There is a lot of theatrics here. Milk is poured and mixed from a mile-high. Then poured into a double cup with the dense coffee base, which the customer tosses and turns into a homogenous mixture. Coffee roaster at Goubert Market

Tamil Nadu has a great coffee culture. Thanks to coffee, I find that Chennai and Pondicherry are the only places on my travels through India where shops open before 9 AM.

Lucky for me, there is a coffee shop at every corner! The wet market in Pondi even has a delicious smelling coffee roaster, which reminds me of the Kuru Kahveci Mehmet Efendi store between the Tahtakale Markat and the Egyptian Bazaar in Istanbul. The smell infuses the entire block with the best smell in the world. I love food markets. I love food markets with coffee roasters even more. 

Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India

Yes, there is French food in Pondicherry. Everywhere! Here is a rillette at Maison de Rose. Following the French guy who buys 16 baguettes at Baker Street every single weekday at 10:30 paid off.
Also, the space at Maison de Rose is excellent.

That’s a new front for me — stalking for food. I recommend it! 
Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India High-res

Yes, there is French food in Pondicherry. Everywhere! Here is a rillette at Maison de Rose. Following the French guy who buys 16 baguettes at Baker Street every single weekday at 10:30 paid off.

Also, the space at Maison de Rose is excellent.

That’s a new front for me — stalking for food. I recommend it! 

Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India

If I ever have potstickers on my restaurant’s menu, I will call them momos and there is nothing you can do about it. Here are some Tibetan momos and their deep fried cousins from Auroville, Tamil Nadu. 

There are a half dozen Tibetan restaurants in the Puducherry area. I had to try the famed Tibetan momo! My favorite was a diced carrot, onion, cabbage, green pepper and coriander momo! The vegetables had still a good amount of texture to them; the bite of the green pepper was a good kick and the aroma of the coriander was pleasant.

Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India

This Thali was one of the best I’ve ever had. A rich coconut broth with mutton stock as well as a deep cinnamon flavor. A samolina halva. A rice dish that is as creamy as a risotto and rich with south Indian vegetables and spices, a vegetable fry with gourds, onions, yams and red chilis. And finally a tomato rice with eggplant, peas, onions and spices. Complete with rice puffs, and a poratta, and a raita. 
Pondicherry, India High-res

This Thali was one of the best I’ve ever had. A rich coconut broth with mutton stock as well as a deep cinnamon flavor. A samolina halva. A rice dish that is as creamy as a risotto and rich with south Indian vegetables and spices, a vegetable fry with gourds, onions, yams and red chilis. And finally a tomato rice with eggplant, peas, onions and spices. Complete with rice puffs, and a poratta, and a raita. 

Pondicherry, India

Here is a celebration of the colonial history of Pondicherry! 

We had honey preserved figs and amla (Indian gooseberry) topping a piece of camambert on a crusty baguette. 

And a sandwich with tuna, camambert, cucumbers, peppers and the honey preserved figs… 

Maybe not as creamy a camembert as I would have liked but for the first Western bite that I took in about 7-8 weeks, I’ll say it’ll do. 

Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, India

Randomly splattered onto the griddle Folded into a friendly shape Served with sambar, coconut chutney, and a peppery coriander chutney

Rawa / sooji dosa with peppercorns, carrots, and cumin

This is the lacy cousin of the rice and urad dal dosa. Rawa dosa is made with ground samolina rather than rice. It is my observation that it cooks faster and allows for ingredients in the crepe batter. The lacy shape, the crust and the soft inside along with the whole peppercorns contrast into a beautiful crepe. One of my favorite snacks in India so far. Absolutely delicious!  

Served with sambar and chutneys — a good welcome to Pondicherry