Indulge in a wide variety of Chettinadu and Kongunadu cuisine in the Chettinadu food festival at Vivanta Coimbatore
Chettinad cuisine has is influenced by the climate of the region. The freshly ground masalas are made using sun-dried assortments and hand pound in pestles, giving it an earthy aroma. Showcasing these flavours, executive chef Saratchandra Banerji of Vivanta explains, “When we host food festivals, we always look to showcase the flavours of different region or a country. This time we wanted to combine the popular Chettinadu cuisine with the regional Kongunadu flavours and offer diners a taste of Southern delicacies.”
As we settle into our seats, we notice that the interiors are decked up with garlands and coconut palms to give diners a rustic experience. We start our meal with the kari vadai. A mixture of minced mutton and coconut, this starter resembles a deep fried meat ball. Ellu kozhi kari has succulent bits of chicken drenched in a spicy masala and topped off with sesame seeds. A fine play on a sweet and savoury flavour, we can’t help but take another helping. The naatu kozhi kuzhambu, from the among the gravies is specifically meant for those who love spicy food, while the lamb paya kurma is mild with an umami taste and a smoky aroma. We follow this up with the kozhi kari biriyani and can’t help but miss the hit spice that is signature of any Chettinadu cooking.
From the vegetarian section, we sample the mango kozhukattai that is a mixture of raw mangoes and rice flour. Despite the use of red chilli masala in the mixture, it is rather mildly flavoured. We also recommend the kodamilagai urulai. The standout dish, however, is the vethilai pundu sadham. It has a lovely aroma of the beetle leaf and has the right amount of spice. The only let down is its slightly bitter aftertaste.
The banquet also had an array of alluring desserts but those who stood out were Elaneer Payasam which was not too sweet but was very refreshing. Karupatti Halwa was goey, with the distinctive taste that comes from palm jaggery. We loved that this sweet possess a little margin of heat that comes from the peppers that are added to the dish.
`1,199. On until October 20.