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This quaint countryside eatery in TN’s Puthur guarantees a burst of local flavours

If you have passed the quaint countryside of Puthur in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, through the high way, then you might have surely noticed a long queue of people waiting patiently to enter a quaint eatery that has thatched roof. The aroma of fragrant masalas and delicious curries wafts through the air here. There are lots of foodies who visit this hotel on their way to Puducherry or Velankanni.

The Jayaram Hotel in Puthur is an ordinary eatery in a rural area that serves simple dishes that bursts with flavours. One would be surprised by the sheer number of food lovers who travel for hundreds of kilometres just to taste the mouth watering food at Jayaram Hotel. The hotel, that has been serving some iconic dishes, for the last five decades have now become the face of this small town.

This tiny hotel sells around 250 kilos of fried prawns in a day. Photo: Balram Menon

A flat tawa is heated over a makeshift stove made using a huge drum. Marinated prawns and king mackerels are fried and roasted on this tawa as per order. Besides, chicken drumsticks too are being cooked in an aromatic masala of sautéed shallots and other condiments. Interestingly, this tiny hotel sells around 250 kilos of fried prawns in a day. Fish curry and other dishes too are cooked on the tradition woodfire stove. You would be surprised to know that there is no gas stove in this hotel.

The lunch rush at this hotel is evidence to its incredible popularity. Steaming hot rice is served on fresh plantain leaf. Besides the special items like fried chicken drumstick, fried fish and prawns roast, you could also enjoy the spinach curry, fish curry, chicken curry and rasam with rice. The customers can always ask for a second helping. In the end, they would serve you thick curd to cleanse the palate. Most people buy food parcels as the hotel is often crowded with customers. The parcels too are wrapped in plantain leaves to keep the food warm and fresh.

Crispy and flaky porotta is another winning item here. You could enjoy it with fried chicken, chicken curry, prawns roast or fried king mackerel.

Even though there are workers to manage the hotel, the owner Jayaram makes sure to oversee everything. For many this simple hotel that serves tasty food at reasonable price is a favourite food destination. They often visit here to enjoy delicious dishes prepared using fresh ingredients.