Sides, Veg Curry

Chettinad Kaigari Mandi | Vegan Chettinad Curry

What is Chettinad Cuisine? 

Chettinad cuisine is known for its robust, bold flavours and use of meat, abundantly even for breakfast cuisine. Chettiyars (or traders from that community) were one of the first people from South India to travel to Burma in the 1900s and brought back Burma Teak, Burmese Rubies and spices to their community spaces. The rich teakwood houses that houses Chettinad community predominantly from Karaikudi (near Madurai, South India) are a treat to visit and feel the royal ambience of that era. “The Bangala” – an ancient, well preserved mansion in the heart of Karaikudi maintained by the iniitable Meenatchi Meyyapan (who’s almost a doyen in Chettinad culture / food and traditions). Surely someday, I would love to stay and absorb the cultural nuances at this location. Furthermoe, the Chettinad community specialises in Finance and their business acumen is something laud worthy too! 

While the visit to Karaikudi is long overdue (hopefully will cross that off my bucket list soon! Amen), the versatility of these dishes (with even an Anglo Indian influence, perhaps  because of the extensive travels) is amazing. Rice forms a staple with Appam, Vellaiappam, Nool Puttu, Idiyappam etc making its way to breakfast / dinners and curries redolent with spices and chill too. At our home, Chettinad Kara Chutney and Kuzhi Paniyaram is a favourite combo for breakfast almost every 10-12 days. 

What does Chettinad Kaigari Mandi translate to?

Chettinad Kaigari Mandi is a special curry of veggies in a vegan base and speciality of Chettinad Cuisine.Served with Curd Rice and / or Idli Dosa as a side dish. Kaigari in Tamil language means vegetables, Mandi loosely refers to a medley of veggie and dal curry.

Chettinad Kaigari Mandi is a special curry of veggies in a vegan base and speciality of Chettinad Cuisine.Served with Curd Rice and / or Idli Dosa as a side dish.Pin

Other Chettinad dishes you would like on the blog are:

Chettinad Vellai Kurma

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Chettinad Breakfast spread

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 Chettinad Baby Potatoes

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Chettinad Kara Chutney

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Idiyappam 

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Kuzhi Paniyaram
Gluten Free and vegan Rice and lentil dumplings shallow fried. Served in South Indian cuisine as a breakfast or snack. Served with a spicy Coconut or Tomato Chutney
Check out this recipe
Gluten Free and vegan Rice and lentil dumplings shallow fried. Served in South Indian cuisine as a breakfast or snack. Served with a spicy Coconut or Tomato Chutney

FAQs about Chettinad Kaigari Mandi

What is today’s dish – Chettinad Kaigari Mandi – all about?

Today’s dish – Chettinad Kaigari Mandi – is a medley of veggies in a different spice base. It is also simply called Kaigari Mandi. Local, seasonal vegetables are cooked in a spice base and served with Idli / Dosa / Appam / Rice for breakfast or dinner.  Kaigari in Tamil means vegetables, Mandi (perhaps) refers to a medley. 

Chettinad Kaigari Mandi is a special curry of veggies in a vegan base and speciality of Chettinad Cuisine.Served with Curd Rice and / or Idli Dosa as a side dish.

What is special about this Chettinad Kaigari Mandi ?

The water to cook the veggies comes from washed rice (the starchy water, not from cooked rice, but from washing the rice in several changes of water) – that adds an unique taste / aroma to the veggie gravy

What vegetables are used in Chettinad Kaigari Mandi ?

Mostly native (Non-english) veggies – avarekai (flat beans), Vazhakkai (Raw Banana), Drumsticks , Okra (the most popular version), Brinjal, Potato, and sometimes even mango Vathal (dry mango slices). Legumes like Karamani (Chowli / Cow eyed peas) or Chickpeas (Konda Kadalai) are also used. 

What is Chettinad Kaigari Mandi served with?

Tastes yum with Idli / Dosa / Curd Rice / Appam. 

I don’t have Manga Vathal (dry mango pieces) with me. Can I still make this curry ?

Yes, you can sub it with tamarind (see recipe below)

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Chettinad Kaigari Mandi is a special curry of veggies in a vegan base and speciality of Chettinad Cuisine.Served with Curd Rice and / or Idli Dosa as a side dish.Pin

Cuisine : Chettinad , Course – Side dish, serves – 4

Spice level – Medium , difficulty level – Easy

Prep time – 15 mins, Cook time – 15 mins

What you need to make this dish

  • 2 cups Mixed vegetables ( I used Brinjal, Potato, Kohlrabi (Knol Khol), Flat beans, drumsticks) 
  • 1/4 cup Cow Eyed peas (Karamani)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 pods garlic
  • 2 green chilli (slit)
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (vendhayam)
  • 2 TBSP Tamarind paste
  • 2 tsp Rice Flour
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

