Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Saturday, Feb 12, 2005

About Us
Contact Us
Metro Plus Madurai
Published on Saturdays

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Madurai    Mangalore    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Printer Friendly Page Send this Article to a Friend

STEAMY business

T.SARAVANAN digs into the taste of `Burma Idiyappam'.


EVER THOUGHT of savoring steamy hot rice noodles at midnight. Sounds weird and impractical? Trust us and just dash off to East Veli Street where `Burma Idiyappa Kadai', is difficult to miss.

Tiny it may be as an eating joint, but its brisk business in the wee hours takes you by surprise indeed. There is a bit of interesting history to this shop. The family came all the way from Burma and settled in the abode of Goddess Meenakshi. This was way back in the 60s. Hence the name `Burma Idiyappam.'

"We had a big restaurant specializing in rice noodles in Burma. But due to family reasons, my mother S. Petchiammal and father Subramaniam shifted base to Madurai and started their shop on the pavement outside Christian Mission Hospital here," says M. Devika, one of the daughters.

Theirs was a big family -- consisting of a dozen members - totally dependent on the shop for livelihood. Devika was the penultimate child born to the couple and she alone succeeded her parents to run the shop. The shop, over the decades, has earned its fame through its loyal customer base, which falls for the "hygienic preparation and brilliant recipe."

"We carefully choose the rice for our preparation. The right mix of raw and boiled rice is taken to flour mill for grinding. The dough is then carefully prepared to make idiyappam," says Mrs. Devika.

The steaming idiyappam, offered at a cost of Rs.3, is served to customers with coconut milk, sugar and shredded coconut. Sans any oil, the combination is considered good for health. "The entire preparation is only steamed and hence people adore it. Those who are diabetic can avoid taking coconut and sugar. To such customers, we offer plain idiyappam," she continues.

Roaring success

On an average, 50 kg of rice flour is used daily for making idiyappam. The shop runs from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. But for Devika, there is no break. She works round-the-clock to make this business a roaring success. She has half a dozen boys working under her, all of whom have been with her for past 10 years. This perhaps reflects her compassion towards her employees.

Devika's hard work and perseverance helped her in elevating from the pavement to a shop right in front of the hospital. She did not go for a change in venue and even today she enjoys a high percentage of idiyappam market share.

"Till a few years ago, we monopolized the idiyappam market. But now several people have entered the business after sensing big money. But my guarantee of quality keeps me going great despite competition," Devika shares with much confidence.

Besides being a successful woman entrepreneur, it is Devika's dream to provide good education to her children. A daughter and a son are pursuing engineering while another daughter is in Class IX. "I want to make my younger daughter a doctor," she reveals her wish.

Bulk orders

Devika also takes orders from elsewhere and in bulk. Her expertise in idiyappam making has reached Ramanathapuram too. She also supplies for marriage functions. Indeed from the dingy platform to the well-maintained shop, Devika's growth is phenomenal and worth a mention. The taste of idiyappam, apart.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

Metro Plus    Bangalore    Chennai    Delhi    Hyderabad    Madurai    Mangalore    Tiruchirapalli    Thiruvananthapuram    Vijayawada    Visakhapatnam   

Features: Magazine | Literary Review | Life | Metro Plus | Open Page | Education Plus | Book Review | Business | SciTech | Entertainment | Young World | Property Plus | Quest | Folio |


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Comments to : thehindu@vsnl.com   Copyright 2005, The Hindu
Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu