Pondicherry, officially known as Puducherry, is an Indian Union Territory. It is a coastal region located below Chennai and still has many foreigners living in the place. It is a major tourist attraction due to beaches, booze, lakes, Auroville, White Town among other things. But, here, we are primarily going to focus on the food we had during our 3-day short trip to Pondicherry during December end.
Even before going to Pondicherry, we have planned to eat in “Solitude Farm” located inside Auroville. Thanks to Youtube, now Krishna McKenzie is a well known personality in Tamilnadu. He has been running his restaurant inside his organic farm called “Solitude Farm” which serves food made from his garden’s produce. I liked ideologies of Krishna McKenzie about “eating local” to reduce “ecological cost”. He also persists on rich nutrients available in local foods like Moringa leaves (Drumstick leaves), Papaya etc., Though he has named it as “Solitude Farm”, it is actually a garden. That is, he is not trying to cultivate anything by changing the nature of soil or adding chemical fertilizers. Instead he just allowed what would grow there normally without any need.
It was located in walking distance from Auroville information centre. As we entered the gate, we were welcomed with stones painted with facts about local greens and vegetables. The restaurant located in centre of the garden has good open space to accommodate around 100 people. We ordered Papaya Salad and a Meals comprising of Ragi Dosa, Steam cooked Millet, Murungai Keerai Sambhar, Thoothuvalai Rasam which were complemented well with chutneys. We also had fresh juice made with flowers and brown sugar. Owner of the restaurant, Krishna McKenzie, walked to everyone and talked about food and lost culture and how should one grow organic garden and what are all the benefits of local ingredients. Overall, we liked the whole experience and would give 9 out of 10 stars rating for both the food and experience.
One another unforgettable food experience in Pondicherry was lunch at Hotel Maison Perumal. Before even ordering the food, we were quite impressed with their calm and beautiful ambience. We had Kuchi Kozhi (Chicken Skewers) as starters which had good amount of spring onions and herbs like Thyme. We absolutely loved their Grilled Pomfret with Coconut Rice. But, we felt Mutton Curry was little mild to our taste buds. Our superb lunch experience ended with a delicious Pineapple Kesari. We would rate it with 9.5 stars out of 10 for both food and ambience.
Apart from the above mentioned lunch experiences, we liked Briyani feast at Sri Kamatchi Briyani and had authentic French breads and dishes at Baker’s Street. Especially, Butter Croissants were brilliant there. We also liked variety of Dosas at Sri Murugan Cafe for breakfast and dinner. Cashew Uthappam was a highlight there and also a special mention to Venthaya Dosa. Traditional munchies at Rock Beach were icing on the cake for our whole Eatploration in Pondicherry.
PS: Apart from food, We thoroughly enjoyed boating in Outseri Lake witnessing hundreds of birds flying around thousands of lotus flowers floating around the lake. That should be a must-visit place in Pondicherry in addition to Paradise Beach and other regular tourist attractions.