Fast Food: Murugan Idli

“Fast Food, Coz Enlightenment is Too Damn Slow!”

In Chennai, after our migraine-inducing Saree Shopping binge, our driver recommended we try Mugugan Idli. A very interesting place! There was a long line and we had to wait about 30 minutes to get a table. But once inside, the service was very fast. Despite it being a Idli place, we all ended up ordering different types of dosas! In lieu of plates, servers bring banana leaves, which we wipe clean. Another serves several different types of chutneys on each leaf (plate). The dosas are brought on a tray and a server (with gloved hands) carefully places each dosa on our leaf.

M got this psychedelic Onion Uttappam. I was like: I want that! Mumbai-side, the onions are usually minced; here these sliced onions give it an artistic touch!
Picture of Onion Uttapam at Murugan Idli Shop Chennai
(click for larger image)

I got this Masala Dosa, which was really delicious! They offered five types of chutneys and each was finger licking good. We ordered more dosas for seconds and thirds.
Picture of Masala Dosa at Murugan Idli Shop, Chennai

Stuffed, we rolled down into our waiting car and headed to our rooms for a well deserved rest.

While waiting outside for nearly 30 minutes, I had ample opportunity to criticize their choice of red neon. Why are they eating so leisurely in there? Didn’t they know we were waiting outside? We sat and ate at that table after they left – leisurely.
Picture of Masala Dosa at Murugan Idli Shop, Chennai

Other Idli posts:


  1. Flashing Beacon says:

    of course when you dont have time to cook, fastfoods would always be the best option ,;`

  2. Aparna,
    Good luck to you with your writing. Will send details in mail. :-)

  3. Hey Arun,

    Love the pics on your blog. Will be doing a write up for a publication in India and was wondering if I can borrow your pictures taken at Murugal Idli. Would love it if you can mail them to

    Will give you credit for the same.


  4. Hi Swapna:
    I was recently told about the original Murugan idli being in Madurai. Wish I had know that when we were in madurai, then we’d have certainly gone to this tiny shop and checked it out!

    Ofcourse, now I miss all the chutney and pudis with the dosas!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  5. I am from madurai,and this murugan idli shop is originally a native of madurai.The restaurant is always busy till late night,they serve yummy idli and dosas.This guy has a branch in madurai railway station,and gives all those four varities of chutneys and sambar with idli podi in polythene bags even if we order one dosa.Hmmm….I miss them…

  6. Murugan Idly Shop is one of the best things that has happened in Chennai in the last 5 years. And unfortunately we have been out of Chennai for the last 4 years!.

    This is so tempting !!!



    arunaH uvacha:
    We had a fabulous experience there and all over Chennai; Truly a misfortune to be away from Chennai for any length of time. :-)

  7. Ohh thanks for the info Arunanna. I will have to watch refined sugar now. We found kokum kadi was a trigger :(. I will mail you and bug you about this if you don’t mind.

    arunaH uvacha:
    shilpa – sent you mail. :-)

  8. Thanks a lot . As of now, nothing to carry, but will ask them and tell you.

    Btw…I would appreciate it a lot if you could come up with a post abt migraine. Like any remedies etc. Please?

    arunaH uvacha:
    oh, oh, migraines can certainly ruin your day. Will see about the post, or will atleast get you a review article.

    For me, the triggers were refined sugars in muffins and pastries I used to eat. Figure out what the triggers are for you. Also, exercise helped me a lot. Now, if I don’t workout for a few days, migraines recurr :-(

    Will get something to you. :-)

  9. Hi Rachna:
    Thank you! Yeah, they know how to make dosas, no?
    and yes, I have been pestering M to make dosas too? :-)

  10. OMG this looks so yummy… so hungry now…

  11. Au contraire, I actually love onions, but the uthapam seemed more like onions with a hint of uthapam than the other way around…which is fine by me. :)

    So is masala dosa!

    aruNaH uvacha:
    You are right! Looks overwhelming, but did not appear so when eating (devouring)! :-)

  12. Maya: You are absolutely right!
    Our driver was an outstanding guy! He served as a great guide, knew all the places to go and once he got a sense of the type of foods we liked (traditional veg foods) he took us there.

