Pondicherry Simple Lunch


I remember the only time we have visited Pondicherry. My son had turned just one and my brother and SIL were visiting us for a weekend. We took our one year old car (which had done only 1600 kms) for a drive to Mahabalipuram.

On the way, my brother suggested that we can travel another 30 kms and go to Pondicherry and stay there overnight. Everyone jumped in the wagon, except me, of course! I like things to be planned and to decide a weekend getaway while travelling in a car is just unthinkable. So I started blabbering things like, “I haven’t closed the windows”, “The clothes in the yard for drying” and more stuff.

But the look from others was enough to add-on,”Yeah, all that’s fine. Let’s go to Pondicherry!”

So, the windows were open for a night and the clothes were left out to dry, but boy! what a stay we had in Pondicherry!!


The guest house we stayed (they gave us the dorm that could accommodate 15 people) charged only 300/- or 400/- INR. The food was simple and good. And that weekend was just great.

We looked around the place and totally loved it. Pondicherry is a small place, but it leaves a lasting pleasant impression on your mind. You have good pedestrian paths on both sides of the road. You can walk as much as you want.


I was shopping with my SIL and for a moment, I turned to look somewhere else. I turned back, expecting to see my SIL there, she wasn’t. She was down…She had fainted, just like that!!

She was as shocked as the rest of us were. She was fine, may be hunger and the harsh sun collapsed her. It’s something I still remember about Pondicherry.


Another thing was, my one year old would point at our car, if we pass it. We checked it multiple times, passing our car without getting in. But every single time, he would kind of point at our car correctly. Once it was parked right next to a similar colour similar model car, yet he pointed at ours correctly.

And if the kid could talk – he would have asked,”But that’s our car.Where are you going?”

At an age where in he didn’t know the numbers or may be even colours, I have no idea how he did it, but he did it all the time. He used to recognize the man’s bike as well. God knows, how though!!

Anyway, coming to the Pondicherry food, I browsed Priya’s blog for recipes. She is from Pondicherry and this is the kind of food she was brought upon. This may not be the signature dishes of Pondicherry, but their everyday food is kind of similar to this.


The Menu:

  • Kadala Kuzhambu  : Chickpeas in a tangy and coconut based gravy.
  • Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal : An all time favourite beach snack. Cooked dry peas with coconut and chopped raw mangoes
  • Peas and Carrot Saute : According to the book, The Pondicherry Kitchen, this is an adapted version of French sauté.
  • Yogurt
  • Plain rice




17 thoughts on “Pondicherry Simple Lunch

    1. looks so nice and fresh.. the carrots and peas make me want to reach out and pop one into my mouth.. nice photos and nice write-up as well. my son also recognizes cars but not my daughter. i think it’s a ‘guy’ thing


  1. You call that simple, in Germany (where i am from) the majority of woman would only cook like that on a special occasion! Three dishes for one meal? Even when they are stay-at-home mothers, stir frying some meat and cooking noodles is considered work. Dessert will be store-bought. Cooking for breakfast? Granola and milk, or bread and charcuterie. I am serious! This is beginning to change, though. Please (everyone) continue to share your unique stories and recipes. Cheers, Lisa.


  2. Loved g your Pondicherry memories. Delicious thali and the each and every katora in that thali is inviting.


  3. Nice to read about the experience in Pondy..Delicious looking Thali,drooling over the thenga manga pataani sundal…


  4. That’s a beautiful spread Rajani, simple yet all my favorite as well…I love the kadala and manga thenga sundal as well…We used to visit pondy very frequently couple of years back and everything seems to fresh..so no wonder you still recollect them so well..coming to kids..even we had similar exp with mine as well..I guess all lil ones are very smart, only as we grow older we tend to miss out that smartness..lol..


  5. Enjoyed reading your post and your memories of the trip. Kids never cease to amaze. You have put together a really nice platter.


  6. lovely post and nice memories to share…i remember you talking somewhere about thenga manga..i love the name and the way it rhymes…nice meal again, i want to visit pondi someday..heard so many stories


  7. Rajani, you have spotted out my favourite dishes here, i can survive for many days with the kadala kuzhambu, that sundal makes me nostalgic, we never forget to buy the sundal while going for a walk in our beach. Am homesick now.


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