Home > FAM (Familiarization) Tour, Food, General, Tamil Nadu, Tamil Nadu FAM > Border Parotta, a culinary landmark on Tamil Nadu – Kerala border

Border Parotta, a culinary landmark on Tamil Nadu – Kerala border

Border Parotta

A culinary landmark on Tamil Nadu – Kerala border

Also see: FAM Trip of Tamil Nadu

Who said, “Tamil food is all about idli and dhosa and is all vegetarian?” Think again! The coastal state of Tamil Nadu has its share of non veg cuisine and the probably the best place to experience it is Border Parotta stall near the small town of Coutrallam. It is not just food but an experience.

Border Parotta, Tenkashi

Border Parotta, Tenkashi

Coutrallam (or Kutralam) is a small town at the southern tip of Western Ghat. The town is known for its spectacular waterfalls (More on:Coutrallam Waterfalls) but no trip to Courtallam is complete with a visit to the culinary landmark of Border Parotta in Tenkasi (Google map location) just 5 km away.

Parotta making at Border Parotta

Parotta making at Border Parotta

The famous food stop, which sells out thousands of parotta and hunderds of chicken evry day had a humble beginning.

In 1956 the borders of several Indian states were defined giving birth to sevral staes which also included Tamail Nadu and Kerala.

After the state borders were drawn a toll booth was set up opposite the present day Border Parotta stall.

Truck and bus drivers stopped to pay their toll and along with the passengers of the bus would look for a quick but filling meal.

In came a series of hole in the wall eateries catering to drivers, helpers, conductors along with bus loads of passengers. They munched on a quick meal of parotta and chicken.

Parotta making at Border Parotta

Parotta making at Border Parotta

The basic meal of parotta and chicken continued from the shacks for almost two decades until Mohammed Hassan stepped in.

Hassan arrived in 1974 from the nearby village of Vallam and magic started. His 10X10 feet food shack, which he named Hotel Rahmath started attracting crowds, which went beyond the bus load of  passengers and their drivers and conductors.

Today the toll both has long gone so have the other food sacks but Hassan’s Hotel Rahamath still stands feeding thousand of hungry souls every day, many of them arriving in luxury cars. The eatery which still maintains the rustic feel is now run by Hassan’s two sons.

Steps of parotta making, Border Parotta

The name has changed to Border Rahmath Parotta Stall but the thousand who hungry souls, who visit the stall prefer to call it simply Border Parotta.

Parottas of Border Parotta

Parottas of Border Parotta

Although the stall is no longer a 10X10 feet cramped space but it still maintains its rustic feel. A tri-lingual board of Tamil, Malayalam and English welcomes visitors to the famous parotta stall. The eating area is divided into two separate units seperated by a lane where the parotta making takes place.

Inside Border Parotta

Inside Border Parotta

It is an amazing activity. About a dozen men working on two tables shell out parottas at a remarkable speed. The parottas are small in size beautifully layered and light fried and afe not oily at all.

Interestingly like the Bengalis the Tamil used the term parotta instead of the term paratha, which is generally used by the rest of the country.

The interiors are laid with long tables with tools on either side. Food is served on banana leaves.

There are no menu cards. The menu in Tamil hangs from the wall. It is extremely noisy inside. If you expect fine dinning please do keep away. The place has been a hunt for many a celebrity, which includs APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India.

Inside Border Parotta

Inside Border Parotta

The menu is simple and only consists of a hand full of items. The parotta is obviously the centre if attraction. It is served in tumbler and is kept at the middle of the table. Next comes the chicken item, consisting of pepper chicken (fried chicken with a dash of pepper), tondoori chicken and shredded chicken. Whole fried koyel are also on the menu.

Parotta and pepper chicken, Parotta

Parotta and pepper chicken, Border Parotta

A variety of eggs are on the menu. Fried egg, scrambled egg (both deep and shallow fried) are also on the menu. If you want to change your taste you can replace the parotta with egg dhosa. Sadly there are no desserts on the menu but one can end the meal with a plate full of freshly cut seasonal fruits.

So, next time when you visit popular tourist destinations like Kanyakumari, Rameshwaran, Madurai in southern part of Tamil Nadu do visit the Border Paratha, to experience the amazing Tamil non-veg food. Also do visit the waterfalls of Coutrallam.

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  1. March 17, 2022 at 12:35 PM

    Tamil Cuisine includes both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Tamil cuisine was developed by Tamilians centuries ago in Southern India. Tamil people are known for its deep belief that serving food to others is a service to humanity. The unique factor of the taste of Tamil food is the use of coconut oil on a regular basis for cooking, unlike the other places in the country.

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