CULTURE & COAST
Outlook Traveller|September 2021
With only 24 hours in the city, SIMRRAN GILL tries to cherish and walk the colonial and contemporary era line finely
SIMRRAN GILL

I STOOD ABSOLUTELY STILL, letting the lingering aroma of mogra in the air, mixed with a faint smell of the wet soil as the first raindrops hit the ground, taking over my olfactory senses. As the clouds roared, I prepared for a downpour, taking shelter while making sure that I didn’t spill my much sought-after cup of filter kaapi. I hadn’t expected to trace the streets of Mylapore on a rainy evening like this one, but here I was staring at the Kapaleeshwarar Temple while the slightly damp air engulfed me.

Chennai is where cultures make and break. While some parts of the city exude an old-world charm; secured with a layer of a conundrum, the others pocket a cosmopolitan vibe.

I began my day with a hearty South Indian breakfast. Being the stickler that I am with my culinary choices, I went for the steaming idlis, crisp dosa, and a deep-fried vada. All of it with the lip-smacking sambar and dollops of coconut and tomato chutneys. However, as opposed to regular ones, I went for the much-talked-about ghee podi idlis. And as it turned out, they were a pleasant surprise and to date my go-to breakfast. If you’re the one to experiment with your taste buds, I’d suggest trying Pongal, a very common South Indian household breakfast made out of rice and served with sambar, or the idiyappam, a noodle cake made out of vermicelli generally.

While outsiders might classify missing Murugan Idli Shop a sin, the locals here vouch for the Ratna Cafe. Both the places have multiple outlets and more often than not a considerable waiting time too, especially on weekends.

DESPITE THE SULTRY weather

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