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There are a lot of nuances in Tamil cuisine. That’s what Chef Anand was explaining over a spellbinding dining experience at Eden Pavilion, ITC Sonar Kolkata. Chef Praveen Anand, the executive Chef of Southern Cuisine of ITC Hotels has especially flown down to the city to ensure the best possible experience for city diners. This would be the first time a full-blown Tamil Cuisine is being explored in Kolkata. There is much to look forward to beyond Chicken Chettinad, which I believe, just like the chicken Manchurian, is completely made up.
‘Tamil Virundhu' is a feast of traditional delicacies from Tamil Nadu. These are drawn from the homes of their different communities, presented by ITC Hotels’ initiative of Kitchen of India. In keeping with our ethos of Responsible Luxury, we ensure authentic flavours using fresh organic produce at all times. Further, our strict food safety and hygiene standards offer our guests an unparalleled experience and contribute to the wellness of the society. ‘- Atul Bhalla, Area Manager East ITC Hotels & General Manager ITC Sonar speaks with much pride.
With so much going, there are dishes on rotation from the communities of Chettiyars, Mudaliyars, Tamil Sahibu and many more. Dishes indigenous to that region like Kosambri, Kari Kozambu, Sundiah, Tharir Sadam, Kozhi Rasam, Kozhi Varuval, Meen Aanam, Veechu Paratha, Vattil appam are what you will find amongst many. While every day the dishes of one community will be highlighted in the dinner buffet, one can order a community thali, which definitely is more interesting in advance for a more wholesome sit-down experience.
Kozhi varuval is a chicken dish with nuggets of chicken deep fried with a light batter and other spices- a very addictive dish meant to please the soul. Some Ghee bhaat with a small bowl of gunpowder mixed with additional ghee was a blessing. Dunk the soft Veechu Paratha in a bowl of spicy Chillah Dal made with butterbeans and potatoes or some Poricha Kari which is simply a very lush Mutton Curry. A dish of whole roasted tomato tossed with green chillies, garlic and onion called Thakkali Bhurta was unique in its own way and was a savoury and salty yet a soul-satisfying dish. How is the dessert always the best part of any meal? Here too, Harira Paal, a payasam made with poppy seed, cashew paste, coconut milk and milk created a beautiful nutty texture with the creaminess from the cashew paste and the thickened milk was the best way to end the meal. I bet anyone having this would delightfully go for a second helping.
The Tamil Virundhu will be on till the 29th of July and is available at a cost of INR 2000 AI per person for the buffet as well as the community thali. Prior reservation is preferred.
For someone who's run two restaurants, being a baker and cook par excellence comes easily to Madhushree . When she's not eating out, she's organizing her own pop ups or experimenting with regional recipes. Her experiments with food and her recipes are part of Pikturenama , where she's a co founder.