The Nattukotai Chettiars are the ones who ‘invented’ the Chettinad cuisine. They come from the Chettinad region of the state of Tamil Nadu and is one among the foremost documented and most loved cuisines within the south of India. Chettinad food is known for the variety of spices used, and the dishes are also made using fresh ground masalas, as opposed to masalas you can buy in packets from any stores. There’s a lot of meat utilized in their food – mostly sun-dried meats – and many of vegetables also.
As for the 5 Best Chettinad Food Restaurants, here we go:
1. Dakshin – As the name suggests, Dakshin is a restaurant that serves a smattering of dishes from all the southern Indian states. It still draws enormous crowds from the past 30 years of being in business. Every meal is carefully prepared after tremendous research and perfection. It makes relishing Kai Pidi chops, Keerai Kozhambu, to name a few and all without the heavy hand of masala that has become the characteristics of the Chettinad cuisine today. This is the sort of restaurant I come to with my family, It’s cheery, with live Carnatic Music, knowledgeable waiters, and the best Chettinad food.
2. Ponnuswamy Hotels – A well known, longtime restaurant with ingredient themed wall art and a menu of Chettinad cuisine. Starting as a small mess in 1954, it has come a long way in providing the taste of Tamil Nadu in the food it serves.
3. Anjappar – It is one of Chennai’s most popular restaurant chains specializing in Chettinad Food. So famous that it has extended its branches to Dubai, Canada, Malaysia, and even the USA. The rich aroma of spices, along with the thick coating of gravy over the dishes, makes it appealing and relishing.
4. Madurai Kumar Mess – It is a local Chettinad restaurant chain offering the best of this traditional cuisine at a very reasonable price. The food is homemade style and incredibly delicious. You must finish your meal with Elaneer paayaasam.
5. Maplai – For lip-smacking South Indian cuisine and terrific thalis, Maplai is our go-to restaurant. Go for their Chettinad Scotch Eggs, Mutton Chukka and pick any Biryani from the menu, you wouldn’t be disappointed! The restaurant serves everything South Indian and whatever your heart craves, Both non-vegetarian and vegetarian.
6. Amma Chettinadu Restaurant – The Chettinad food served at Amma Chettinadu Restaurant, T. Nagar, Chennai, will make you want to lick your fingers. The fact that Amma Chettinadu Restaurant has been around since years proves how much they’re loved! Specializing in South Indian and Chettinad cuisine, their Nattu Kozhi Biryani, Prawn Masala with Vazha Illai Saapadu, are simply brilliant.
For people who don’t know the taste of Chettinad, I can say, Chettinad food is not, in fact, a vehicle for blistering amounts of spice – instead, it is a sophisticated, layered cuisine with an equal emphasis on the cooking of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meat dishes. The taste when you eat the food lingers in your tongue long after you have eaten. The creamy texture and the wonderful flavors add to the whole experience.