Move over bucket biriyani. In Chennai, ‘bucket Pongal’ makes a debut

A Chennai restaurant is packaging Pongal in a bucket for its patrons to celebrate the harvest festival

January 11, 2023 12:48 pm | Updated 02:20 pm IST

Bucket Pongal, at a Chennai eatery

Bucket Pongal, at a Chennai eatery | Photo Credit: Johan Sathyadas

Why should non-vegetarians have all the fun?

In Chennai, where biryani is a passion, restaurants are popular for delivering it in a bucket, a simple, economic and effective way to package about eight servings. Now, bucket pongal is here, courtesy Adyar-based eatery Madras Pongal, taking the concept to vegetarian homes.

“In recent times, we have seen many people consume bucket biriyani, especially on holidays and weekends. Our idea was to execute a similar concept with pongal,” says AR Girivasan, who runs Madras Pongal along with partner, K Jayaprakash.

Sweet or savoury?

Priced at ₹399, this ‘bucket pongal’, weighing a kilogram, will satisfy the hunger pangs of six people. There are two options for patrons at this price: either ghee pongal, with which one also gets sambar and chutney, or  sakkara pongal with which they provide a few  dhonnais (leaf bowl, usually given in temples) to use instead of plates.

Watch |  A Chennai restaurant packages Pongal in a bucket

Ever since this unique announcement a few days ago, Madras Pongal has got more than 50 enquiries from Chennai’s foodies, something that they expect will increase as the city gets closer to celebrating the harvest festival. Says Girivasan, “We are getting orders not just from families but also workplaces, where employees want to celebrate the festival along with their colleagues.”

AR Girivasan and Jayaprakash K of Madras Pongal

AR Girivasan and Jayaprakash K of Madras Pongal

Madras Pongal was launched in Adyar on February 25 last year. While pongal is their flagship dish, they have other popular South Indian and even Chinese dishes on the menu. “Since our inception, we have had people coming down for our pongal at all times of the day — we serve this dish morning, noon and night. At times, there are people even at 10pm requesting a plate of hot pongal.”

Vadivelu’s uthappam

One of their most-talked about dishes is Annanuku Oru Uthappam, named after the popular Tamil film comedy sequence featuring Vadivelu. In this sequence, Vadivelu instructs a waiter to get him an  uthappam — and Madras Pongal has used that preparation technique for this dish, which is priced at ₹100. “That’s very popular, especially among fans of Tamil cinema,” he says, “They get excited when they see it on the menu.”

Madras Pongal is located at 32, 3rd Cross, Main Street, Kasturibai Nagar, Adyar. Call 9655706000 for details

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