Kothu Idiappam from the Nadar Cuisine

This post is a part of the main post that was featured for the Indian Food Odyssey for Tamil Nadu...

From the plains of the Kongunad, we now now going to travel to another part of Tamilnadu.And for dinner I present to you a dish from the lesser known cuisine -Nadar Cuisine..

The Nadar's are largely a business community living in and around the districts of Tutucorin, Madurai, Sivakasi, Nagarkoil, and Virudhunagar in Tamil nadu.The community and the cuisine traces the history back to the times of the Pandya Kings.

This cuisine leans its favoritism towards non vegetarian foods especially lamb and its presence can be felt in all the courses of a meal except for dessert.

This cuisine is best known for its unique flavor that is imparted from freshly hand pounded spices and red meat.They have a different idea of pairing and preparing vegetables even pair vegetables with meat dishes! The Nadars use a lot of coconut and coconut oil in their  dishes.Despite its rich culinary tradition, this cuisine has never been in the limelight unlike the Chettinad cuisine.

Since my quest was for the lesser known cuisines of Tamil nadu,I searched and searched and my research landed me on this cuisine.I read in this article about kothu idiyappam being served in the Nadar food festival and so this was the chosen one for the dinner menu.

I made this simple kothu idiappam, seasoned rice noodles that is prepared the Nadar way.

Kothu means minced and idiyappam is the home made rice noodles. Unlike the regular versions, this one makes use of whole spices and garam masala. It can be seasoned and served or vegetables/ paneer/ meat can be added to this dish. Either way it is very flavorful.

I used:

Idiyappam - 10 numbers
Bay leaf-1
Cinnamon- 2 small pieces
Mustard seeds- 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Onion-1, chopped
Green chilies-2, chopped
Tomato-1, chopped
Boiled peas and corn- a handful
Curry leaves- a few
Cuber paneer- 10 pieces
Garam masala-1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Prepare idiyappam at home or get the ready made ones and steam them. When cool, tear them into small pieces.

Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds, bay leaves, cardamom,cinnamon. When the mustard splutters, add the onion,curry leaves and green chilies.Saute till onion turns translucent.Put in tomato and cook till soft.

Add the boiled vegetables and mix and cook for a minute.Put in the paneer.Add the garam masala and salt and cook on medium flame for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the idiyappam and mix well so that the masala coats the idiyappam evenly.

Serve hot.This does not require a side dish.

Bon Appetit....

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