Chidambara Vilas provides a rare glimpse into the traditional Chettiar Kitchen through the interactive kitchen concept where local chefs cook Chettinad food with locally sourced ingredients and traditional techniques. Visitors can interact with the chefs through a translator to learn about the origins of this world famous cuisine. The open kitchen allows visitors to try their hand at traditional techniques that bring an added dimension to the flavours and textures that are found nowhere else. Experience the sights, smells and sounds of the traditional Chettiar kitchen and savour the unique dishes that it has to offer.
The interactive kitchen is held in a courtyard open to the sky and is conducted by local ladies that cook breakfast right in front of the residents. The rustic surroundings, the brightly lit spaces and the crisp morning air form the backdrop as you savour the delicacies made right before your eyes.
The craft of chettinad cooking
The Chettiar kitchen is a treasure trove of information. The classic dishes have been perfected over centuries and the cuisine is associated with strong flavours that range from spicy to sweet. The manual techniques used in cooking predate the modern era and is based on individual care for every dish. A large variety of spices are used along with the regional ingredients. The Cuisine encompasses everything from starters to multi course meals with over twenty dishes. The cooking has been influenced by the exposure of the Chettiars to cuisines from Europe and Asia during their travels.
Cuisine as part of hospitality
The Chettiars laid great importance to hospitality, and regularly hosted large gatherings. Cooking was a community affair and traditionally managed by the women in the family who held great pride in their delicious fare. Recipes of century old dishes were handed down through generations through community cooking. A large and important area of the house was dedicated to the kitchen and banquet halls, which showcases the importance of cuisine in their day to day life.