Chettinad is a vibrant state, very distinct from the rest of Kerala. From crafts to customs, culture to its cuisine the region has managed to carve its own niche, and you’ll know this as soon as you step there. The cuisine of Chettinad comes from the community of the Nattukoi Chettairs or Nagarathars of Tamil Nadu. The spices used are varied, grandmothers still hand grind them and the ingredients are varied and experimental. Some of the commonly used Chettinad spices in our kitchens are cloves, cumin seeds, fenugreek,cinnamon and fennel seeds. Sura Puttu is one such dish, wherein shark cuts absorb the strong spices to create a wonderful blend of flavors.
The native Chettiars were traditionally vegetarians, but trade and visitors to Cochin’s ports brought with them non-vegetarian fare, particularly fish. While everywhere else was used Mackerel, sardines and tuna, in Chettinad shark curry cut became a delicacy. This is what you will find a staple in most homes, whether for a feast or even otherwise. Below is a quick way to prepare this flaky, light and flavorful dish. Shark curry cut is boneless, has a distinct flavor and goes beautifully with red or plain white rice and papad.