For Deepavali, Dubba Chetty shop sells Deepavali marundhu; in two forms

Deepavali is here.  You must have bought or made sweets and savories. But do you have a bit of Deepavali marundhu that will take care of you as you and your family enjoy all the goodies?

One place that many Mylaporeans have gone to over the ages, for this marundhu has been the 138-year-old Dabba Chetty shop, now located on North Mada Street.

“We have been making Deepavali marundhu for more than 30 years. It should have probably started with one kilogram. Now, we make it as and when the stock gets over because people like it to be fresh and flavourful,” says K. Badrinath, the owner, whose great grandfather started the business.

Badrinath’s son Krishna is also into this business today.

Badrinath says people prefer to buy either powder or the lehigam. “Not many people buy raw materials to make the Deepavali marundhu these days so the lehigam sells fast,” he adds.

The process

Badrinath says sukku, chitarattai, kanda tippuli and omam are the main ingredients used to make the Deepavali marundhu.  Pepper, Jeera, Elakkai, Lavanga Pattai are also added.

“There is a certain proportion to be followed to make the marunthu. It takes about 3 to 4 hours to make it,” he adds.

Customers who buy the powder can make the marunthu in about 15 to 30 minutes, he says.

A 80 gms packet of Deepavali marundhu in lehigam form costs Rs 100 and in powder form, it costs Rs 100 for 60 grams.

The Dabba Chetty Shop moved from Kutchery Road to its present location in North Mada street in December 2022, due to Chennai Metro rail work.  Known for its native medicines, the shop sells a range of products including post-natal lehiyam and face packs. Special puja items and items needed for homam and marriage are also sold here.

“Our shop used to store products in dabbas (boxes). We still have some of them. People started calling us Dabba Chetty kadai and it became the name of our shop,” says Krishna.

  • By Preetha K.
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