Sunday, February 19, 2012


I was recently in Pondicherry on a brief weekend trip. Although the purpose of my trip was for other reasons, I had taken my camera along and hoped to click some pictures of food and write a blog post or two. Boy! was I thrilled when I came across this true French bakery by the name, Baker Street! The name may not sound very French but every other aspect of it was definitely French. There were even south Indian native Pondicherry staff conversing in fluent French to their French customers. Thanks to a friend from Coimbatore who had recommended this place!

They had an array of breads that included Baguettes, multi-grain loaves, whole wheat loaves and dinner rolls. The pastries included butter croissants, almond croissants, pain au chocolate and pain au raisin. The breads and pastries looked as authentic as it would in any bakery in the streets of Paris. I tasted the butter croissant and the almond croissant and I must say that its the best I have tasted in India and would come really close to the Parisian ones.

There was also a variety of sweet pastries that included strawberry tart, almond tart, chocolate tart, chocolate mousse, brownies, cheesecake, mille feuille, cookies, meringues and macaroons.

To top all this off, the Baker street bakery is also a great option for lunch or dinner. They had a range of healthy and mouth watering salads. There was also a buffet pasta counter where you could choose from a variety of pastas and sauces.

The pizzas, savoury quiches, grilled sandwiches and croque monsieurs looked very tempting indeed.

There was also a separate section with counters full of gourmet chocolates and special edible gifts for Valentine's day.

The Baker street looked impressive and the pastries and bread from there tasted very French and authentic. The Manager at the bakery was very helpful and was full of information. Now we all know where to stop to pick up authentic French baked goodies on our next trip to Pondicherry.

PUDUCHERRY - 605001.
PH # 0413-6458888
(at the time of writing, there was a problem loading the website)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


You can always make big plans, plan ahead and plan all the details but when it comes to executing the plan, a million hurdles seem to spring up and foil the plan. That is exactly what happened to me when I planned to visit a local food destination by the name U M P Mess, close to Kunnathur(near Tirupur, Tamil Nadu). But if you are a true foodie and totally hungry, you come up with a new plan at that moment and execute it right away. And this is how I happened to eat lunch at MYVILI RESTAURANT, last weekend. And I did not leave the place disappointed.

MYVILI is a small shack-style restaurant on the highway that connects Perumanallur to Avinashi on NH47. It is about 1km from Perumanallur towards Avinashi. There are big colourful boards that scream out the name and presence of this place to the travelers on the highway.

It is run by a husband and wife duo who cook and serve the food themselves. On arrival, they seat the customers and explain how the system works in their restaurant. They announce very proudly that the all the food there is cooked home-style, by themselves and there are no preservatives or additives in the food. They are open only for lunch on all seven days of the week. Lunch per person costs Rs.230/- which includes limited servings of the starters, juice, banana, a bottle of mineral water, dessert and unlimited servings of white rice, curries, rasams.

First items to be served on the banana leaf are salt, banana and a Gulab Jamun. Followed by Mutton Biriyani accompanied with Raita, Mutton Varuval, Chicken Varuval, Egg Masal, Mutton bone Varuval and Goat's blood Poriyal. All the dishes tasted very good but a tad bit on the spicy side for me.


The Biriyani course is followed by white rice with the Chicken Sindhamani. This dish is made with country chicken, not broiler chicken. And the use of country chicken seems to add a special flavour to the dish. It was a dry and oily dish (no gravy) and was my favourite dish there. Followed by this, you get unlimited access to white rice and the different curries and rasams.


I couldn't eat beyond white rice and Chicken Sindhamani. The hosts insisted on us trying out the curries and rasams but we were quite stuffed and had absolutely no intention to do so. We were finally served a refreshing cup of lemon and pineapple juice with a hint of cardamom.

It was a very tasty and homely experience. It felt like you were eating in someone's home. I would definitely drive back to Myvili for a scrumptious lunch. A meaty spread on a banana leaf served home-style is something I can't resist for too long!

Contact - Mr. Sadhanandham - 97154 55015

Thursday, February 2, 2012


I was personally very surprised when my husband first suggested that I should try cooking Peking duck at home. I assumed it was a very lengthy and laborious process. He took the effort to locate a couple of doable recipes from the internet and handed me the printouts. The trickiest part for me was to find the duck!!!! The first couple of times, the ducks were not big enough. After all the effort that goes in to make the duck, there was very little skin and meat for us to eat.

So here is a step by step procedure to making Peking duck at home. I looked up a couple of recipes online and altered them according to the size of ducks I had and the time available.


2 ducks of weight 2 kgs (live weight)

Basting sauce:

10 tbsp hot water
1.5 tsp corn flour
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp Rice vinegar
1.5 tbsp sugar

Mix all of the above and thicken it on a stove just for a few seconds. Keep aside

To Serve:

30 pieces Chinese pancakes
1 cucumber, cut into 5 cm strips
1 bunch spring onion, cut into 5 cm strips
Hoisin sauce
Sugar, optional


Clean and wash the ducks thoroughly. In a large pot, take about 30 cups of water (approximately) and bring to a roaring boil. Put off the flame and dunk the ducks in for a minute. Make sure that the entire birds are submerged in water. After a minute, drain and remove the ducks from the pot and keep aside. Bring the water to a boil and repeat the procedure for 4 more times.

Make an arrangement to tie the ducks up in an airy room. Tie the ducks up for atleast 5 - 6 hours before baking it in an oven. Place a container right below the ducks to collect all the dripping liquid (you will not need this later). After every hour, baste the ducks with the basting sauce using a brush.

Heat the oven to 200C. Place the ducks on a wire rack placed in a roasting pan without touching each other. Bake the ducks at 200C for 10 minutes with the breast-side up. Now turn the ducks over to the back-side and bake for another 10 minutes at 200C. Lower the temperature to 170C and bake for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, increase the temperature to 200C and bake each side for about 5 minutes each. Keep a close eye on the ducks during the last 10 minutes of baking as it can get burnt depending on the performance of different ovens.

Remove the ducks from the oven, it should be deep golden brown in colour. Allow the ducks to rest for atleast 15 minutes before carving. Serve with all the recommended ingredients.

Recipe for the Pancakes:

1.5 cups plain flour
salt to taste
Boiling hot water, as required
2 tbsp sesame oil

Mix the salt along with the plain flour. Add enough boiling hot water to form a firm dough. Place the dough in a bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and allow the dough to rest for about half hour. Divide the dough into 30 equal-sized balls.

Roll out 2 balls at a time in to 5cm circles. Brush sesame oil on one of the circles. Place the second circle on top of the sesame oil brushed surface of the first circle. Roll out the sandwiched dough in to 10-12cm circles. Place it on a hot pan and cook both sides until light brown in colour. Remove from the pan and allow it to rest for 2 minutes. Now you should be able to peel away the pancakes from each other. The sesame oil keeps the two different dough balls from sticking to each other. After cooking on the pan, you will be getting 2 pancakes at a time.

Finally, stack all the pancakes, cover with aluminum foil and steam for about 10 minutes. This method will provide thin and soft pancakes to accompany the Peking Duck.