Chettinad Shrimp Pepper Curry

shrimp curry2
Chettinad Shrimp or Prawn pepper curry is one of the most spiciest and aromatic dish in the world. This recipe that I got from my mom is perfect if you want to indulge in some ‘hotness’. It tastes best with rotis or plain rice. Continue reading

Idiyappam~ South Indian Breakfast

idiappam 4
Idiyappam or String hoppers is a popular Chettinad South Indian breakfast. It is usually served with a spicy curry or with sweetened coconut milk. Continue reading

Chettinad Kavuni Arisi/Black Rice Pudding

Today, august 20 is a memorable day in my life. Yes, the day I met my beloved husband for the very first time 6 years back. I decided to do one of his most loved dessert ‘Kavuni Arisi’.

Kavuni Arisi or Black Rice Pudding is a delicacy from the prestigious Chettinad Cuisine of Southern India. It is made using soft cooked sticky Black rice (thanks to Asian stores/Chinese stores) or Karuppu arisi (Kavuni arisi) along with sugar, coconut & cardamom. A Chettinad feast is totally incomplete without serving this popular sweet. Continue reading

Crab Curry / Nandu Curry

Seafood lovers this crab curry would definitely be a treat for your palate. It is made in an authentic way with Dungeness crab & tastes heavenly with just plain white Rice. Here is the recipe..

Crab 1 (2lb with Shell)
Onion 2
Tomato 2
Fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
Chilli powder 1 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Salt required

To Grind
Cumin 1/2 tbsp
Fennel 1/2 tbsp
Pepper 1 tbsp
Garlic 6
Coconut 1 Cup
Green Chillies 2
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

• Take a big pot. Heat little oil. Add Fenugreek seeds and roast it.
• Add Onions and sauté it to golden brown.

• Grind all the ingredients listed under To Grind to a paste with little water.

• Toss the grounded mixture to the roasted Onions. Sauté it for few minutes.
• Add the chopped Tomatoes and continue to cook.

• Add Chilli powder, Coriander powder and required salt. Cook it along with the tomatoes.
• Now add 2&1/2 to 3 Cups of Water. Let it boil.

• Add the cleaned, de shelled crab in to the boiling curry. Cook covered for a good 15-20 mins in a medium flame.

• Remove the lid and cook till the gravy thickens.
• Serve it hot with Rice!


Mutton Sukka Varuval/ Mutton Chukka

Mutton Sukka is a popular dish of South India. Tender Mutton is cooked along with spices to form a dry curry. Many crave for this mouth watering Mutton Sukka from a famous restaurant called ‘Konar Kadai’ in my hometown Madurai. This Spicy dry curry is delectable with Curd rice or any Roti!
Here is the recipe..

Mutton 1 lb
Water 1-1&1/2 Cup
Onion 1 large, finely chopped
Curry leaves 2-3 Sprigs
Coriander leaves 2-3 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
Cinnamon 1″ stick
Cloves 3
Bay leaf 1
Fennel 1/2 tsp
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1-1&1/2 tbsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Salt required
Oil required

• Wash and pressure cook Mutton with salt and Water until its tender.
• Take a wide pan. Heat oil. Add Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel, Cumin, Bay leaf & Curry leaves.
• Add Onions and sauté it to golden brown.
• Add Ginger Garlic paste. Cook it till the raw smell goes away.
• Now add Chilli powder & Coriander powder. Sauté it for few mins.
• Toss in the pressure cooked Mutton along with the water.
• Adjust the salt taste.
• Cook it till the gravy thickens to form a dry curry. Add Pepper powder & Switch off the stove.
• Mutton Sukka is ready to be served with Rice/Curd rice/Roti!


• Don’t add lots of water while pressure cooking Mutton. Cos we are making a dry roast here. Add enough water for the Mutton to just immerse.

Chettinad Paal Paniyaram

Paal Paniyaram, another delicacy from the very popular Chettinad Cuisine. Small white balls are soaked in sweetened fresh Coconut milk flavored with Cardamom, Saffron & Sliced Almonds. It’s mouth drooling & totally loved by anyone with a sweet tooth like me. Here is the recipe


Idly Rice 1/2 Cup
Urad dhal 1/2 Cup
Coconut milk 2 Cup
Milk 1 Cup
Cardamom powder 1 tsp
Sugar req
Saffron pinch


• Soak Rice & Urad dhal separately for minimum 3 hours atleast. Grind Urad dhal for few minutes then add Rice. Grind it to a very smooth batter with very little water and a pinch of salt.
• Heat oil in a pan. Deep fry the batter in to small balls using hand or a teaspoon. Remove them & keep it aside.

• Warm up milk. Add Coconut milk, Sugar, Cardamom & few Saffron strands to it and switch off the stove.
• Toss the small fried balls in to milk and allow it to sit for few minutes before you serve.

• If the batter becomes watery, fried balls would absorb more oil. In that case, plunge these balls in hot water, squeeze it then drop it in milk.
• Instead of Coconut milk, you can use plain milk too.
• You can serve it warm or cold.

