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Southern Spice

37 Mahatma Gandhi Rd. , Taj Coromandel Hotel
Chennai , India http://www.tajhotels.com/Luxury/City-Hotels/Taj-Coromandel-Chennai/Fine-Dining.html
91 44 6600-2827

Convince the chef of Taj Coromandel's restaurant, Southern Spice, to serve a thali surveying the range of Tamil cuisine. This he does over the course of a long and indulgent evening, which begins with motchaikottai soup, a vegetable broth flavored with lablab beans, and moves on to preparations like nandu koduku chettinadu, a dry-marinated crab claw cooked Chettiar style; broccoli and banana flower with lentils; another delicate dish made with a vegetable called lady's finger; quails fried and tossed in a spice mixture typical of coastal Cuddalore; and side dishes of sambar, rasam, and appam, paper-thin pancakes from a batter of fermented rice flour, prepared at the table by a sous-chef with the quick hands of a dealer in Vegas.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

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