Tamil Nadu, a state on the palm-fringed southeast coast of India, is the cradle of Hindu vegetarian cooking. The cuisine depends on rice and lentils, wonderfully transforming them with patience and fermentation into such toothsome wonders as masala dosa and iddly. But the southern coastal region called Chettinad flaunts another cuisine that thumbs its nose at Tamil vegetarianism. An ancient society of bankers and traders that dispersed across Southeast Asia in the 19th century, the Chettiars traditionally subsisted on chicken, fish, and mutton, liberally lacing these fleshy delicacies with coconut milk and hot chiles. In fact, Chettinad—not Goan, as you might expect—has become a code word across India for... More >>>