Karaikudi Chicken Curry

Serves: 3-4 people
Chicken 1 lb
Onion 1, chopped
Tomato 1, chopped
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Fennel 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves req
Salt req

Roast & Grind
Red chilli 4
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Garlic 3 cloves
Ginger 1″ piece
Cinnamon 1″ piece
Cloves 3
Cardamom 1
Pepper 1 tsp
Coconut 2 tbsp
Curry leaves 1 small sprig

• Dry roast all the ingredients listed in
Roast & Grind one by one for few mins.(Make sure not to burn any). Grind it to paste with little water. Keep it separately.
• Take a vessel, heat Sesame oil. Add Cumin & Fennel seeds.
• Add Onions & sauté it to golden brown. ( Never mash the onions, sauté it gently )
• Add the chopped Tomatoes. Cook it till the tomatoes shrink.
• Next add the Chilli powder, Coriander powder & Turmeric. Sauté it for couple of mins.
• Now add the grounded paste. Cook it for few mins then add the Chicken.
• Mix it thoroughly in the curry with enough water & required salt.
• Cover & cook for 5-8 mins. Open the lid and simmer for the next 5 mins.
• Garnish with Coriander leaves & serve with Chappathy/ Naan/White Rice.


Chettinad Kara Kozhukattai/ Spicy Steamed Rice Dumpling/Ammini Kozhukattai

Idly Rice/ Rice flour 1 Cup
Sesame oil 1 tsp
Salt 1 pinch

For the seasoning
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad dhal 1 tsp
Asafoetida pinch
Red Chillies 4-5 (as needed)
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Coconut 3 tbsp, grated
Sesame oil 1tbsp
Salt req

• Wash and soak Rice for couple of hours. Grind it to a fine paste with very little water and a small pinch of salt.
• Take a wide pot preferably nonstick. Pour in the batter and heat it in medium flame mixing it continuously. In few minutes a soft pliable rice dough is obtained. Add a tsp of Sesame oil & Cover it with wet cloth.
• Instead of Idly Rice, you can use Rice flour if you don’t have time. Just add enough water to 1 Cup of Rice flour with a small pinch of salt. Make a soft dough. Add the Sesame oil & Cover it with wet cloth.
• Start making marble sized balls. Steam cook it for 10-15 mins in a idly maker.
• To prepare the seasoning, Heat a tbsp of Sesame oil. Add in the Mustard, Urad dhal, Asafoetida, Red Chillies, Curry leaves & Coconut. One by one sautéing it.
• Finally add the steam cooked Rice balls in it with req Salt. Give a thorough mix and Serve hot!

• You can add a tsp of Idly Milagai Podi for additional flavor. ( Make sure to adjust Red Chillies if you are using Podi )

Chettinad Paal Kozhukattai

Paal Kozhukattai is a popular delicacy from the Chettinad Cuisine. Here the perfectly shaped small rice balls are cooked in a rich Jaggery-Coconut-milk sauce. It is definitely very easy to make and it’s worth a try.

For Rice balls
Idly rice/ Rice Flour 1 Cup
Water req
Salt small pinch

For the Sauce
Jaggery 1 Cup
Coconut 1/4 Cup, finely grated
Milk 1/2 Cup ( as req )
Water 1 Cup
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp
Saffron pinch

• Wash and soak Rice for couple of hours. Grind it to a fine paste with very little water and a small pinch of salt.
• Take a wide pot preferably nonstick. Pour in the batter and heat it in medium flame mixing it continuously. In few minutes a soft pliable rice dough is obtained. Cover it with wet cloth and keep it aside.
• Instead of Idly Rice, you can use Rice flour if you don’t have time. Just add enough water to 1 Cup of Rice flour with a small pinch of salt. Make a soft dough.
• In a small saucepan melt jaggery with little water and filter to remove scum. Keep it ready.
• Heat 1 Cup of Water + 1/2 Cup Milk together in a heavy bottomed vessel.
• Grease your hands with sesame oil/ghee then start making small balls out of it.
• When the Water+Milk starts to boil. Drop gently the small balls in to it. Cover it and cook in medium flame for 5 mins. ( Make sure there is enough water for the balls to get completely immersed, if not use the required milk or water )
• Carefully stir the sauce. Then add the melted jaggery & finely shredded coconut and simmer it for another 5-10 mins. Switch off the stove. Garnish with few strands of Saffron and serve.

• Dilute 2 tbsp of Rice dough in little water. Pour it in to the sauce for a creamier texture.

Chettinad Kara Paniyaram

Onion 1, finely chopped
Channa dhal 1 tbsp
Mustard 1 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal 1 tsp
Curry leaves 2 strands
Coriander 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Green chillies 2-3, finely chopped
Grated coconut 2 tbsp ( optional )

Soak & Grind
Idly rice 1 cup
Raw rice 1 cup
Urad dhal 1/4 cup
Fenugreek seed 1 tsp
Salt req

• Wash and Soak Idly Rice, Raw Rice, Urad Dhal & Fenugreek for 5 hours and grind it to a thick fine paste with req salt.
• Ferment it overnight.
• Heat a pan, add little oil. Crackle mustard, then Channa dhal, Urad dhal, Onion, Curry leaves, Green chillies. Sauté it for a while.
• Toss it in to the batter along with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.
• Dilute it with little water and adjust the salt taste.
• Heat the Paniyaram pan. Grease all the wells with little oil.
• Pour batter in to each well. Cover and cook till both sides turn golden brown.
• Serve hot with Tomato Chutney!