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Mylapore mess dishes out southern flavours

A trip to Mylapore is not considered complete without a pit stop at Mylai Karpagambal Mess. Photo: S.S. Kumar

A trip to Mylapore is not considered complete without a pit stop at Mylai Karpagambal Mess. Photo: S.S. Kumar  

Right from the banana leaf to the hot kaapi, everything about this place screams Madras.

If you guessed Mylai Karpagambal Mess, then you are bang on target. A trip to Mylapore is never complete if you have not stepped into this modest restaurant for a bite or a cup of degree coffee.



Dates in History
 
1950

Mylai Karpagambal Mess opened to the public


1989

The mess did away with the meals, and the present menu of variety rice and light tiffin was launched


2010

The mess underwent renovation

Did you know !
 

When the mess was started 65 years ago, it was a place which served meals for 50 people. People used to come here for our potato podimas, beans usili, avial, amd lemon and pineapple rasam



“Young or old, they still prefer filter coffee to cold coffee and pongal to pizzas,” says S. Prabhu Das, who has taken over the responsibility of the restaurant from his father, R. Soundarajan. The eat-out has something old and something new to attract new customers, and yet retains its original flavour.



Reminiscing about the beginnings, Mr. Prabhu said, “When the mess was started 65 years ago, it was a place which served meals for 50 people. My grandfather used to procure vegetables from the market and serve customers personally. People used to come here for our potato podimas, beans usili, avial, and lemon and pineapple rasam.”  

As people who came after 1 p.m. missed lunch, Mr. Soundararajan did away with the meals and the present menu of variety rice and light tiffin was introduced in 1989.

“My father concentrated on the taste but I want to combine it with health as well,” says Prabhu.

Now, Prabhu and his wife, Prema, have introduced a variety of dishes such as murungakeerai adai avial, modakathan pickle, nellaikkai podi and pavakkai podi. Other new launches include the kalyana gothsu, a variety of vadais — cabbage, parappu, vazhapu, keerai (available between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.) — pineapple pudding, and kasi and wheat halwas.

A major attraction in one corner of the 1500-sq. ft. hall is a counter which sells milagai podi, paruppu podi,   karuveppilai podi, vazhapoo pickle and pudhina podi. Many of them are made of herbs which help reduce BP, sugar, purify blood and soothe the nerves, Prabhu says.

He maintains that their recipe for success lies in the painstakingly written recipes that his mother had inherited from his grandmother. His wife has them now.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 4:41:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/madras375/mylapore-mess-dishes-out-southern-flavours/article6292691.ece

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