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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Mysurpa is just a stone’s throw away

New Breed of Indian MNC’s

The Indian IT and Pharma companies have already conquered the world and have attained the MNC status. It is now the turn of India’s homegrown restaurants and ethnic retailers to expand. Some of the firms, which come to my mind, are Saravana Bhavan (they have a presence in US, UK, Malaysia, Singapore, UAE, Oman, Srilanka), MTR & Nalli Silks. Given the rapid growth in Indian diaspora, these firms are also growing at a frenetic pace. Recently, I saw an ad in the local newspapers where Kovai Sree Krishna Sweets (SKS) had given a huge ad calling for prospective franchisees for their new outlets in Singapore and Malaysia. They had also mentioned that they are going to open soon in the US. They rose to fame by using the “Pure Ghee” tag. Although I have tasted these Mysurpa’s before, I’m not a big fan of it because of the amount of ghee they put in these sweets. If I had a chance I would have rechristened this as “Zyada Ghee” (More Ghee). But I know people who are addicted to these sweets. Every time they return back from India, they used to get these sweets for us. This could be partly due to the fact that SKS has an outlet in Chennai International Airport.

Thattai from Grand Sweets & Snacks in Adyar is one of my favourites. The annoying thing is that whenever you visit their outlet in Adyar, they seem to be out of stock for most of the popular items. If you are so keen you are made to wait for a long time to buy these sweets & savouries. I somehow feel that Grand Sweets & Snacks has not been aggressive in expanding…hence they have lost out in the game. Otherwise they would have been miles ahead.


  • With all due respects to Sree Krishna Sweets, the best mysurpa's or "mysore paks" come from Bangalore, Kaps! Or, for that matter, gulab jamoons! Ever tried the latter at Bhagatrams in Bangalore? :)

    By Anonymous Ravi, at 4:59 PM  

  • Am a big fan of SKS Mysura. Probably one of the best I have had, but u cant have mor than one at a go. Grand snacks has its niche in a few items that Kaps has mentioned. Now they have some items like vatha kulambhu / onion thpku / pulikachal etc availbale packed and easy to carry....tastes awesome and u can keep it for 3 months. Ideal for guys staying away from home


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:00 PM  

  • Kaps....

    'Sambhar Mafia' is our Insti's pride not any individuals. u r misusing the name... Its a clear violation of Copyright, Trademark...etc etc

    By Anonymous KMS, at 6:22 PM  

  • All these talk about sweets makes my apetite imcrease manifold. Our country cannot export sweets coz i am still alive to eat up the surplus ones.

    By Anonymous Abhishek, at 8:11 PM  

  • Hi Kaps, Stumbled upon your blog and saw with delight that it is a marvelous space that you have out here. I have already linked to your blog from "The Fire Still Burns" ( http://thefirestillburns.rediffblogs.com/ ) Would you please provide Alpha Blog ( http://alphablog.rediffblogs.com/ )a link from your blog. Lets begin a happy friendship and keep the spirit of blogging at its peak.

    P.S: Please put me right under Jammy's link. He is a guy I admire and look up as my blogging guru.

    By Anonymous Abhishek, at 8:14 PM  

  • Kaps, how do you liek Aavin Milk Khoa !!

    Some goes to US or else where, i just buy them that.. Halwa in SKS is terrific.

    By Blogger keerthi, at 8:59 PM  

  • thats a nice thought about indian MNC's....but, regarding MTR and SKS, it is the indian diaspora in various countries storming these places.....they should also provide snacks that will compete with chips, pretzels etc (in US) to become a true MNC.....just a small thought

    By Blogger kaatss, at 9:59 PM  

  • Me too not a big fan of SKS sweets.
    I didn't know that HSB is in malaysia and singapore !!!
    Apart from the sweets and kaaram, grand sweets is also the place for puliodharai mix, paruppu podi, idli podi, vatha kulambu mix and other readymade food stuff.

    By Blogger Kay, at 11:37 PM  

  • Their Mysurpa just melts inside your mouth :-) I am a big fan of "Thattais" of Grand Sweets and Suryas .

    By Blogger Cogito, at 12:12 AM  

  • @Ravi,
    I'll try out Bhagatram's next time I visit Bangalore.

    Thanx for expanding the Grand Sweets item list. Maybe you can write to them to open a branch

    I was a key member of Sambhar Mafia during the insti days. Since I'm not that creative I decided to go for an established name like "Sambhar Mafia". If there are more Mafia members or ex-Mafia members we can use this blog for promoting Sambhar Mafia. I can move my personal blog to another domain.

    Thanx 4 dropping by. I'll blogroll u. I'm a big fan of jammy as well.

    I have tried Aavin Milk Khoa back in India. I don't think it is avlbl here. My suggestion for Halwa is "Dry Fruit Halwa" at Adyar Ananda Bhavan.

    I also agree that Indian food chains should look at a global clientiele (by customizing products to suit international tastes) and not just the desi.

    Grand Sweets does have an impressive product line to support the starved desi.

