Chettinad is a style of cooking, pioneered by the chettiyars who travel a lot to foreign countries on business. The chettiyars who were renowned for their innovative skills in business did not lag behind when it came to food. They borrowed from other types of Asian cooking existing in countries like Malaysia, Burma and Indonesia and came out with their own unique style known as Chettinad, now a jewel in the south Indian crown of gourmet cooking
In Chettinad food, the most important spices are marathimokku (dried flower pods), anasipoo (star aniseed) and kalpasi (a lichen known as the “black stone flower”, also known as dagadphool). In addition, tamarind, whole red chillies and saunf (fennel seed) are also used along with cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, peppercorn, cumin seeds and fenugreek.
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