Tuesday, May 27, 2008

All about Chennai

A lot of you have expressed surprise at being able to get stuff in Chennai. Yes, lots of stuff is now available here. I guess it's just a question of knowing where to look.

For kitchen pans/gadgets: My dear friend Rachel pointed me to Currimbhoys and Poppat Jamals. Currimbhoys is where I got the bamboo steamer as well as the muffin pan that a lot of you asked about. A lot of stuff is also available at Lifestyle Home Center.

For food stuffs: Obviously all of you know that the everyday stuff is available at Nilgiris. But if you really looked you'd find they have ingredients that you haven't bothered to look for before (atleast I haven't). For example, Demerara Sugar. The other store that I've found to have great unusual stuff is Food World (or now Spencers) which has a section for International Foods (which is where I found the rice paper rolls), but they also have different kinds of dried mushrooms, vegetables and spices.

I also shop at Amma Naana and Maison de Gourmet, if I really have to find something and it's not available in any of the above shops. They are more expensive but the chances of them having it are very high. For specialty cheeses, sauces and jams, the place to go is Maison.

Amma Naana is great for people who have moved back to India from the US, and are still craving things like Trail Mix, Granola Bars, Starbucks Frappuccinos or Post Cereal! (I could go on, but you get the general idea). They also have lots of unusual vegetables (like asparagus and zucchini) that are not available in neighbourhood supermarkets. It's also where I found the Arborio Rice that a lot of people asked about.


If I do use an unusual ingredient, I shall include my source from now on, so that may help Chennaiites locate it. I hope that helps. Also my other blog, Rediscovering Chennai, is all about how Chennai has now become a lot more global than it used to be - stores, restaurants and mindset. (P.S. I've also just completed my 100th post there! :))

Good Luck, Chennaiites! If you know of any other really good resources for kitchen implements/ foodstuffs in Chennai, do let me know in the Comments section. Thanks.

50 comments:

srivalli said...

girl you have been on a roll like anything...100 posts in such short span..simbly rocking!...thanks for those details...very interesting!

Nandita said...

Perfect post Arundathi! Next time I'm in Chennai I'm going to go shopping with you ;)

Rachel said...

informative list!!! :D

Rachel said...

you could also add the dollar store in beasant nagar for imported sauces, cream and the like... (pots and pans included)

Jayashree said...

If you can stand the crowd at big bazaar, they do have an international food section which is reasonably well stocked.
I haven't been to Currimbhoys so far.....where is it located?

Arundathi said...

Valli - the 100 posts are in my other blog, not this one! But thanks! it's all with your help! :)

Nandita - that'll be fun! glad you managed to get the rice paper rolls here! looking fwd to your posts!

Rachel - the currimbhoys was all thanks to you! Thanks - never been to the dollar store!

Jayashree - the C'bhoys i went to is located in Adyar - opp Malar Hospital. Thanks for the big bazaar tip - never been there.

Sunshinemom said...

I remember Currimbhoys! Used to stay at Adyar long long time back and even studied in KV.CLRI:)

Cham said...

Last year, i visited Lifestyle, well u can get all foreign gadgets in one spot if u have money. I love that place, felt like US MAll...
Nice to know about other places too :)

Jamie said...

Arundathi, this was a really good one. My husband and I have been tinkering with the idea of spending an extended period of time in India and maybe taking up jobs. Although the only kitchens I have seen in India are those of our family, I often wonder if I would be able to cook like I do here in the US if I were to live in India. It's comforting to know that I could, and I most definitely would!

Arundathi said...

Sunshine - :) i didnt know about it until couple of months ago...lol!

Cham - yes you definitely need money to buy all those things. they have tried to make it like a mall...

Jamie - you most definitely can and moving here for a few years would be so much fun too :)

bhags said...

This is really informative....but i must admit, in all my visits i never got a chance to know chennai intimately

jayasree said...

Very informative post. good idea that u will include the source of unusual ingredients in future posts.

Anonymous said...

Hii

This is a gr8 post. I am planning to relocate to chennai by this year end. Hence I started googling about chennai, particularly shopping,hobby classes, gym, libraries etc.
So your post has helped me a lot and I am adding it to my favorites.
Thanks a lot
- Sunitha

Arundathi said...

Well, then, Bhags, you'd better visit soon! :)

Jayasree - Sure. Thanks.

Sunitha - Cool - Good luck with the move! :)

Anonymous said...

Hii
Me again.. Just discovered ur other blog.
Kool.
Hope you write more about chennai in that and I will make it my "bible" :)-
By the way both the blogs are super cool.
Sunitha

Arundathi said...

thanks a lot, sunitha! "bible" - i'm very honored. about 90% of the other blog is about chennai, so that should help with decisions about the move.

thanks!

Madhuram said...

Very informative post Arundathi. The more and more I read this, the more and more I miss Chennai.

I did'nt know about your other blog. Going there immediately.

DK said...

