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Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu | Friends are the family you choose..

3 May 2016 2 Comments

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

Friends are the family you choose“~ J. Scott.

Here is a hurried post I was longing to write, when the non-stop photo shoots kept me busy and away from online world.

Well, finally I am opening happiness again, with two wonderful trips that shall never be forgotten.

Reminiscing couple of days of simple joy, love, laughter and fun with two different groups of blogger friends in Karaikudi.

My first trip was with Aparna, Sra, Lata and Harini which was followed by one another trip with Deeba and Madhuli.

This was my first experience of travelling with friends which was no less than magical and inspiring. From endless chatting and gossiping till late night and waking up early morning to catch the glimpse of village life, we shared some wonderful moments together which are now imprinted hard in my life.

Yes, I have made some friends for eternity.

Here are a few of those beautiful moments, all bottled up in memory and pictures…

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

The blogger buddies from both the trips, all set to explore beautiful Chettinadu..

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

I have visited Chettinadu a couple of times with my family and suggested the same to my friends when we decided to go for a trip together. Here is a post about my first road-trip to ChettinaduA strong urge to reconnect with history” on my other blog.

Our first blogger group stayed in Kanadukattan and visited many heritage buildings and temples nearby.

Though life in Chettinadu is relaxed and barren streets make it look like a ghost city, royalty lies everywhere in Chettinadu region. Large beautifully renovated mansions tall stand next to crumbling building abandoned by their owners.

Every building and mansion has its own characteristic and pattern engraved that speaks of the richness of the families who stayed there.

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Sadly, some of the structures and large mansions abandoned by their owners are now in a very dilapidated condition.

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Local produce on the way..we bought Karupatti or palm jaggery on the way.

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Couldn’t resist stopping and having a few slices of these juicy pineapples…

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Visited this quiet and serene place with the first group called Naman Samudran which is surrounded on both sides of the pathway with hundreds of broken & ruined sculptures of many mythological characters. The place resonates strong vibes of faith, traditional practices and believes of rural India.
Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

And there happened a lot of prop shopping too 🙂

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Chidambara Vilas

The second group of friends stayed at Chidambara Vilas. The resort is a beautiful luxury heritage property located in Chettinadu, away from the bustling city amidst the oasis of tranquility. The hospitality of the staff completely floored us. From traditional breakfast to mouth-watering dinner served on banana leaf, every meal was spot on.

Deeba has beautifully captured the essence of Chettinadu and its rich cultural heritage in this travelogue ‘C is for Chettinadu‘ on her blog.

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

Friendship is never anything but sharing….Kumquats, mulberries, raisins, marmalade, chocolates, local sweets, savories, props, toys for children, kurtis…well, these are just a few goodies I could remember that Deeba and Madhuli brought for me.

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu

Those Kumquats and raisins are now pickling beautifully…

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Cheers to the endless laughs, late night gossips, err..shandy and non stop masti.

Yes, both the trips were all about friendship, fun, love and the promise to stick together..forever!

Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu or spicy curry

Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Here is a popular Chettinadu curry Kara Kuzhambu shared by the staff working in the kitchen of Chidambara Vilas. It’s spicy, tangy and a perfect accompaniment to many South Indian dishes. I often make Kara Kuzhambu at home but fennel seeds and garlic added to this version bring in a big difference to this Chettinadu curry.


(serve 3)

  • 9-10 Small brinjals
  • 9-10 small onions
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp.  Tamarind paste
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Curry leaves
  • Water as required


  • 2 tbsp Sambhar powder
  • 1 red chilly
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. fenugreek seeds
Recipe | Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu |

Working counter at Chidambara Vilas kitchen

Method;  Dissolve tamarinds paste in 3 cups of water.

Peel small onions and garlic. Chop brinjal and tomato into small pieces.

Roast cumin seeds, coriander seeds and grind it into fine paste along with diced tomato, 2 garlic cloves, 3 small onions and a few curry leaves.

Heat oil in a kadai or wok and splutter mustard seeds in it.

Add fennel seeds, red chilly, fenugreek seeds, asafetida powder and sauté for a few seconds.

Add chopped tomato, brinjal, rest of garlic cloves and small onions in the kadai and sauté for 5-6 minutes.

Pour the tamarind water in kadai and bring it to boil.

Add salt, Sambhar powder and let it simmer for few more minutes.

Take the Chettinadu Kara Kuzhambu or spicy curry off the heat and serve it hot with plain rice, Idly or Dosa.


  1. Add a teaspoon of rice flour mixed in a little water to thicken the curry if you wish.
  2. Brinjal can be replaced with drumstick, carrots, beans or any other vegetable of your choice.


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  • Priya Srinivasan said:

    Awesome sanjeeta and all these jaw-dropping clicks of chidambara vilas has made me plan a trip there this summer!!! Hope it works out and we too enjoy these eternal beauty of Chettinad!! 🙂

  • rebecca said:

    how lovely and hope to visit in July
    rebecca recently posted..Indian Spiced Apple ColeslawMy Profile

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