Madurai is one of the oldest cities of Tamil Nadu. It has some sweetness in its air. Even the food, it is so simple yet so developed. There are not a lot of food experiments, it's just the way it is! Roaming in the streets amongst people wearing loud and bright colours makes one fall for the city's authenticity.
We tried a lot of locally popular food here. Our guide helped us know Madurai deeply and we want you to experience the same.
Athisaram at S.V. Sweets- Athisaram is a traditional Tamil sweet. It is made up of a batter of rice, flour and jaggery. Similar to donuts but is more flat.
Everything is made hot and fresh and you can witness the live process of it being made. While it is very reddish brown and crisp from the outside, the inside is soft like a dough.
Looks like a donut, tastes even better!
Price- INR 6 per piece.
Gopu Iyengars Tiffin Service- Here, Vellai Appam is a must try! On a banana plate, sambar and chutneys are served with Appam. It is a crispy savoury snack made from rice and Urad Dal batter.
It is spicy though. They say, “eat the heat to beat the heat”.
Note- It is a more than 100 years old shop and is located right next to the famous Meenakshi Temple.
Price- INR 100 per plate.
Burma Idiyappam Kadai- These are steamed rice noodles which are mixed with coconut shavings and sugar. They have a cloud-like texture, very light and fluffy. It is a Burmese cuisine inspired dish.
It is very healthy. A lot of patients from a nearby hospital buy this Idiyappam for themselves!
Price- INR 10 per plate.
Special Rava Dosa at Meenakshi Bhawan- Unlike a lot of other dosas having a thick consistency, Special Rava Dosa has a loose one. When it is put on a hot pan, it makes a net like frame. It is folded in a triangular shape and spiced up cashews are put in it.
This dosa is made from a batter of Semolina (Rava) mixed with peppercorns, onions, carrots and cumin seeds. It is very thin and crispy and has a nutty texture. Since it is made with Ghee or clarified butter, it is literally a piece of heaven on Earth!
Fun Fact- People in Madurai call ‘Rava Dosa’, ‘Rava Dosai’.
Price- INR 80 per plate.
Adai Avial at Sree Sabarish Hotel- Adai is a very healthy mixed lentil Dosai and Avial is a tasty dish made from boiled vegetables. It is very light and the vegetables used in it are mostly seasonal, so its freshness can be maintained.
You can also try the Pal Paniyaram here. These are cooked rice balls floating in the sweetened coconut milk. A perfect Madurai style dessert!
How will you end your day after eating so much?
We have a local secret.
It is Tamil Nadu’s tradition to have a banana after enjoying the meal. It helps to promote digestion.
We tried a lot of food from the street carts as well. To catch us in our fun element while trying all these dishes, watch the video below!