Visiting Madurai? Viral Video Suggests What And Where To Eat

Madurai, called ‘The City of Nectar’ because people believe venom from Lord Shiva’s snake fell here, is also counted among places in Tamil Nadu that offer a welcoming culinary experience. There are a few food joints here which have been in existence since the independence of India in 1947. 

Video Credit: Harry Uppal/ YouTube

Harry Uppal, a food blogger on YouTube, runs a channel called Aapka Apna Hariya, and the video of the best places to eat in Madurai with more than 94,806 views has gone viral. Published on January 23, 2024, the video takes you inside the kitchen of these legendary restaurants and acquaints you with the rich history of the food joint serving customers for more than seven decades. 

The Modern Restaurant

India gained its independence on August 15, 1947, from the rule of Britishers, and The Modern Restaurant in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, came into existence the same year on October 20. With a legacy of more than 75 years, it is called the ‘Pride of Madurai’ serving the best street food in the city. Located near the Meenakshi Temple, the eatery serves delicious sattvic food.

V M Sadasivam was the founder of this eatery that witnessed long queues of customers waiting outside its doors for their turn to grab a seat and enjoy the dishes on the menu. Shashwat, grandson of V M Sadasivam, talked about how every delicacy in The Modern Restaurant is made using traditional methods and techniques of cooking. Their speciality is South Indian cuisine, and they take pride in not using store-bought masala. Instead, Shashwat shared that the cooks in the kitchen prepare fresh masala every day for a variety of dishes to ensure the traditional flavours remain intact.

Vatha kulambu, a sambhar-style gravy, is quite famous here. Made with tamarind, it is paired with white rice. Other dishes from the menu that you can order here include gravy bhindi (okra), buttermilk, roti, beans made with the tempering of coconut, curd rice, mixed veg raita, brinjal and chana dal gravy, sambhar, bun paratha, veg biryani, korma, and rava kesari. 

Taking pride in being the third generating running the restaurant, Shashwat said that the place has catered to renowned celebrities and politicians, including the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru and first Vice-President of India, Radhakrishnan. 

Street Food In Madurai

The next stop on Harry Uppal’s list was a street food joint in Madurai. It is famous for serving Burmese rice noodles, also referred to as attu in the regional language. Made in sunflower oil using cabbage, onion, coriander, special masala mix, eggs, and yellow rice noodles. Topped with different kinds of sauce, you can order these for Rs 90. 

Next, the blogger headed to a local tea stall for a butter bun, another speciality of Madurai in which white makhana (butter) is spread after slicing the bun. Sugar is added for sweetness, and the bun is roasted on a hot tawa. One piece will cost you around Rs 25, and they are served on banana leaves. 

The last stop in Harry Uppal’s journey to explore Madurai’s best food corners was Meenakshi bun paratha (parotta), a small joint serving bun paratha, one of the most famous dishes in the city. It is served with a spicy and flavourful gravy of eggs. They are also presented to customers on banana leaves.