Malgudi Diaries @ The Westin, Kolkata
Yes you read the title right!
Call it the vastness of our country or our nature to stereotype folks we don’t know much about, but stop a lad on Park Street and ask to name some South Indian dishes Idli, Dosa, Sambar is what the bugger will mumble!
But as we walked into The Westin, New Town and saw chef Dinesh busy behind the stove dexterously working on his magic we knew we were about to witness nothing less than a work of art!
Artsy! Say what?
From using a variety of ground masalas, sun dried meats and salted vegetables, Chettinad cuisine is as much a treat to your senses as you can imagine and the plethora of spices only add to it!
The major spices used in Chettinad cuisine include Anasipoo (star aniseed), Kalpasi (a lichen), Puli (tamarind), Milagai (chillies), Sombu (fennel seed), Pattai (cinnamon), lavangam (cloves), Bay leaf, Karu Milagu (peppercorn), Ieeragam (cumin seeds) and venthayam (fenugreek) to name a few (PHEW)
So yeah, if all this coming together isn’t art then we don’t know what is!
Hold up! I get the spices but where’s the main deal – the meat?
Aah, so you’re a meat lover? Chew this!
The non-veg highlights from the food festival are
Karaikudi Fried Chicken
Mutton Coconut Fry’
Chettinadu Fish Fry
The ones we couldn’t get enough of however were the Kalan Pattani Chettinadu, Puthupatti Bonda Morru Kozhambu, Chicken Chettinad, Madhurai Mutton Curry in the main course.
Apart from this the live-stations serving varieties of dosas and appams had us sorted.
If that isn’t all, a Biryani station is to be set up soo to be offering assorted kinds of Biryanis
And you thought only we Bengalis were about meat, fish and rice?
While we take deep pride in our Chingri Malai Curry and Shorshe Illish and dig into heaps of steaming rice feeling all Bangali and all, you’d be surprised to know that the coastal delicies we swear by aren’t only restricted to Bengal and us Bangalis!
While our taste palates were exploring un-ventured territories, our hearts were quite at home with the basic components being so homely!
The Chettiars (also called Nagarathars) were a small community of traders, merchants and bankers who lived at Poompuhar and Kaveripatnam under the Chola kingdom.
The culinary tradition of the Chettiars reflects the interesting history of the community. Having lived in proximity to the sea, the Chettiars used seafood to create many of their signature dishes such as the meen kuzhambu (fish curry), nandu (crab) masala, sura puttu (shark fin curry), and eral (prawn) masala.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it?!
Think the similarity ends there? Nope
The Bengali tradition of ending things on a sweet note continues with the Chettinad cuisine too!
At the festivel, you can end the meal on a sweet note, with desserts such as Mysore Pak, Semiya Payasam, Paruppu Poli, Sakkarai Pongal all the way from the South making way to the elaborate dessert section of the buffet at Seasonal Tastes.
Relish the century old flavors brought forth by the Chettiar community and recreated by Chef Dinesh Kumar, served fresh to your plate at Seasonal Tastes
The whens, wheres & hows
When: From 19th – 29th April 2018.
Where: Seasonal Tastes, The Westin Kolkata Rajarhat
Plot No. CBD/2, Action Area – II, New Town, Kolkata, West Bengal 700156
For Reservations: 033 4037 1234
Timing: Dinner: 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Prices: INR 1399 plus applicable taxes