Tempering (optional)

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves 

How to make Chettinad Kaigari Mandi

  1. Wash and chop all veggies into equal sized pieces.
  2. Take the starchy water from washed rice and add 1/4 tsp salt to it.
  3. Add the chopped veggies (except onion / garlic) and boil it in the starchy water for 5-7 mins till 2/3 done,. 
  4. Drain the water and keep the veggies aside 
  5. Cook the soaked Cowpea till soft but not mushy in a separate container.
  6. In a pan, add 1 tsp oil, add the onions, garlic and green chilli and fenugreek seeds
  7. Saute for 1 min. 
  8. Now add the par boiled veggies and cooked cow peas (or Karamani)
  9. Add tamarind paste, salt, spice powders and let it cook for 6-7 mins till the raw smell disappears. 
  10. Once the raw smell disappears, mix rice flour with 3 tsp water and add to the slurry so the gravy thickens a bit. 
  11. For the tempering,  splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves
  12. Add to the curry and serve hot. 
Chettinad Kaigari Mandi is a special curry of veggies in a vegan base and speciality of Chettinad Cuisine.Served with Curd Rice and / or Idli Dosa as a side dish.Pin

Chettinad Kaigari Mandi | Vegan Chettinad Curry

Kalyani
Chettinad Kaigari Mandi is a special curry of veggies in a vegan base and speciality of Chettinad Cuisine.Served with Curd Rice and / or Idli Dosa as a side dish.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Curry, Gravy, Side Dish
Cuisine Chettinad, South Indian
Servings 4 servings

Equipment

  • Steamer (Also works with Pressure Cooker)
  • Thick Bottomed Pan
  • Ladle

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups Mixed vegetables I used Brinjal, Potato, Flat beans, drumsticks
  • 1/4 cup Cow Eyed peas Karamani
  • 1 onion medium, sliced
  • 1 tsp oil pref Sesame Oil
  • 2 pods garlic
  • 2 green chilli slit
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds vendhayam
  • 2 TBSP Tamarind paste
  • 2 tsp Rice Flour
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Fennel Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt

Tempering (optional)

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves

Instructions
 

  • Wash and chop all veggies into equal sized pieces.
  • Take the starchy water from washed rice and add 1/4 tsp salt to it.
  • Add the chopped veggies (except onion / garlic) and boil it in the starchy water for 5-7 mins till 2/3 done,.
  • Drain the water and keep the veggies aside
  • Cook the soaked Cowpea till soft but not mushy in a separate container.
  • In a pan, add 1 tsp oil, add the onions, garlic and green chilli and fenugreek seeds
  • Saute for 1 min.
  • Now add the par boiled veggies and cooked cow peas (or Karamani)
  • Add tamarind paste, salt, spice powders and let it cook for 6-7 mins till the raw smell disappears.
  • Once the raw smell disappears, mix rice flour with 3 tsp water and add to the slurry so the gravy thickens a bit.
  • For the tempering, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves
  • Add to the curry and serve hot.
Keyword Chettinad Kaigari Mandi, Chettinad Mandi, Easy Side, Puli Mandi, Side Dish, Side dish for Chapati, Side dish for Idli Dosa, Vendakkai Mandi
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16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Chettinad Mandi looks so flavorful with different spices. So healthy and nutritious with lot of vegetables.

  2. Mayuri Patel

    5 stars
    Definitely would love to try out this delicious looking curry. Will have to wait till I visit India so that I can use some of the more traditional vegetables to make it. Would love to have it with some idli or appam.

  3. Poonam Bachhav

    5 stars
    This is completely new recipe to me Kalyani. What i found interesting about this Chettinad style Kaigari Mandi is the way, the seasonal local veggies are cooked in starch water from washed rice and the use of aromatic spices that make this curry oh so flavorful. Definitely, going to try out this recipe. Thanks for sharing this unique curry recipe with us.

  4. 5 stars
    This is such a beautiful recipe, Kalyani. I love how it makes ‘best out of waste’ – using leftover rice water to cook veggies. The Mandi definitely looks delicious, and I would love to try this out using country vegetables and dried mango, if I can get my hands on it.

  5. 5 stars
    I love the use of cow peas here, something different and hiding in so many veggies I would say. A perfect way to use in ones diet.

  6. 5 stars
    The uniqueness of the Chettinad cuisine is evident in your recipe. The use of rinsed water from the rice that grows in the region provides a brilliant smooth flavour to the curry.

  7. 5 stars
    The use of kazhaneer aka water from washing rice is used in the Chettinad mandi and you have captured it perfectly! The fresh spice mixture adds tons of flavor and we loved this mandi with rice and dosa.

  8. 5 stars
    Lipsmacking and appetizing,these are the two adjectives that come to my mind seeing the pics . I would love to enjoy it right away with some crisp dosais .

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