Another quick trip to the bay area, another notable mention. Some very near and dear friends (and chowhounds) recommended Anjappar Chettinad, as we were in the mood for some hot and spicy chicken/fish South Indian. Wikipedia says Chettinad is a part of Tamil Nadu (state in Southern India)...so now we are getting very specific, not just a particular state, but a particular region within a state.
Anjappar Chettinad is in Milpitas, and using the search feature, I realized there is some love for it on this board already; and it is certainly well-deserving. There are some entrees that can be ordered either "dry" or "masala". Dry = No Gravy or Curry and Masala = Gravy or Curry.
We tried four entrees (two curries, one "dry" and a rice entree). Both curries were hot and spicy, yet very distinct. One used tomato (Egg Masala), the other coconut (Pepper Chicken). One was heavy on curry leaves, the others not so much.
Standout entree of the day was: Mutton Sukka Varuval. One word, kickass. The Egg Masala was also surprisingly good (tomato-based curry). The Pepper Chicken was also very good (strong curry leaf flavor and HOT black peppercorns). We ordered the "Masala" version, so there was curry, which was finger-licking deliciousness. The roti was good, but not great. The rice entree was the Natta Kozhu Biryani: basically a "country" chicken biryani. In India, they make the distinction between poultry raised in farms ("broiler") versus the free-range ("desi"). For obvious reasons, they taste different back there...I for one, couldn't make out the difference here. It was good, but not outstanding.
I believe some have mentioned this, but I think, food is not made to order, because within less than five minutes of ordering, we were served. But getting good Chettinad food is so rare, I am willing to compromise a little bit.
I must add, this is for the serious heat and spice seeker. The food is not just HOT it is also SPICY. So not for the faint-hearted. Trust me, most people of Indian origin wouldn't be able to handle this kind of heat. When I visit next, I want to try to kozhambu's, some of the vegetarian stuff, and the parottas. The portions are somewhat measly, which is a let down, but all is fair in the name of good chow.
Also note, Anjappar is an international chain with locations in North America and Asia. LFHound to Anjappar: What is the point of having Indian Chinese and Tandoori Chicken on the menu? I mean really, who cares? Secondly, why are appams missing?
Anjappar Chettinad Indian Restaurant
458 Barber Lane
Milpitas CA 95035
458 Barber Ln, Milpitas, CA 95035
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