GIRL! My hubby is so relieved at this news! I have polumbified so much abt if I wud be able to cook the way I do in US when we move to chennai eventually and reading this is just making me JUMP like a monkey! K has been telling me that sure we wud get stuff, but I never believed him..Now he is like see...aaaaaaaaahhhhhh..This is FAB..I am jus going to come and Hug u next time i see u ;-)

Arundathi said...

Thanks Madhu :)

DK - your comment made me laugh! :D it'll be really cool if you guys move back! Yes, you can definitely cook the way you do there. Also, if you guys are moving back here, you might want to check out my other blog where its all about Chennai and how cool it is ;)

kj said...

Hi Arundhati,
Are you a resident of Chennai? I was looking for food reviewers and came across your blog. I could discuss the details if you could mail me at kjohri@gmail.com

Your blog is pretty informative - keep up the good work!

Thanks,
KJ

Arundathi said...

Hi KJ - Yes, I'm a resident of Chennai. Thanks for stopping by!

KJ said...

Hi Arundhati,
Would you be interested in contributing (restaurant/food reviews) etc ?
If you could send me an email from your personal email, I can let you know the details (replying to the post does not show ur email ID)
Cheers,
KJ

Arundathi said...

Contribute reviews for what publication? could you be more specific? i don't really give out my personal email...thanks.

heartmd said...

Arundathi:

We are of Indian origin and we have been in the US since 1983 and my wife is very interested in Indian cooking.

I have come alone to India this time and would like to speak to you about new gadgets and where to find them.

Can you email me at tmah2008@yahoo.com?

I am a physician and from a well known family at Chennai. I grew up here.

If you cant email, let me know through this blog, what the gadgets are/what you would buy if you were us to take back to the US? I have come with my 2 kids and have 6 bags!

Is the pressure kadai something good? I have bought the sevvai magic already. We have the Ultra (big) grinder, Preeti Chef Pro and one large/one medium and one handi-all stainless and all Prestige.

Sateesh Kumar said...

Hi Arundathi,

I have been searching for Heavy Whipping Cream in many super markets in chennai. I could not find one till now. Can you please help me where I could get heavy whipping cream.

Sita said...

Nice post thanks! You could also refer to findnearyou.com for more foodie info!

Arundathi said...

Sateesh Kumar - I'm sorry it's taken so long, but I haven't been able to find heavy cream anywhere either! If you do come across it somewhere, let me know!

Sita - That's a great link. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi!
this post is very useful. I just wanted to clarify one thing. What chocolate chips do you use and where do u buy them? there are different ones available and i wanted to know which one is the best !
Thanks and hjope to see a response from you!!

Anonymous said...

@Sateesh Kumar and SITA - Whipped cream and other baking ingredients can be found in many stores in WALTAX road beside CENTRAL STATION

the blogger formerly known as sansmerci said...

Hey arundati.. am bak in blogosphere!! rem my review blog chennaifoodreviews.blogspot.com :)

btw, now i write on this site which gives out perfumes sunglasses i even got some food vouchers in chennai for each and every one of my review :D tght will let my blog buddies know check this out

http://www.spiritzandmore.com/outlet-reviews

Dhannya Prakash said...

Thank you sooooo much! I was getting so frustrated about not getting ingredients for baking... your blog has saved the day :)! Thanks a lot!

Dhannya Prakash said...

Thank you sooooo much! I was getting so frustrated about not getting ingredients for baking... your blog has saved the day :)! Thanks a lot!

Mc Milan said...

Thanks Arundathi. Wonderful blog for food.

I live in Chennai for quite sometime and I really loved the flavors of Hajeeras Kitchen. Real Indian and traditional. Quality home made foods.

They have only take away and home delivery facility. No dine-in. Thats really disappointing.

Great foods at your doorsteps.

Anonymous said...

yes i do agree , i'm a biryani lover i live in annanagar i was surprised to know www.biryanibox.com esspecially for my friends get togeather they were really professional , try it i'm sure you'll enjoy guy's

Deepika Reddy said...

hello people,
i found the whipping cream and all the types of cream in chennai. got them today :)

Aura & co.
#565, Anna Salai,
Teynampet,
Chennai-18.

:)

Deepika Reddy said...

you can get everythin there :)
its a wholesale shop (adjacent to mcrennett Bakery .

Jananee said...

Hey can I have your e-mail id and contact number? Been going through your blog, thought we could work out something regarding food reviews. I am Jananee, working for a PR agency.

Anonymous said...

Deepika Reddy thank u so much, and Arundati thank you so much for this blog..iv been hunting for heavy whipping cream ever since i started baking at home.I will be going this sunday. InshaAllah

Regards Yasmeen

sowndari said...

The best online shopping in chennai,generally the working women are finding very difficult to buy groceries and the other things,really they will feel tired since they may one or two days as week off.so that the storesondoors was started, from which the working women, old age people can get the benefits.just one call they acan get all the groceries at one place.

Bhuvana said...

nice blogspot.. update more post... we are vegetarian caterers catering services in chennai and caterers in tambaram , anna nagar chennai .

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Sharon Christina said...

You must try brown tree at Phoenix!!!!! If u like exotic baking !!! But taxes on exported goods are damn high >.<