Please also note this is not a sponsored post and the views expressed below are without any favour or prejudice but straight from my heart, just as my senses have perceived each of these wonderful dishes, while I savoured them. All the pictures here have been captured by me and this list was formulated after sampling every single dish mentioned below. The list is random and I love each of these dishes mentioned below as much as the other.
1) JIGARTHANDA :
1/39-40, N USMAN ROAD, PARTHASARATHY PURAM, T. NAGAR, CHENNAI.
By now all of you know that I have a dysfunctional and often voracious sweet tooth and it was obvious that I would start my food travel with something sweet. Jigarthanda, I was told is a dessert in the form of a drink and was very popular in Chennai. Though it has originated from Madurai, this dessert is now a favourite in many places across Tamil Nadu, including neighbouring states. I had found during my research, that most people suggested that one of the best Jigarthanda in Chennai was to be sampled at Murugan Idli Shop.
NO. 46/13, NORTH USMAN ROAD, T. NAGAR, CHENNAI. CHECK OUT FOR OTHER BRANCHES IN CHENNAI IN AN AREA CLOSE TO WHERE YOU WOULD BE STAYING.
Jigarthanda is a vegetarian drink with a few unique ingredients like Badam Pisin which is Almond Gum / also known as Badam Gond and Nannari Syrup which is an extract from the root of an INDIAN plant called Indian Sarsaparilla / Anantamul in Hindi, all added to a very thick and creamy milk base with an ice cream float on top. Everything in the glass is mixed and served resulting in a homogeneous drink which is insanely delicious in taste.
2) KAALAN / KALAN VARUVAL / MUSHROOM FRY / MUSHROOM CHAAT :
This was the first time I was savoring a mushroom Chaat and my taste buds were filled with joy at what they were experiencing. Such is the joy of food which is honest and made with so much earnestness everyday in the roadside food carts in many an Indian town and city. These days I find a genuine desire to up the level of hygiene in these roadside food carts. The man making the Kaalan Chaat wore gloves while assembling the chaat which was indeed a welcome change.
3) MUTTAI DOSAI / INDIAN CREPE WITH EGG FILLING / EGG DOSA :
After an extremely fulfilling start to my food sojourn in Chennai with the senses overwhelming drink Jigarthanda, followed by the spicy and yummy Kalan Varuval, my last stop that evening would be at a Dosa Cart which served Muttai Dosai or Egg Dosa. I left it to Kali, my auto rickshaw driver, entirely to decide which Dosa cart we would stop to sample the Muttai Dosai. This was not a food cart, but a small roadside shack which intrigued me with the number of drums of chutneys, sambar, curry etc. that it had. I was quite impressed to see how clean the entire set up was.
He asked me to take my pick from the multiple drums on what I would want to be served along with the Mutai Dosai. I said I would like to try everything. All of them were so good, but what left a mark on my food senses, was a smoked tomato chutney which I felt was the perfect accompaniment with the Muttai Dosai. I am happy that I managed to get the recipe of the smoked tomato chutney from him, translated by Kali and I will share that with you all in the upcoming recipe post on my Chennai food adventure series. So do look out for the post and trust me this is one of the best tomato chutney I have had till date.
4) KEERAI VADAI / LENTIL FRITTERS MIXED WITH GREENS:
Day 2 started with breakfast at a very popular and old restaurant called Mylai Karpagambal Mess, located in Mylapore area of Chennai. This place had been strongly recommended by friends and foodies online for eating tiffin and also for sampling the delicious Keerai Vadai. Started in 1950 this eatery is quaint and still houses the old world charm, inspite of being renovated in 2010. This place also serves a very delicious mix of other tiffins / snacks and has a rack in a corner right at the entrance, filled with shelves of podis ( Coarse powder of pounded, ground mixed dry spices), pickles which have been made from diligently written recipes which the owner's mother inherited from his grandmother and is currently in the custody of his wife.
Keerai is greens in Tamil and Keerai Vadai is one mouthwatering good, fritter, which is made with a mix of lentil and greens. Served with the piping hot sambar and a runny coconut chutney, I loved every bite into this crunchy yumminess. For once the fact this is deep fried did not bother me as the subtle yet distinct taste of Keerai Vadai overtook all my reasoning.
If you do not get a chance to visit Mylai Karpagambal Mess to get a taste of Keerai Vadai, there are many other South Indian Restaurants in the city which has Keerai Vadai in its Menu.
5) DINDIGUL THALAPPAKATTI BIRYANI:
The Rice used in making this very aromatic Biryani is a locally grown variety known as Seeraga Samba Rice, which makes the biryani very different in texture from the long grain basmati rice used in most biryanis. The Chef's special Thalappakatti Bone Less Mutton Biryani is a must have here. It is sure to surprise you with its familiar yet extraordinary mix of flavours and its boneless succulent mutton pieces which makes one desirous to come back here for more and more of this Biryani. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to go back for another meal there, but the good news is that they are soon opening a branch in Dubai and I hear also in the United Kingdom and The United States Of America.
6) KOTHU PAROTTA / MINCED LAYERED FLAT BREAD WITH CHICKEN, EGG & A SPICY SAUCE :
7) CHICKEN CHETTINAD :
Click on this link for the recipe :
CHICKEN CHETTINAD RECIPE
8) FILTER COFFEE:
NO. 105, VALLUVAR KOTTAM HIGH ROAD, NUNGAMBAKKAM, CHENNAI.
9) JAMALI CHICKEN AT BUHARI :
3/17 MOUNT ROAD, ANNA SALAI, CHENNAI
MARINA BEACH SUNDAL / THENGA MANGA PATTANI SUNDAL :
MY LIST OF THE 10 THINGS YOU MUST TRY WHEN YOU VISIT CHENNAI ~
6) KOTHU PAROTTA / MINCED LAYERED FLAT BREAD WITH CHICKEN, EGG & A SPICY SAUCE ~ NV
7) CHICKEN CHETTINAD ~ NV
8) FILTER COFFEE ~ V
9) JAMALI CHICKEN AT BUHARI ~ NV
10) MARINA BEACH SUNDAL / THENGA MANGA PATTANI SUNDAL ~ V
* V ~ Vegetarian
* NV ~ Non-Vegetarian