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'The uppuma simply melts in your mouth'

November 16, 2015 12:18 IST
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We had asked you, dear readers, to share memories of what you ate on train journeys.

Here Ashok Paskalraj talks about the steaming hot uppuma served at Villupuram railway station.

Ashok Paskalraj frequently travels by Kanyakumari Express between Chennai Egmore and Nagercoil.

Enroute, he particularly enjoys a delicious breakfast at a kiosk at Villupuram station.

"I have been a regular traveller between Chennai Egmore and Nagercoil (my hometown) for around 12 years -- since my college days.

"I have never taken any train other than the Kanyakumari Express.

"The train reaches Villupuram between 8.15 pm and 8.30 pm and food is delivered by IRCTC there. However, it's not that food I am going to rave about.

"Instead it's the hot and tasty uppuma (Tamil version for upma) sold at a kiosk at Villupuram station.

"When the train stops at Villupuram, this kiosk generally comes just opposite to S11 and the AC 3 tier coaches.

"Most of us calculate the exact location, move to S12 or AC 3 tier at least 10 minutes in advance, and wait for the station to arrive. So it takes minimum time to reach the kiosk, once the train stops.

"The kiosk vendor has two attendants ready, with ladles in hand.

"The uppuma is kept in two hot-packs, which are opened just as KK Express enters.

"As you reach the kiosk, the aroma of delicious uppuma and chutney greets you.

"Once you place your order for 'two uppumas' (the maximum one can carry), it is scooped out into a bowl for you.

"Then, the attendant pats the ladle on the surface, creates a small dent, and pours the chutney. It is then handed over to you.

"We eventually run to the train, balancing one bowl in each hand, careful not to spill the chutney. Then we patiently wait for the train to start.

"The moment the train starts, we dig into the uppuma, which simply melts in your mouth! Add a bit of sugar to every scoop and you are almost in heaven!

"One of my father's friends introduced me to this dish, five years ago. Since then I have never missed eating it on any of my journeys.

"Every time I travel, some co-passenger has tasted it too, and I am sure they too have become fans of it.

"I think it would be available for all trains crossing Villupuram station after 7 pm.

"You may consider this as an ordinary dish, but Villupuram uppuma is one of the best foods you can get when you travel from Chennai to Kanyakumari."


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Have you travelled by Indian Railways? Share your memories of the meals you have had on Indian trains.

If you have pictures, send us those as well. Mail us at and we will feature the best entries on Rediff.comand India Abroad.

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Lead image used for representational purposes only. Image: PC - My Shots@Photography/Creative Commons

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