Frugal fare at nominal prices, but manna for those living on shoestring budgets: Amma Unavagam, which has proved to be a hit with Chennai residents, will shortly reach nine other cities.

Budget restaurants that serve one-rupee idlis and sell low-cost plates of sambar and curd rice for lunch, will come up in Madurai, Tiruchi, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli, Salem, Tirupur, Tuticorin, Vellore and Erode by the end of this month.

These nine municipal corporations will have 10 restaurants each, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa informed the Assembly on Wednesday. And the fare in Chennai is set to expand too. The menu of Amma Unavagams in Chennai will include pongal, variety rice preparations, besides chapathi served with kurma. These budget canteens now function in 200 wards in Chennai, where idli is sold for one rupee, sambar rice for Rs 3 and curd rice for Rs 3. Breakfast is available from 7 am and 12 noon. Lunch will be served till 3 pm.

Following requests for providing varying fare, the canteens will serve pongal and sambar for Rs 5 in the morning and tamarind rice or curry leaf rice during lunch for Rs 5. As it will take some time to procure chapathi-making machines, the dish will make its entry only in September. Two chapathis with dhal or kurma will cost just Rs.3.