Food has always been my passion. And it is no wonder that I have always been jealous on vikas khanna, Anthony bourdain or Gail simmons when they went on food trails. So when I got my chance, I decided to make the most out of it. My trip to Madurai was just 2 days long and its aim was to cover all the major food spots in Madurai, that it is always famous for. My first stop for lunch on the first day of my trip was AMMA Mess – the go to place in Madurai for Aiyirai meen kulambu(fish curry). The place was small was quiet with posters of celebrities adorning their walls. My eyes fell upon an article which said that Rajinikanth,s favourite was nandu omlete(crab) and I knew I had to try it. And so, I settled for the non-vegetarian meals comprising of chicken and fish kulambu, kola urundai(spicy meat balls) and omelette. The kola urundai is worth mentioning owing to its crispiness outside and juicy meat inside. The nandu omelette was also a showstopper with delicate scrambles of crab encased in soft egg. After lunch, we headed to Famous jigarthanda shop, to have a taste of it from its roots. And honestly I wasn’t let down. The special jigarthanda which cost Rs.50 was worth every penny. It was so cool and refreshing with basundhi on top and a dollop of ice cream. The best way to beat madurai’s heat I would say! Evening snacks are best had on the roadside shops that adorn the city. We started off by having a steaming bowl of mutton soup at Konar soup stall. It was spicy yet soothing for a sore throat. You can also get your favourite piece of mutton as an extra by paying for it. We then cross the road to find crispy hot vadais just out of the wok on a small cart. Now let me tell u…do not get deceived by the appearance of the shop or give it a miss thinking they are just vadais. The vadais are just too good to stop with a few. They are all very tiny, just the size of a 10rs coin and they each cost just Rs.2. u can choose wither masala vadai or parupu vadai as your choice but don’t worry, both are equally good. For dinner, we stepped into Shanmuga mess, where the smell of chicken and the sound of kothu parotta on its making, catch your ears. We order parotta and kothu parotta apart from idly. The major attraction in this place was their chicken kulambu which made us asking for more. The parotta was soft and all the dishes went equally well with the kulambu. Two mangoes with one stone I would say!
The next morning for breakfast we were off to hotel arasan sapthagiri which is purely vegetarian. But I didn’t mind though as their vadacurry and idly was amazing. So after a pure vegetarian breakfast, we were sure that lunch had to have chicken. So we zoomed off to hotel Hamsavalli which is very famous for its biryanis. We had to wait for about 15min before we finally managed to get a seat there, but it was worth every minute. Biryani came in piping hot pots and chicken65 was the best one I had ever eaten outside in a restaurant. It was so soft and juicy and I had a tough time believing that it wasn’t homemade. The parottas weren’t quite satisfactory though and the quantity of all the dishes seemed a bit less. But nevertheless, we had our tummy filled by the time we came out. For deserts it was halwa this time and a helping of jigarthanda ice cream – ice cream that tastes just like jigarthanda. Evening snacks came in the form of rustic dishes today. Again in the street hawker cart, were keppai vadai and green puris. Now don’t panic. They were as good as the other dishes. Keppai vadai is actually vadai made of ragi seasoned with onions, chillies and coriander. The green puris were made of spinach and deep fried in oil until they were fluffy. Before serving they are garnished with a masala powder whose ingredients I am not sure of but tasted delicious. At last it was down to dinner. We made our way to Konar mess, which is the most famous place in Madurai for its mutton kari dosai. Now let me tell you. It isn’t just any other dosai. It is a thick soft uthappam that has a layer of cooked minced mutton, onions, egg and served with their special kulambu. Also the elumbu roast(bone roast) is one of their specialities. It consists of mutton bones that are cooked to perfection in a spicy gravy. If you are game for it, then make sure you have lots of time in hand, cause it takes time and patience to bite through them and suck up their juice. 😛 After the final meal of the food trail my mouth longed to get a taste of the jigarthanda again. So once I headed to the shop, but this time bought myself two cups and downed them in no time. And then It was time to leave Madurai. This trip brought me many memories but I am also taking with me lots of lingering tastes on my taste buds to relish forever.
P.s – travelling courtesy , hotel location courtesy, sponsoring – DAD!!!! thanks daddy for giving me this wonderful experience!