That's our word of caution for those planning to visit the less than a month old Chettiars serving up some yummy but super spicy Chettinad dishes
It is said that one is lucky to eat like a Chettiar. The cuisine of south Tamil Nadu is considered to be the one of most aromatic and spiciest in the country. In fact, any restaurant offering Chettinad spread is distinct in its decor with swan shaped brass lamps, wooden carved dolls and more.
In that regard, the newly opened Chettiars in Indiranagar with low brick benches and tables may disappoint you. However, ignoring all that if you can just concentrate on the food, Chettiars is a good bet.
Smiling waiters and a succinct menu greeted us one weekday evening when we decided to stop by at Chettiars for a quick dinner. A generous dose of pepper is common in Chettinad dishes thus making them spicy and not hot. And the Mutton Bone Soup (Rs 65) had lots of it.
The mutton stock flavoured with curry leaves, bits of meat and a dash of pepper leaves a mild spicy aftertaste. Being a proud carnivore, we decided to ignore the vegetarian starters as Gongura Mutton (Rs 125) and Crab Roast (Rs 125) on the menu caught our eyes.
The well-roasted peppery crab was a teaser to the taste buds but half way down we had to reach for water and soft drinks. However, the tangy and mildly spiced tender pieces of Gongura Mutton dunked in a gravy with fiery sorrel leaves was a soother when compared to the crab dish.
After the zesty non-vegetarian fest for the entree, we decided to pick the Chicken Biryani (Rs 105) for the mains. After all, visiting a Chettinad joint and not digging into biryani insa sin we did not dare to commit it. Just to keep it light we ordered the traditional Brinjal Curry (Rs 65) along with it.
Like the famous Kolkata Biryani, this biryani was accompanied by a boiled egg but was a spicier version of the one in the City of Joy. Flavoured with fried onion, cinnamon, cardamom and other spices, it went perfectly well with the semi solid brinjals cooked in tamarind gravy. And needless to say, the gravy somewhat helped to offset the spice quotient in the biryani.
After an overdose of spice, we would have loved to indulge in desserts. Unfortunately Chettiars does not have any. So there ended the meal.
A tiny and cosy place, Chettiar is not gourmet by any stretch of imagination, but is ideal for those who love homemade Chettinad food. The day you feel like setting your tongue on fire, step into Chettiars, but not before arming yourself with a bottle of cold water.
At Chettiars, 620, Ground floor, 2nd Main, Indiranagar 1st stage
Call 9880080200 Meal for two Rs 600
Chettiars didn't know we were there. The Guide reviews anonymously and pays for meals.