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Winners from Chettinad



Delicious fare for foodies

KARAIKUDI VARUTHA vanjaram meen, Anthagudi sorra puttu, Alagapuri attukal soup Kottaiyur kola urundai... Quite a mouthful that. Literally. But take my word for it, you'll have no difficulty biting into the fresh, soft seafood or meat cooked in the aromatic spices and coconut gravy at the ongoing Chettinad food festival at Malgudi.

The ethnically done-up place, on Marathahalli Ring Road, is right now offering the best of Chettinad cuisine. If you are a health freak or are calorie conscious, stay away, for the fare is really rich. But then, Chettinad is for true blue foodies, yours truly included.

For starters, I had the Pudur erra masala (prawns cooked in dry Indian spices). Though the prawns were really yummy, the dish could have done better without with the soft cashews, which interfered with the taste.

"For the first time we are serving the Puduvayal pura fry (pigeon), Kallal muyal chukka fry (rabbit meat), Devakottai pitta varuval (turkey) and Anthagudi sorra puttu (shark meat)," says K.B. Prakash, General Manager, Malgudi. And, rabbit meat, vouched my companion, was simply yummy.

For the main course, my dining companion and I chose the hot and sour meen kozhambu (fish curry), which we relished with soft appams and soft rice idlis. The idlis and appams can also be eaten with coconut milk. And the Kondanur nandu masala, crab cooked in pepper masala, is simply a must-try. The spices, the crunchy crab shell and the soft meat inside truly tantalise the taste buds.

Then came the coconut rice. Delicious, loaded with dry fruits and coconut and masala. This, the chef recommends, should be eaten with meen kozhambhu. The overload of spices was nicely complemented by the thick sweet curd.

As for the dessert, the fare was limited — Chettinad carrot halwa, Karaikudi pumpkin halwa and Palathur paal payasam. The former two were sinfully rich.

Friendly tip: Skip breakfast before you head for Malgudi.

For more details, call Malgudi on 25234165/66. The festival concludes on December 19.

Ambience: Ethnic Wallet Factor: Rs. 350 for a meal for two

Speciality: Seafood and pura fry; chukka fry

Service: Good

SHILPA SEBASTIAN R.

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