Sunday, September 19, 2004

Of Murugan and his Idlis

This entry might be one to the yawns of every south Indian, and to the fascination of every north Indian. I say this as I have had experiences in Delhi, when I used to take idlis for lunch to school, and my classmates used to go crazy! For the uninitiated, Idlis are sour rice cakes, and we generally have them with sambar and coconut chutney. Idlis form a general part of the diet of every south Indian, and just about every second south Indian flinches at the mention of idlis for breakfast. Just how good can idlis get, you ask? The answer is there on North Usman road, in one little place they call Murugan Idli Shop. It was suggested to me by Vindy, and according to him, is the ultimate idli destination. Now, for background info, idlis are banned at home, after mom cooked endless doses of idlis for breakfast everyday for a week, me and sis made a pact, saying that if there were to be any more idlis, we would feed them to the street-dogs. On these words, which were the ultimate insult to mom's cooking, she said she wouldn't make any more idlis until we asked her specifically. And then came the Murugan Experience.

Me, Shrikant and Srinidecided to eat-out after submitting our filled in appointment orders to Virtusa, and we couldn’t find a decent place in T.Nagar to eat at. It was then that Vindy's words struck me, and I decided what the heck, a couple of idlis could'nt be that bad. And we started. I knew the place was somewhere on North Usman Road, but I wasn't sure exactly where. So, we blindly began walking down N.Usman Road, and after some five hundred meters or so down the road, came a surprise I hadn't quite expected. I had expected "Murugan Idly Shop" to just be one of those south Indian restaurants with unpainted walls, waiters with dirty stubbles, and one grumpy guy at the counter who acts like he's doing you a favor while giving you the change for what you've eaten.The place is well maintained, and gives some other supposedly good eat-outs(Read: Saravana Bhavan) a run for their money.Murugan Idli Shop has been listed on the Outlook "Top Places to eat in Chennai", some of the other contenders being Hi-Fi places like the multi-cuisine restaurants at the Taj Connemara, The Park, Chola Sheraton, and the Trident Hilton. I say this because I've never been to the restaurants mentioned above, and I severely lack the table manners which I feel will make them drive me out even if I do get into one of them. But it's not the same at M.I.S.(I've used Murugan Idli Shop often enough in this entry to make an abbreviation).

We went in and the waiter smartly came to our table, and placed a banana leaf in front of each of us."Enna Saapadaringa sar?"

I thought of saying-"You call this place a Idli Shop man, bring idlis!!"

But I said-"Rendu Rendu Idli"

And then it started. I burnt my finger when I poked at the first steaming idli. Shrikant went nuts in the place, and because I am trying to lose a little weight, ate only five idlis and a vada.Srini stayed with me, and ate like a human being. Later on, I would feel guilty for not having eaten a little more, as Shrikant offered to pay the bill. Now, for all the madrasis, the kind of money they charge here might be a little over the roof. Rs.4.50 per idli! All I will say is, you can pay any amount of money for these kind of idlis.If you happen to visit Madras (Chennai sounds stupid), be sure not to miss the true delight of South Indian Cuisine...Don't miss Murugan Idli Shop...

Note: This entry might give you the conception that they are actually paying me to advertise their shop, but actually they aren't! How many people do you think read my blog??


At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And not to forget the quantity and quality of side dishes(the number matters) they offer for those Heavenly Idlis.


At 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting review :-)


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