Chettinad is a popular style of cooking that uses local spices generously. Some of the common flavours you would come across are star anise, maratti mokku (dried flower pods), kalpasi (stone flower) and pepper. Authentic Chettinad dishes mostly use seafood and some of the delicacies you can sample are pepper chicken, chicken varuval (dry spicy fried chicken), mor milagai (chillies marinated in yoghurt and dried in the sun), poriyal (a sautéed vegetable dish), masiyal (a vegetable curry), kootu (lentil curry), delicious lamb biryani (layered meat and rice dish), urundai (fried lentil balls), homemade coconut ice cream and payasam (a sweet pudding). The vegetarian counterpart of the cuisine is murukku (a deep-fried round crunchy snack made with rice flour).

All the dishes in a traditional Chettinad meal are served in a specific order and have a designated place. For example, fritters are placed at the bottom left while rice and flatbreads, paired with lentils, occupy the centre point. The bottom right is reserved for desserts.

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