Wedged in a busy daily-life schedule almost everyone misses the food prepared by their grandmothers. For those, here is a chance to get the taste of delicacies made by Aachi (grandmother in Tamil) at the Aachi Virundhu festival at Navaratna Restaurant, in Le Royal Meridien.
The hotel is hosting a Karaikudi cuisine food festival at their Navaratna Restaurant. According to N Murali, Food and Beverage Executive, they have tried to prepare the dishes in a traditional way on the demand put forth by regular guests; the way usually employed by grandmothers and mothers, especially of the Karaikudi region to prepare food.
Chef Nanda Kumar has tried his best to give the food a homely touch which has prompted him and his team to use a hand grinder for grinding the spices for each and every dish of the menu.
Two of the mouth watering starters of the festival are Aachi kuzhi paniyaram and Vellai paniyaram. The former is a steamed and shallow fried dumpling made from a batter of fermented rice and lentils with a choice of seasoning (in which it is steamed) and the latter is similar but deep fried. These crispy starters are part of an interesting aachi vegetarian platter which has Keerai mundhiri pakoda, Uppu urundai, Thulasi paruppu adai and Javvaarisi vadai.
Some of the non-vegetarian main course highlights are Manchatti ayira meen kuzhambu — traditional fish curry served in a mud pot which is tangy in taste; Aattu nalli peratal — a dry preparation made from lamb shanks and ‘biryani’—authentic South Indian biriyani with a choice of mutton, chicken or veggies which is spicy with a typical home made aroma — tempting and irresistible.
One of the interesting dishes present in the menu is Yera semiya biryani which is made from vermicelli, suggested by their general manager, according to Murali.
The common ingredients which are a part of almost all the recipes are curry leaves (a must-have ingredient) black pepper, coriander, fennel, red chillies, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, nutmeg, coconut, etc.
Apart from main course and starters they have authentic soups as well like Nandu rasam —made from crab meat extraction which is good for cough and cold and Vazhaithandu soup made from banana tree stem. They also serve a welcome drink to all the guests called Panakam which is made from palm jaggery, lime juice, dry ginger and sugar candy.
Apart from these scrumptious delicacies there are some gravies as accompaniment to the snacks like the Karuveppilai poondu kuzhambu and Manathakkali vatha kozhumbu both made from garlic and curry leaves but in different ways.
Not to forget the desert Poorna kozhukattai made from rice flour, coconut, jaggery and til.
(Aachi Virundhu is on till July 31 for dinner only. Contact 22314343, Extn: 55)