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Kaikari Perattal

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Vegetable Stir Fry : Tamils are not noted to stir fry anything in the past. Most Tamil cuisine involved the use of locally available spices and vegetables cooked over a slow wood fire in earthen pots. Each ingredient was carefully chosen for adding to the overall taste of the food. Each recipe has its own regional variations as well. You can have a dry fry or with a little liquid. We provide below a typical Vegetable Side dish - Kaikari literally meaning vegetables and Perattal meaning a fried item in Tamil.

Vegetable Perattal recipe


Carrots 2
Potatoes 2
Tomato 1
Onion 1
Peas 1/2 cup
Coconut 1/4 cup, grated
Garlic 2 pods
Poppy seeds 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Red chilies 5
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Roasted gram 1 tbsp
Red chili powder 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Grind fennel seeds, poppy seeds, fried gram, red chilies and coconut into a fine paste. Scrape off the skin from the potatoes and carrots. Chop potatoes, carrots, tomatoes and onion into medium size pieces. Boil carrots and potatoes separately. Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves, onion, tomatoes, peas and the boiled potatoes and carrots. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and salt. Add the ground paste. Cook until the gravy thickens. Serve hot with rice.

Kaikari Perattal Dry

You can even make a drier version of the kaikari perattal. Grind cinnamon, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, roasted gram and coconut to a fine powder. You can steam the vegetables with a bit of salt. Take a pan with a bit of oil. Temper it with mustard, cumin and curry leaves. Add onions and saute them for a while. Add tomatoes and a bit of salt. Let the tomatoes soften up. Add the vegetables, turmeric and chili powder. Add the ground spice mix and mix well. Let it all blend together and serve hot. It is a wholesome accompaniment to rice and gravy.

Kaikiri Perattal is a classic example of fresh vegetables cooked in type Chettinad style. The hallmark of Chettinad recipes is the use of rich spices that are heady and appetizing. Some of the other famous dishes from the Karaikudi region are idiyappam, karuppatti paniyaram, paal paniyaram, kuzhi paniyaram, kozhakattai, kandharappam, seeyam, masala seeyam, kolai urundai, kavuni arisi and athirasam.

Chettinad Masala Powder

Red Chillies 8-10
Cloves 3
Cinnamon 1"
Poppy Seeds 2 tsp
Coriander Seeds 2 tsp
Chana dal 1 tsp
Cardamom 1

Dry roast the above ingredients for about 3 minutes. Grind them together to a fine powder. This powder can be used along with vegetables or eggs or chicken.

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South Indian Recipe : Kaikari Perattal - Vegetable Fry