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The Mudaliars were historically rich farmers or the agriculturalists who had made many breakthroughs in the field of agriculture. They are also flushed with money (mudra) perhaps, from where the word Mudaliars had come into existence.

The heirloom traditional Mudaliar recipes are from the Vellore region. Their recipes are predominantly rich in vegetables. The ingredients are generally locally sourced and simple but the flavours are beautifully complex with combinations of vegetables.

Some dying recipes include Vazhaipoo Thattai , a vada made of banana flower and Bengal gram, full of luscious flavours inside. Another vada used as a starter is the Karnakezhangu Vadai which are vadas made with yam, green chillies and aniseed and more. The Raal Varuval is grilled masala fried prawns which trigger the taste buds.

The Mudaliars are known for their weakness of brinjal. The Kathirikai Chops; small brinjals cooked with a spicy masala of onion, tomatoes, peppercorns and coconut, is a dish treat to all, it is generally accompanied with piping hot appams. One of the diminishing recipes is the Vendhi Keerai Perattal with methi (fenugreek) leaves cooked with urad dal and green chillies and then tempered with mustard seeds. The simplest yet most delicious vegetarian preparation one can really enjoy. The Chow Chow Curry, another delightful yet obscure vegetable which looks like the bottle gourd is finger licking delicious.

The cuisine gets a unique flavour because of the usage of Tamil spices which includes mustard, cumin, fenugreek, shallots, etc. These spices are sundried, made in the form of balls and kept in jars for a long period of time. They are used during the monsoon seasons. One famous dish from this region is Pangti Korumbu. Pangti means a row of guests and Korumbu is mutton. This dish is made with the Tamil version of five spices.

Last but not the least, is the Elaneer – tender coconut water with mint leaves is a refreshing drink served before the meal.

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Flavours of Tamil Nadu

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