The cuisine of the Cholas is diverse and has a variety of influences making the food of this region appeal to a wide variety of palates.
As a school child one of the most fascinating chapters in my history textbook was of the Cholas. It was their interest in architecture and heritage that had caught my attention then. Many moons later, I visited some of their magnificent temples but it was on a recent visit to the big temple or Brihadisvara temple in Thanjavur, one of the Great Living Chola Temples inscribed by UNESCO, that I discovered that the cuisine of the Cholas was also as diverse.
I had a chance to come up close with Chola culture, the Great Living Chola temples as well as Chola food on a recent visit to Kumbakonam. My stay at CGH Earth Mantra Koodam ensured I sampled meals that had a variety of tastes all of which are interestingly influenced by the different kinds of communities that ruled the region.
The brilliant in house chef Maruthavana is an expert with 29 years of experience into this cuisine from the local region and works on his master piece which is Vathimal Brahmin cuisine, Panniyar cuisine and siddha based medicinal patti vaithiyam (kaivaithyam) food. Food is medicine (unava marunthu).
Read the full story that first appeared in Conde Nast Traveller here