Hidden Gem: The RockFort Chettinadu and Indian Restaurant

While many Canadians’ experience of Indian food begins and ends with butter chicken and naan, the cuisine of this large southeast-Asian country is as diverse as the people who live there. Hailing from Tiruchirapalli, in the southern part of India, the chef/owners of The RockFort were among the first to bring Chettinadu cuisine to Calgary. And we’re so glad they did.

Chettinad province is home to the Koli Hills where coffee, tea and spices grow in abundance. As a result, Chettinadu masalas are complex (RockFort’s has upwards of 100 different spices) and fiery. But perhaps most of all, Chettinad is known for dosa. These thin flat breads are made from a fermented batter consisting of lentils and rice – and The RockFort makes delicious dosa! Our heat-loving friend devoured the spicy grilled chicken dosa and raved about the tenderness of the chicken and the flavourful seasonings. We’re a little less adventurous in the spice department and opted for a milder paneer dosa, which still had a kick without being overwhelming. These dosa are enormous, come with a range of fillings are enormous, crispy on the outside, spongy on the inside and really very delicious. Each comes with three sauces for dipping: coconut, tomato and an aromatic lentil sambar. Of course, if you have kids or less adventurous diners with you, the butter chicken and naan are also great and familiar favourites like aloo golbi, korma and vindaloo also abound on the menu. Chef/owner Siva Dharma is regularly out from the kitchen running food, bussing tables and chatting with customers. He clearly loves to talk about food and home and is proud of what he and his team have brought to Calgary. Find The RockFort in the plaza on the northwest corner of Macleod Tr. and Southland Dr. S.W. tucked way back in the corner.

The RockFort Chettinadu and Indian Restaurant | 380, 9737 MacLeod Tr. S.W. | 403.764.9737 | therockfort.ca