As part of my travel for food, I went to Chettinad – a town in South India – famous for its cuisine and grandeur homes/ palaces built by the affluent Chettiar community. The homes were built by importing teak from Burma, tiles and marbles from Italy and crystals from Czechoslovakia. The arid region was home to 96 villages of which only 74 exist today. Karaikudi is a famous town in Chettinad and here I met Murugeswari who sells paniyaarams (sweet and spicy fried dumplings) on the streets. She brings along twigs to fuel the stove, the batter for the dumplings, oil, a frying pan or paniyaram chatti from home to set up shop. She says she s got her regular clientele. When told how much she sells her paniyarams for I was amazed. A mere Rs.1 /- per piece. She says she is contented with what she makes and goes to bed happy. Maybe some food for thought??
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