Madurai is the ‘Food Capital’ of Tamil Nadu. It borrows its shares of influences from Gujarat, Sri Lanka etc. It is a city which never sleeps, the restaurants here are even open until early morning. Madurai is not a land of a lot of food experiments but a legacy of blends which were discovered long ago.
With a local we went around the quiet corners of the city to explore the local cuisines. With the aim to bring the absolute reliable and best food of the place, we have curated this list for you!
Sun Lemon Tea Stall- A herbal mix of dry ginger and coriander seeds, the Sukku Malli Tea, is a very healthy drink! It also has fenugreek in it. A very refreshing start to the day!
You’ll have to put a little sugar in it to get past the bitter taste.
Price- INR 20 per glass.
Kavanah Parotta Kadai- Here, paratha (flat bread) is very layery. It is deep fried and has a golden brown colour to it. Since it is very crunchy to crush, its pieces are put on a big banana leaf and mutton curry is poured over it. Small cubes of mutton tossed in a spicy gravy are put aside.
The combination of the crispy paratha with very tender and spicy pieces of mutton is simply amazing!
This shop is 70 years old but the taste, as a lot of people say, remains the same.
Fun Fact- They have an interesting way to tell the customers if they haven’t already run out of food. They place a banana leaf hanging from the roof. If it is not there, it means that there is no food left.
Rani Vilas- Paniyaram Omelette is a must try here! It is basically an omelette cutlet which has crescent shaped onions in it. It is very soft and fluffy and is served with mutton curry and rice. There are some chutneys, Ratha Poriyal (a dish prepared from goat’s blood) and Bone Marrow which tastes as smooth as butter to go with!
It is peppery and very fulfilling of a meal.
Price- INR 400 for approximately two people.
Ajmeer Mahal- This place can get you drool over four things- Ceylon Parotta, Kothu Parotta, Chicken Gravy and Vadiyal.
The Ceylon Parotta is a flat bread stuffed with spiced up egg batter. It is deep fried and the dough rises up. It is both soft and crisp.
Kothu Paratha is another egg variety. Here shredded egg is mixed with crushed parotta like a khichadi.
Vadiyal is a simple scrambled egg with curry leaves, tomatoes, onions and spices in it. And, Chicken Gravy is Chicken Gravy.
This plate is a nice variety of eggs and the sparks of different flavours imparted to each dish.
Fun Fact- It's a tradition. If you fold the banana leaf to your side after finishing the meal, it will symbolize that you liked it!
Price- INR 300 for two people.
KRK Milk Depot- In the heat of Madurai, Rose Milk and Badam (Almond) Milk are really very refreshing! The Rose one has a very strong essence of the extract in it while the Almond one has a rich flavour of pasted Almonds (obviously!) and pistachios.
You should try their Milk Halwa too. It just has milk, sugar, cashews and ghee. With just four ingredients, it tastes like a grainy-nutty delight! It is just like Milk Cake (a very famous sweet in North India).
PSA Fish- This place is like a centre. A Seafood Centre. It is a huge place loaded with people making and eating food. We tried Fish tandoori, Prawn Tandoori, Fish Omelette , Fish Fingers, Prawn Biryani and Fish Sandwich.
Everything was so fresh, buttery, spicy and well cooked that we couldn't keep our finger on one dish and say it was a little less good. We just kept ordering and eating in full swing! They clearly set a benchmark. It is a must-visit place if you are a fish fan.
To catch the food fun of Madurai, watch the video below!