As summer sets in across the country, it also brings along the festivities of regional new year celebrations across India. In Tamil Nadu, April 14th is celebrated as Puthandu and marks the first day of the Chitharai month (the first month in the Tamil calendar). The special occasion is marked by new clothes, gifts and the Puthandu special Maanga Pachaadi.
Here is a quick recipe:
1. Cook chopped raw mangoes with a pinch of salt, turmeric and jaggery till the mix turns jammy. Take it off the heat.
2. Temper a pinchful of neem flowers, asafoetida, mustard seeds and red chillies in ghee. Add it to the mangoes. Stir and enjoy with a bowl of Thayir Saadam (Curd rice)
3. You can modify the proportions according to the taste and the type of mangoes you find.
With this Puthandu coinciding with Ambedkar Jayanti, most offices in Chennai will be shut on Thursday. If you want to celebrate the occasion by dining out, we have got you covered! After cutting through the clutter, we bring three unique traditional meal options for you to regale in Puthandu festivities:
Southern Spice - Taj Coromandel, Nungambakkam
The highly acclaimed Southern Spice at the city’s landmark Taj marries luxury with tradition. If you want to mark Puthandu with a special meal, you cannot go wrong with Southern Spice’s celebrated thalis. Sample a bevy of regional dishes with their signature thalis, curated to commemorate the festivities of the Tamil New Year.
Prems Graama Bhojanam - Adayar
Prems Graama Bhojanam or PGB, as it is fondly called is the result of one man’s quest to bring millets back on Chennai’s dining tables. The food at the austere Prems Graama Bhojanam is as unpretentiously healthy as it is delicious! A variety of millets replace rice and wheat in their staples and they make a mean Devanagere Dosa. Wash it down with a cup of medicinal Sukku coffee. The jovial Mr. Krishnamoorthy will happily customise your meals and share tips for cooking with millets.
Chitharai Food Festival at The Food Consulate - Velachery
Chennai’s premier food expo venue - The Food Consulate is hosting a Chitharai Food Festival, which will feature around 40 stalls from the city’s popular eateries and home chefs. It is a great place to sample some home cooked food and pick up homemade Appalams and Thokku
From: 30th April to 1st May. 4 PM to 9 PM.
Follow Amit @iamitp
A self proclaimed food geek and coffee nerd, Amit Patnaik enjoys his time in the kitchen as much as he loves dining out. He runs the food blog Pursuit of Yummyness and contributes to The Hindu in Chennai.