    Ha hA! yeah, red neon lights *smacks forehead* couldn’t they have done better? but as you say, they make up for this by serving outstanding foods – and great service too!

  13. The onion uttapam looks too good, but most of all, I think you are very lucky to meet the rite people to take you to the best food places. I forgive the red-neon lites for all the good food that they have there :D…

  14. Good Lord that looks good, and wow that’s a lot of onions…nothing wrong with onions, of course. :)

    Arun Says:
    Ha hA! actually the onions were not as strong and further, with the roasting, they actually tasted sweet.

    … so I gather you don’t like onions :-||
    ok, you can have the masala dosa! :-)

  15. Arun,
    I won’t be surprised if I see many people chasing u with sticks ;) and I know this is ur first instalment for torturing us and there are many more to come. I am actually having second thoughts for chosing Street food as themes coz everytime I get entries I start hitting myself ;)
    Thanks for this wonderful post. And I am drooling. Can’t wait to see more :)

    Arun Says:
    O Sia, now there is a line of folks ready to beat/maim/kill me. See what you started? :-))
    Thank you for letting me post these. :-)

  16. :(((( you are a bad bad person for posting this all….I want it now :(((. You are just making my homesickness worse and worse :(.

    Arun Says:
    O stop! I am learning all this from you.
    heh, I am headed to Kumta in July, if your parents need something, let me know and I can bring it to them.

  17. Arun:

    I think I will take a ticket and wait for Sia and Asha to take their turns :-)

    First Rama Nayak and now Murugan Idlis…. How could you :-)

    Given the amount of money my lab mates and I have spent in Rama Nayak every month for 5 years, I won’t be surprised if Rama Nayak names a “bench” in our honor :-)

    There were two other Kannadiga mess (when you walk from VT to Chruch Gate, they are somewhere inbetween) but I don’t ever remember seeing a name board in their front entrance, but what an authentic North Kanara food!! My lab mates from Shimoga and Dharwad knew the right places to go for an awesom lunch/ dinner.

    Enjoy all you can. Have a safe trip.


    Arun Says:
    Heh! like I said above, I already feel like a voodoo doll!
    and … I did not post anything about Rama Nayak – you brought it up :-P

    regarding bench: during my visit next month, I will check hee heeeeee! *runs to dodge chappal*

    Anyway, I grew up in Colaba, and did not know of any NK dining places in the VT-Churchgate area. WIll have to check again. There was the fabulous “Pancham Puriwala” in front of the GPO. Its still there. I ate there on my last visit! :-))

    Live to eat! verily!

  18. It’s my turn after Sia to kill you for posting all these yummies. I just nibbled on a raisin bread for breakfast! DANG!!! ;D

    Arun says:
    Oh, Oh! With all the stabbings, I am starting to feel like a voodoo doll!
    *ouch!* another one just took a jab!

    Heh – raisin bread is gourmet compared to what I had this morning: PBJ!
    *smacks forehead and blurts in konkani* “kasane divas aiyallae!”
    translates to: “what days have come?” but means more like: “See how low we have sunk” (?)

    Oh well – need to head for some cafeteria goop for lunch! :-(

  19. I am going to Murugan idli next time I visit my folks! the onion uttappam looks so yum!

    Arun says:
    suman – you haven’t eaten there?
    If I am even in chennai, that would be he second place I’d go;
    the first being Saravanna Bhavan! :-)) Yaay!


  1. […] Fast Food at Murugan Idli […]

  2. […] go ahead! Smile, go saree shopping and splurge! And after this extravaganza, we headed to Murugan Idli, another Chennai tradition! 42.361196 […]

  3. […] Of course, you know Murugan’s Dosas […]

  4. […] After giving directions, my uncle had recommended Masala Idlis, but alas, those were only served on specific other days of the week. Not disappointed, we ordered just about all idle types they served. Notes: Shilpa has recipes for 16 types of Idlis, including many pictured below. M makes one of my favorites: Dill Idlis! And of course, Chennai has Murugan Idli! […]

  5. […] you salivating, blame Sia who is hosting Street food Festivities! After psychedelic uttapams from Murugan Idli in Chennai, I’ll zip you around the globe to Alaska for some spicy Killer […]

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