This restaurant is called Madurai Mutton Curry & man is it good!
Amidst the crowded streets of Sholinganallur, the newly opened Madurai Mutton Curry can easily be missed out if not for the bright yellow signage. Located on a breezy lane, with a lake lining the road, the entrance to the restaurant almost looks like a hole in the wall.
Opened a few weeks ago, the place serves delicious mutton dishes at affordable prices. “Our main aim is to provide healthy, organic food that is affordable for people from all walks of life,” says Raju Karthikeyan or RK, owner and chef of Madurai Mutton Curry.
On entering the 40-seater outlet, with minimalistic interiors, we are greeted by the young and cheery chef, as the speakers hum a devotional song in the background to set the mood. The decision to venture into the culinary arts came naturally to RK after being a third-generation chef who was surrounded by his dad’s catering service, for the better part of his life. Beginning to cook as early as eight, he went on to graduate from Singapore and practice in the Singapore Airlines kitchen.
Nevertheless, RK always felt his true calling was in India and decided to return, in 2012. “That is when I collaborated with Kongu Herbo Chicken, The Cullinarium-Ooty and Preethi group of hotels to work on their kitchen and menu,” says the chef-turned-food consultant.
Any secret recipes? “I don’t have any secrets, there are six ingredients that we use — majorly-the home-made masalas, coconut oil, gingerly oil, coriander leaves, curry leaves and a lot of coconut,” reveals the 32-year-old.
Soon the table begins to get crowded — with a mildly spiced mutton biriyani mutton paya, nalli curry, onion curry and mutton chukka, after which arrives the rice specialities using wild rice like kavuni arisi and moongil arisi, with mutton curry.
When asked why he chose only mutton to represent the cuisine on his menu of 20 dishes, he replied, “Mutton is very succulent and is one meat that isn’t artificially bolstered and can retain the flavours of other ingredients that go with it.” The restaurant intends to branch out to two more places around Chennai by the end of the month.
Meal for two is priced at Rs 400.