The state of Tamil Nadu is a diverse one and this diversity reflects in its multiple cuisines. This epicurean theme can be a good reason for a road trip across the region for travel enthusiasts who also love their food. With car hire apps making trips very easy to plan, one can head out of town at any time. Here are some top two recommendations for a culinary quest.
Madurai is most famous for its Meenakshi temple complex and that is good reason enough to take the 470-km trip from Chennai. But what else is on the plate when one is in Madurai? MuruganIdli Shop is an institution in this ancient city so it is a good way to start the day. Madurai idlis are world famous but there is more to this town than the usual staples. The Kari dosa takes what we are familiar with and adds some extra protein goodness to it. Minced mutton and a fried egg make this a triple whammy and another fulfilling snack to have while walking around town.
Madurai is famous for its various mutton dishes and one can head off to the Madurai Mutton Curry for a menu that includes mutton paya and mutton chukka. If the meat has got a little overwhelming then Madurai also has a special place for veggie food. The meals at Shriram Mess are served on a banana leaf – quintessentially Madurai. Meenkuzhambu is a delightful fish curry that is loved here and dessert fanatics would relish a serving of jigarthanda.
Why Pondicherry? Some may ask. This quaint union territory is more famous for its promenade and beaches but it also caters to a global taste bud. One needs to head off to the hills around Auroville and the surprises will start. Pizzas from a wood fire oven? Check. Tibetan beef and pork momos? Check. Organic dosas? Check.
The French bakeries of Pondicherry are also a treasure. Baguettes and various pastries are just some of the things on offer. Some of the cafes here offer a mean burger and contemporary American snacks. In case, the travellers are missing the South Indian regulars, there are many restaurants that serve local seafood and old Chettinad favourites.
The town of Ambur, located around four hours from Chennai, is famous for its biryani. The biryani here is considered spicier than some of the more Nawabi fare from Hyderabad and Lucknow. It is best when taken with KathirikaiPachadi, an eggplant chutney. After a heavy biryani, one can drive around the scenic Yelagiri hills before heading back to town for another meaty filling.
The Freedom of Self Drive
Such trips are best experienced in a self drive rental which assures complete privacy and freedom to make detours and stops. Zoomcar offers the widest range of self drive cars in Chennai, from hatchbacks and sedans to SUVs. 24/7 on-road support adds more security to the trip, a feature that is especially reassuring for long journeys.