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Ganesha's favourite

Uppuadais, sweet kozhukattais and thengai poli sell like hot cakes at the Mylapore Vasantha Bhavan



Traditional fare: at the Kozhukattai festival at Vasantha Bhavan. Pic. by K. V. Srinivasan

AFTER A downpour, the city is not a pretty sight if you are out on the streets. Though every raindrop that falls brings hope and excitement, the slush mingled with garbage can put you off. What's more, finding your way through the narrow street is not exactly pleasant. But before a plate of Sundari mami's kozhukattais, the irritants seem to fade away.

At the Mylapore Vasantha Bhavan (ph: 24936666), a kozhukattai fest is in full swing. The timing is perfect with `modaka priya' Vinayaka's festival dominating the calendar this month. A near-full restaurant testifies to this fact. The steamer before Sundari mami is full all the time and so is the tawa on which delicious polis are being made. In fact, I am told that the order will take time as the humble kozhukattai is selling like hot cakes.

Sundari mami's savouries and sweets are well known in the area. Having a business to run, she starts at the restaurant at 5.30 p.m. and so the kozhukattais are available only in the evening.

Varied menu

The festival menu changes daily and includes items such as uppuadais or a variety of savoury dumplings, sweet kozhukattais and thengai poli.

The disc-shaped uppuadai is not something one finds usually in restaurants. It impresses you with its simplicity. At the first bite itself, you know uppuadai is all about rice flour, seasoning and cooked beans. The combination is uniquely rich and certainly worth the drive to Mylapore.

Melt-in-the-mouth sweet kozhukattais and the miniature thengai polis call for nothing less than superlatives. To put it simply, they just disappear from your plate in a jiffy.

The prices too make the festival attractive. Each plate of kozhukattai and poli is Rs.18. For those who may find it difficult to make a meal of just kozhukattais, check out the wheat dosai (Rs. 25). It is soft and tasty and Vasantha Bhavan has a yummy tomato chutney that goes perfectly with it.

The festival is on till September 30.

MARIEN MATHEW

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