Bursting with homely flavours, N Veetu Samayal offers favourites from the South Indian hearth
Chennai-based home chef Meena Latha brings us authentic homely flavours from her hometown Tuticorin with her new venture N Veetu Samayal
When the brain and heart are aligned — the result is delightful. That’s exactly how I felt when I sampled the Brain Fry from the new home kitchen, N Veetu Samayal. I was thrilled with the nostalgic flavours from my South Indian roots. Unlike the more commonly available Chettinad style that is peppery, this version favoured the familiar red chilli spice.
Meena Latha, the home chef who hails from Tuticorin and the lady behind this menu, tells us, “I have always loved to cook and feed people. These recipes have been in my family for years and I personally prep and cook each dish.” Further adding that the biryani and mutton chukka were her signatures, Latha confirms that every masala was made from scratch in her kitchen. The meal came festively wrapped in a well-tailored, silken bag and we were told that this was her daughter’s contribution, who is a fashion designer.
Starting off with the full quail, I confess I was sceptical, as most who have tried kaadai will know the risk of drying out the meat with overcooking. The hint of aromatic turmeric confirmed the traditional cleaning process of meats followed in South Indian homes. And a bite of the succulent meat allayed all my fears — as the deceptively scrawny bird managed to pack some juicy meat indeed.
Meanwhile, the chicken biryani cranked up the heat further. Though the mutton chukka was choc-a-bloc with whole dried chillies — it was more about flavour than spice. I made a mental note to pair the masala coated meat with a layered parotta next time.
Finally, the subtle paniyaram was the perfect ending to the meal. The fritters were chewy and restrained in sweetness and grease. Latha informs, “Every festive meal prep in our home starts with the making of this dish.” I could easily see it as a tea time treat — that is if they managed to stay unconsumed till the said hour!
Available on Instagram, family portions serve about five, Mutton Biryani is at INR 2,850, Kaadai Fry at INR 975 and Brain Fry at INR 525.