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Pamper your sweet tooth

For the connoisseurs of sweets, Sri Krishna Sweets (of Coimbatore) is the latest sweet destination in the city. Savour their `mysurpa' which is simply out of the world.

MELTING MOMENTS: Check out the delectable range of treats.

IT IS possibly the most famous and prominent landmark in Pondy Bazar, T. Nagar, in Chennai, and may well become the most prominent landmark on the Ameerpet-Punjagutta main road very shortly. The famous Sri Krishna Sweets (SKS) of Coimbatore and Chennai has recently opened shop in Hyderabad near the Ameerpet X Roads.

Nearly 55 years after its founder, late N.K. Mahadeva Iyer entered the catering business as a teenager by putting up a small stall in the suburbs of Coimbatore and mainly meeting the needs of the labourers, his dream - SKS - is today a corporate brand in Tamil Nadu. SKS' range of products are today available at over 30 outlets in Coimbatore, Mettupalayam, Pollachi, Tirupur, Erode, Salem, Madurai, Tiruchi and Karur, besides Chennai and Bangalore. It was only a matter of time before the brand entered Hyderabad.

"I feel that Hyderabad is the sweet capital of the country. People here love sweets; it is a part of their meal. They are connoisseurs and appreciate quality," says M. Krishnan, Managing Director, SKS and son of Mahadeva Iyer.

"While money is important, the patronage of the public is essential. Sivaji Ganeshan once said that he would be dead the day the audience stopped applauding his performances. And we believe that our customers have patronised us over all these years and that is what makes us what we are." SKS is truly a leader in the industry in TamilNadu and they are so by every standard - clientele, sales, quality and variety are but a few parameters.

The mysurpa is the USP of SKS. Years of research into ingredients, technique and customer taste have resulted in an outstanding blend, which transformed the traditional mysorepak into a special, unique and soft mysurpa. It simply melts as you pop it in. Much like Carnatic music, it is best experienced than described. "I remember that there would be no jokes without the mention of the mysorepak (an allusion to the hardness of the sweet and it being the butt of jokes). People used to refer to it as a missile or as an entry ticket to the dentist! So, we decided to soften it so that it would just melt inside the mouth and hearts," explains a smiling Krishnan with a wonderful sense of humour. "From being a part of hotels and restaurants in the past, sweet shops have emerged as an industry and I suppose the biggest success has been that one particular sweet preparation is a specialist brand by itself." Today, the mysurpa, is notching up record after record. It is the largest selling ghee sweet in the country and the second largest selling sweet after the rasagulla. At SKS, sales of the mysurpa are always discussed in terms of, hold it, tons. BHEL Tiruchi alone made a single order for 13 tons! Another unique feature of the SKS phenomenon is that it has a central kitchen. While the Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore outlets have separate kitchens, all the other outlets are served by the Central kitchen in Coimbatore. A quality control laboratory and analyst screen every ingredient for adulteration and contamination and that vouches for the high quality that SKS maintains.

It is with this kind of a background that SKS enters Hyderabad and in full strength - some 80 -85 varieties of ghee and milk sweets, including 30 different kinds of halwas to go with 40 odd varieties of savouries to tickle your taste buds. Besides the mysurpa which alone constitutes around 80 per cent of sales among the sweets, jangri to kalakhand, barfi to laddus, cham cham to badam, pista and kaju barfi, jamuns to badushas, rasmalai to basundhi, you have it all. Half-a-dozen kinds of `mixtures' including the north Indian variety, stand out apart from the kara bundi and kara sev. The outlet will also shortly offer sweet and kara poli. Says Krishnan, "most of the cooks are from TamilNadu and it will take time to train the local people here." The ambience inside the outlet is almost completely Chennaiesque, with Vinayakar, kolams. The prices too, are reasonable and the taste is worth each rupee. "We would like to consolidate here first before we think of opening more outlets in the city," says Krishnan when asked about future plans.

Pampering your taste buds every now and then is not a bad idea. Definitely after SKS has come to town.


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