Manappadu is a fishing town in the deep south of Tamil Nadu with a predominantly Catholic population. My husband’s friend, Rex Rodrigo, hails from Manappadu and his grandfather started Thomas Rodrigo & Sons in Chennai to provide worship supplies for the Catholic community here and in Sri Lanka. When I got married, Rex invited us to his house for dinner, and his wife Germaine had prepared this fabulous mutton curry. I was stunned and delighted by its heavenly flavour and immediately got the recipe from her. It has been with me for 50 years and I have tried the same with beef, but I was not satisfied and prefer the mutton flavour.
Thirunelveli Lime Rice is different from the typical Madras Lime Rice in that it is very mild, and fresh ingredients like onion, green chillies, and coriander leaves are used, and it is also served with Paruppu Thuvaiyal. The acid in the lime juice changes the anthocyanin pigment in the onion to a beautiful reddish pink colour and makes the texture crisp. This makes it a most attractive dish.