    By Blogger Kaps, at 11:35 AM  

  • Kaps...

    therz no doubt about the fact that u were an active and a key member of 'Sambhar Mafia'.....Infact its quite heartening to see you promoting our 'Sambhar Mafia' brand....kinna trying to pull ur leg ( ur very own post about Copyright)....chill maadi :-))

    By Anonymous KMS, at 12:27 PM  

  • nowadays i am sick of krishna sweets mysurpa...because of so many no. of arrivals for the last few years...

    is there something refreshing from there? I visited one Gangothri sweet stall in north/south boag road, chennai in Nov-04, which was different.

    By Blogger Ram.C, at 12:56 PM  

  • I like Krishna sweets mysurpa. when my friends bring it from India all I get is less than 1/2 piece so it is like prasadham and i love eating it.

    i accept ur view on more ghee sweets :)

    murukku from grand sweets is my fav thattai comes second :)

    do u know where they are going to open in SKS in the US??

    By Blogger Me, at 1:26 PM  

  • Sambhar saar.. Quality & Taste wise, Grand Sweets is miles ahead.. but they are for preparing in homely environment like their base in Adyar. Thats the reason, they aren't very keen on expanding.. they could do that still.

    Since I used to work for Ramco in Adyar, we used to place bulk orders every now and then for B'days & other treats... apart from murukku & thattai, their samosa is something that shouldn't be missed

    By Blogger Chakra Sampath, at 4:42 PM  

  • We Coimbatore residents get fedf up of SKS mysurpas since it is a standardly exchanged commodity when you visit anybody's house.I remember this shop "sakkarapongal"(quite new shop) near Pothy's in chennai where sakkarapongal and few other items are top class.

    By Blogger Badri, at 11:28 PM  

  • I think Surya sweets is becoming popular now. They have some specials like fig halwa, which was excellent, apart from regular favourites...
    The've opened another outlet in Adyar, near Music college recently.

    By Blogger hope, at 12:39 AM  

  • sambhar :)( i love to call u this way! )
    it is slightly out of context but i remember when I had been to delhi our family had been to saravana bhavan...u must have seen that place man! all sardars mixing sambhar in idli and pisanjufying(dont know the english synonym of this ;) ) into small balls and eating...slurp! if they come to US in a big way then we can sure have the chains like the one of McDees and KFCs...but this wuld be healthy eatery for these fellows!

    By Blogger IBH, at 4:13 AM  

  • Hey Sambhar ;)
    Stumbled upon ur blog..Cool 1.
    Next time you goto chennai, u should try out 'Murugan Idli Shop' in T.Nagar/Pondy Bazar.
    Outstanding ! Had to wait in a looong queue to get in though !!

    By Anonymous Ravi, at 7:39 AM  

  • ravi, Murugan Idly shop is a wow !
    And even better is the way they make you wait. Its clean and organised. You are requested to wait outside until you have a seat(which you'd soon get in 10 mins). Thats a lot better than the Saravana Bhavan mess.

    By Blogger keerthi, at 8:47 AM  

  • Saravana Bhavan is boring.Anyways, i wonder why they have not expanded to Bangalore!Murugan idli shop serve amazing idlis, and thats so quick!They don't offer much other than dosais and idlis.

    By Blogger Thayirsaadham, at 10:40 AM  

  • hmmm... next to cinema, food attracts so many bees...

    By Blogger Ram.C, at 10:44 AM  

  • Agree with Ravi, if you really like Mysore Pak, try it at Venkateshwara sweets in Gandhi Bazaar, it's the BEST! Also good are the sweets at Asha Sweets in Malleswaram and Bhagat Ram's on Commercial street.

    By Blogger Gowri, at 1:10 AM  

  • Hi Kaps,
    Keep blogging! And do review the portal featuring a new book on Offshoring Management when you get around...

    By Anonymous MB, at 12:18 PM  

  • The reason Saravana Bhavan has not expanded to Bangalore is that the standard of hotels in Bangalore is much better than that in Chennai...the hotels are much better and cheaper than Chennai and hence Saravana Bhavan would not stand any chance of competing there...they would get wiped out in a few days trying to compete with the standard of restaurants in Bangalore.

    By Blogger redrajesh, at 10:19 PM  

  • I have no idea why Saravana Bhavan has not opened in Bangalore. But I don't agree with the previous comment on standards and cost of Bangalore restaurants. Bangalore restaurants are by no means cheap. Eating out is a trend only in Bangalore. And dining out is less expensive in Chennai than in Bangalore, ofcourse you don't have too many choices (thai, italian cuisines) there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:22 PM  

  • The quality of the sweets in Shri Mithai in spur tank road is amazing.The badam milk and chat stuffs are mouth watering :-)Am also a huge fan of SKS mysurpas.The last time I came to India, I landed at the Grand Snacks and bought their ready to take Kara kulambhu and pulikachal.Oh god!the next 2 days I was shuttling bet home and hospital due to food poisoning.The oil was pretty stale.When inquired with my friends, found that i was not the only one affected by their oils:-)

    By Blogger praveena reddy, at 3:13 PM  

  • If you are craving for some delicious and fresh sweets & snacks from Grand Sweets and Snacks; please visit us online at www.IndianSweetsInUSA.com to order online. ( grand sweets order online)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:39 AM  

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