Venu Biriyani, Dindugul

When the road trip to Theni was finalised, I told myself that whatever happens, we need to stop at Venu for lunch. During our Coimbatore trip, these people floored me with their awesome of the aromale biryani & kola. But it was 11.45am when we were nearing Dindugul. Appa wanted to skip this en-route. I had other ideas :P I threw a tantrum (When it come to food I'll go to any level :D) and he finally gave up. 11.50 we were at the restaurant, which was pretty empty. They've a air conditioned dining space and a separate take away counter. I was told that majority of the business happens at the take away counter.

Appa refused biriyani and he just had mutton chukka and liver fry. Myself and junior had 1/2 portion of biriyani each along with boneless chicken. I was disappointed when they told that kola will take time and won't be available anytime soon. Upon multiple requests (read nagging), the staff somehow managed to serve me kola. Biriyani was piping hot with lots of tender mutton pieces. Less oily and few irritants. Medium spicy and aromatic biriyani, I loved every morsel. Asked Appa to taste a little and he also liked it a lot. Kozhuppu kulambu wasn't ready by the time. But the Dalcha made up for it. This place serves onion raita exactly the way I like. I took 3-4 servings of the thick creamy raita and ended up eating it just like that. Kola was brilliant with perfect balance of spices and was melt in the mouth type with a crispy outer. Boneless chicken fry was tender and surprisingly no food colouring and was 
well marinated. It was crispy and the batter rendered a mild spicy note to the chicken. Loved it. Paid close to 1000 bucks for all these.





The take away/parcel section is damn busy with biriyani packets flying off the counter. Before billing, they are asking whether it's for local consumption or travelling. Accordingly biriyani gets packed in banana leaf or aluminium foil containers. Two half portion of biriyanis along with 4 kola urundai set me back by 600 odd bucks. I was told that the biriyani tasted awesome even after 2 hours from packing.

This will be one of my favourite places for biriyani. Every time  I happen to pass by, I will definitely take a detour just for this beauty :) 

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Makkan Peda @ Chettiar Sweet Stall, Arcot

Spending about 9 years of my childhood in Vellore District has given me a lot of good memories to cherish. I wasn't a foodie then. My mos was an excellent cook and the maximum exposure I had was Kanna Hotel in Vellore, my college canteen, few sweet shops (dry fruit halwa & coconut mixture) opposite to fort. A veg hotel in Muthukadai & some snack shops in Walaja. Out of all my all time favourite are the gundu gunndu makkan pedas oozing with jeera :) I was a herbivore who eats only eggs (that too outside home)

So during our recent trip to Walaja, I decided to loot the Chettiar Sweet Stall :P Located in the bazar road, few mtrs away from the bus stand (near Pillayar temple) this is 186 year old establishment that sells droolworthy sweets & savouries. Every makkan peda is 100gms and costs about 25 bucks (I think). A twin version of gulab jamun, but stuffed with nuts & dry fruits these beauties will make u fall in love with them. But beware even for a person with sweetest tooth, one full makkan peda may be a bit cloying. On the other hand, it's sin to stop without finishing one :P




Packed about 2kgs of makkan peda and that's when the owner surprised me with a malai badhusha (I remember him saying something like that starting malai) and some onion pakoda. The taste was mindblowing. I almost hate badhushas and this one was absolutely melt in the mouth kind of ones with perfect sweetness. Got 1/4kg of that without second thoughts. I was clicking pics while my orders were getting packed, the samosas soaked in jeera (sugar syrup) looked damn inviting. He gave me a handful of onion pakodas and asked me to have them. While I was puzzled, he kept a khova samosa in a paper plate and handed over it to me <3<3 The regular samosa outer layer, stuffed with sweet paalkova :) Whattay wow it was. Since my dad was already looking at me like "Carukku badhila lorry eduthuttu vandhirukkanum" I refrained myself from packing that too :P





2 kgs of Makkan peda, 1/4 kg of malai badhusha, 1/4 kg of coconut mixture & regular mixture, I paid 610 bucks for all these. There are also places like Kannan Sweets, Chairman Sweets which sells makkan peda, I personally prefer them. Makkan Peda served with a bit of love & care :)

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Star Biriyani, Arcot

A trip upto Walajapet, Dad and myself were discussing lunch options in and around. I was in mood for meat. Dad goes with established places with ambience and family dining etc etc. To my surprise he suggested Star biriyani at Arcot with a condition that we will get it parcelled and eat in the car itself. I was more than happy. After all biriyani enga sapitta enna :P



A 60+ year old establishment selling only mutton biriyani, this place is located in the annasalai. Near Ramakrishna School in Arcot. Their biriyani sells like hot cakes and by 2pm it gets over mostly. And on weekdays the threshold is 11-12pm. We got our parcels by 12 pm on a Thursday. Neatly packed in Mandharai leaf along with little raita and lemon pickle, each parcel (1/2 plate) was priced at 130 bucks. After 45 minutes we opened the parcel and boy o boy what a smell. The biriyani was more than warm. Short grained fragrant rice, less oily and nil irritants, the biryiani was spicy. It had about 4-5 chunks of juicy perfectly cooked mutton pieces. Packing in mandharai leaf definitely has an impact on the taste. Portion was pretty huge for me. It would be more than enough for a voracious eater. I was bloody hungry and managed to finish 70% of it without raita or any other accompaniment :) A must try if you are travelling via Arcot.

They don't have branches anywhere else.

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