Any traveler who’s had the opportunity to stay with locals knows how special it is to be cooked for, especially when they get to experience regional dishes, recipes, traditions, and methods passed down from one family generation to another. At the Bangala hotel in Karaikudi, Timil Nadu, India, all guests are welcome to this experience.
The food at the hotel is prepared by chefs Pandian and Kasi, who have been cooking some of the finest Chettinad Tamil food in Karaikudi, Timil Nadu, India for over 30 years. The Chettiars were merchants within Asia for centuries, drawing culinary influences from Burma, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. The Bangala, owned and operated by 89-year-old matriarch Meenakshi Meyyappan and her family is known for its homestyle Chettinad cuisine, featuring several family recipes.
One such recipe is crab rasam, a flavorful crab leg soup. For this recipe, whole crab legs are mashed and mixed with ground aromatics like black pepper, cumin, coriander, garlic, shallots, red and green chiles, turmeric, tomato puree, and curry leaves. “[It] immediately works for your body ache, cold, and other stuff” says chef Kasi. “Just one tumbler of that soup, and your body will be rid of that by the next morning.”
Watch the full video to learn more about the history of the Bangala and the other regional dishes served there.