The Mint Food Trail ~ Discovering the city with Madras Day celebrations

by on August 25, 2012

A chance response of mine on Chennai food guide – a facebook group – led to an interaction with Vincent D Souza, and as a result, I agreed to organize The Mint Food Trail for the Madras Day celebrations. More than anything, this indicates my utter weakness for the food delicacies in and around Mint Street, an obsession that began in my childhood and has become more ingrained with each passing year. My cousin, Tara Kankaria, who is my Sowcarpet soulmate, decided the list of shops for the food trail. She also notified the shop keepers so that they would not run out of the jalebis or kachoris during the food trail. A write-up in Times of India and Mylapore Times led to many phone inquiries and registrations.


Thus it came to be that on Saturday, August 25, 2012, I found myself at the Kakada Sweet Shop in Mint Street, that lane of Sowcarpet in Chennai, where you will move even if you do not walk, such is the crowd from morning to night. That day another hundred added to the number, people from all around Chennai, enthusiastically waiting for the food trail.


Mint Food trail Vincent

As always, my dependable nephews and nieces pitched in, and so we had a group of volunteers – Aditi, Bhavana, Darshana, Dhruv, Pooja, Tanmai, Uma, and Tara and myself. At Kakada Sweets, we started with the freshly fried Aloo Tikki chaat, Kesar Baati and rich creamy Badam Milk. Some of us even sneaked in a plate of jalebis, which were being fried to an irresistible golden colour right before our eyes.


Mint Food Trail

As the food enthusiasts kept coming, we divided them into groups of 8-10 persons headed by one volunteer and set them on the food trail, making sure there was a gap of 5-10 minutes between each group so the shops would not get overcrowded. After Kakada, the next stop was with that friendly juice man at the corner of Elephant Gate Street whose Sugarcane Juice is an absolute must whenever I go to Mint.


Mint Food trail sugarcane juice

Next was Ajab Mithaighar in Elephant Gate Street, one of the family favourites for Jalebis and Ganthias, served along with a Raw Papaya Chutney which is a popular breakfast combo in most of our weddings.


Mint Food trail Ajab Mithai ghar

We then headed to Maya Chaats in General Muthiah Street where all of us were blown away with his beyond-description Pyaaz ki Kachori, followed with Samosas and Mirchi Vadas.


Mint Food trail Maya Chaat


Mint Food trail  pyaaz kachori

By now, friendships were forming within the groups, and people were enthusiastically sharing dishes and making recommendations to each other. High on the list was the Kesar-Pista Kulfi at Maharaja Kulfi shop, right next to Maya Chaat.


Mint Food trail Pista Kulfi

With renewed vigour, we turned left into Mint and headed to Agarwal Chaat for the Pani Puris which were mouth-wateringly crisp and fresh.


Mint Food trail Pani Puris

And finally came the icing on the cake at Murugan Sandwich shop with Murukku Sandwiches. For those of you who have not eaten these, do not make assumptions about this dish. You simply have to savour this fusion food of India. The shop is also famous for his Chutney Cheese Toast which is crisp with melted cheese and received a ‘wow’ from each one of us.


Mint Food trail Chutney Cheese Toast

Mint Food trail Murukku Sandwich

The warmth and fun of enjoying food together binds human beings with a rare energy, and as we waved good-bye to each other, we knew we were going to receive many facebook friend requests that evening, and get tagged endlessly.


Mint Food trail Sowcarpet

Anyways, as of now, my next visit to Mint is scheduled a week from now, and I am looking forward to seeing what my cousin Tara’s latest culinary discovery in the area is.

Click on image below to read a report by Times of India.


Mint Food Trail, Chennai Street Foods


To know more about how we enjoyed the food trail, read a blog post by Ganesh Puttu. Read some more interesting events on this site. We would love to hear your comments and thoughts in the form below.


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