An evening spent chatting over “chaat”

Dec 27, 2015 

We had brunch at 11 am because the plan was to meet Nachi, Kousalya and Dhanush at Krishnan’s old school and then hit the “chaat” shops in the Mint area :). We took a Meru cab to reach from Pallikaranai because we weren’t sure if there will be parking space available there. The original plan was to park at Central station and then walking down but Krishnan read online that the parking at Central station is hugely reduced due to the Metro work. 

We got dropped outside the Elephant Gate police station on Walltax road and walked down to Krishnan and Nachi’s school – The Hindu Theological high school. This was setup in 1889 by a Gujarati gentleman by the name of Sivashankara Pandyaji. When some British guy remarked that no Indian can setup a school or college like the Madras Christian college, Pandyaji went home to Gujarat, sold his assets, came back to Chennai and setup The Hindu Theological high school. Two former Presidents of India have studied at this school – President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and President V V Giri. Hoping Krishnan will be the third President to have studied at this school :):):). 

The brothers standing in front of their old school building …. That little boy in the background was more interested in getting clicked :):). 

From the school we walked to a store selling dried fruits and nuts. All their dried fruits come from Delhi and the cashews from Mangalore. We managed to get the best dried figs in a long time here. We bought some dried figs and raisins, then went to my mom-in-law’s favourite store “Giri and Co” to buy butter. Unfortunately the shop was closed and Nachi could not meet the grouchy owner !! 

Our first stop for “chaat” was at Kakada Ramprasad. A Bihari Babu was the server and I knew the minute he said “turanth” … Very few people use that Hindi word :). Biharis and UP-ites do. We ordered different things and all the items were really tasty. I have found yet another place for great jalebis. They were really good. 


While walking from Kakada Ramprasad to the dosa stop, an auto driver managed to splash dirty water onto my shoes !! I was bugged but he sped away, unconcerned. The next stop was supposedly the best dosa ..errr, according to Nachi and Dhanush only. The rest of us disagreed – Krishnan’s mom-in-law, my mom-in-law and Kousalya make far better dosas any day :):). 
What was fascinating though, was “Madrasis” eating dosa in Chennai made by a Bihari – national integration right here. Also it wasn’t dosa but uthappam with dollops of ghee.

The Mint street is just a few meters from this shop 🙂

When we first went to the dosa shop, he wasn’t ready, so we went to yet another small restaurant, hoping we would get Chole Bhature but he had only dosas and all sorts of Pav Bhaji. Kousalya and Dhanush’s favourite Vadapav shop was closed. 

From the dosa stop we walked to Agarwal Bhavan to have kulfi and lassi. Enroute we stopped at this tiny shop selling “murukku” sandwich. It was fascinating enough for me to try it and it did taste really nice. 

Tiny “murukku” piece are placed on top of the open sandwich. And layers of chutney, cucumber and tomatoes go over the slice of bread. Trust Indians to add a desk twist to every food item :). 

Our final dessert stop was at Agarwal Bhavan – some of us had lassi and some had kulfi. Mom and I shared a plate of spicy samosas. 

 From Agarwal Bhavan we walked to the Broadway bus stand and took a bus to Pallikaranai. It’s probably the first time that a Satya Paul sari has been on a local bus :). On the way to the bus stand there were rows of roadside shops selling fruits. 

Inside the bus too they sold many eatables. I could capture a few pictures of eatables that they sold. 


Popcorn anyone ?
why not eat fresh Pineapple instead ?
We also found a couple of policewomen patrolling – felt really good. 

On the bus ride to Pallikaranai, one of co-passengers was a Sardar, who spoke Tamil fluently, and spoke English and Hindi with a Tamil accent !!! We are more integrated as a nation than we assume 🙂

A wonderful evening spent reminiscing the childhood days of Krishnan and Nachi and eating some really good “chaat”. 


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