Paati Bajji Kadai, near Mahalingapuram Police Station

Meet Subbulakshmi, a loving old lady we fondly call ‘Paati’. Her husband and she started a quaint little snack stall in 1990 – and it’s been a glorious 26-year journey. Vadas, bajjis made of chillies, plantain, onion and potato, bondas and even a South Indian take on bhel puri, are some of the dishes on the menu. Two types of chutneys – coconut and tamarind, are served with all the deep-fried dishes.

The couple initially used to sell sweets and candies, atop a table, outside a school. However, they soon began to feel a pinch in their pocket. And that’s what led to the idea of setting up a bajji kadai, alternatively. Today, husband and wife, along with their son and daughter-in-law – run this snack joint.


Right from lawyers and politicians to toddlers, everybody is left licking their fingers after gorging on a hot plate of snacks. But when asked which her favorite dish is, paati says with a smile, “I don’t eat any of this because I don’t have teeth! But I like onion bajjis.”

This self-taught cook prepares fresh and consistent batter every evening. She says “kaipakkuvam”, which is the measuring of ingredients by hand and judgement of her ever-observant eyes, is what has helped her master the art of making bajjis and bondas, over the years. It clearly shows that established hotels are not competition for paati!

Timings : 4.30 – 9.30 p.m. on all days

Written By

Inspired by a Boyzone song, “It’s only words and words are all I have, to take your heart away,” Arpitha found her passion in writing. Clueless about what to do after college, she got into the field of feature writing for a magazine, followed by tabloid journalism. But when on a holiday in Pollachi, she realized something was missing – happiness. So the day she got back home, she decided to quit her job and follow her heart. That landed her in our team, which she is more than thrilled about! Being a major history buff, she enjoys listening to folklore and stories about kings and their empires. A foodie by birth, she loves to try out new cuisines, apart from observing and learning about flora and fauna, conservation and bio-diversity.

Leave a Reply