken at DosaandChat is juicy and retains the curry's taste.

10. The secret is nothing but love and patience with which the dish is prepared at the restaurant. Slowly simmering in its juices, the chicken falls off the bone in the first attempt and is nit rubbery and chewy. Do give the Chettinad chicken at DosaandChat a try and relive the taste of authentic Chettinad cuisine.
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The history of PaniPuri: A non-comparable Indian snack

Jan 20, 2021
Panipuri is the lightest dish in terms of the exterior of the puri. It is hollow and light and crisp at the same time. The hollow structure allows it to accrue all flavors that are placed inside it. Panipuri can be modified to such an extent that even the permutations will baffle you. Each time the taste is slightly different from what was before. It is mainly due to the rough portion of fillings that go into the puri. No two puris are identical and neither is the amount of filling inside them. If the vendor tries to measure each and every component that goes inside the Panipuri, its originality is lost.

Panipuri is not that old as many researchers/food connoisseur claim it to be. A known story that circulates around is the story of Mahabharata and its relationship to the dish. It is described as a challenge for creating a dish with minimum possible resources. While it is not possible to create the dish and its elements without multiple ingredients, hearing out the story is important.

The queen Kunti wanted to test if her daughter-in-law Kunti could make do with even the smallest collection of resources. She gave her a portion of a vegetable concoction made with potatoes as the primary ingredient. For bread, she gave her pre-kneaded dough just enough to make one puri. Draupadi was baffled by the gesture but took on the challenge reluctantly. The Thought of the distribution of the dough into smaller fragments came into her mind. Instead of rolling one big and thick Puri, she made paper-thin tiny Puri and fried them to achieve little dough spheres. She punctured each puri by making a tiny crevice into them and then filled small portions of the potato vegetable inside them. The queen appreciated her wit and realized that she would indeed serve her kingdom, no matter the availability of resources.

The story is very encouraging but unfortunately cannot be substantiated with its mention in the scriptures. It is a dish that has many stories but little evidence to corroborate them. According to food specialists, the dish is not that old and was in existence in one of the 16 Sanskrit Kingdoms located in the Magadh region of Bihar. It is a known fact that Bihar's cuisine is extensively influenced by using multiple items made from rice such as chiwda, puffed rice, etc to name a few. Only in Bihar you will find the street vendors serving puffed rice with chat, chickpeas, and even non-vegetarian items.

Magadha region has an abundance of rice production from time immemorial. Using that grain to generate different forms of delicacies is ingenious. Another popular chat influence can be observed in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Varanasi has streets filled with the aroma of chat of different varieties where you will find surprising chats such as tamatar chat, palakpatta chat, etc. These chat items are not available at normal vendors as it takes a precise balance of flavors and experience to create one.

Moving further East into the Indian terrain you will find Kolkata as a bustling place for phuchkas that is another name for panipuri. The Kolkata style phuchka uses boiled horse gram, boiled potatoes and a mixture of masalas that go into it. The pani is the backbone of any phuchka, panipuri, or batasha (whatever you call it). The concoction of fresh ground coriander, cumin, black pepper, mint leaves, and salt leaves its mark on the tongue. A taste worthy of repetitive consumption and infused with digestion aiding properties does not harm your stomach. Unlike other fried snacks, the customizability options in PaniPuri are endless and the selection is not limited to just one type of paani.

In Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh you may find up to 6-7 types of pani that will include the basic one, a cumin one, an asafetida one, curd and sweet chutney one, a garlic one, etc. These are just personal iterations and can vary with each outlet and vendor.

We're sure that you must be drooling and craving for PaniPuri. Don't worry, you can visit dosa and chat located in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. We have an executive chef that only handles the chat section. Hailing from Magadha, Bihar, the authenticity is unmatched when you relish a dish like panipuri created by him. The whole chat section is filled with surprises that include the PaniPuri. The Pani itself is so tasty that you will want to just gulp it itself. The filling that we serve is a blend of crunchy and plain textures that will jolt your tastebuds. We request you to visit your nearest Dosa and Chat outlet, and taste our versatile and lip-smacking snacks and main course.