NOOKS

Cold pressed cokking Oils
Vinayaga Marachekku Oil
Owner: Navabharathi Prakashvell

Address: 147, R K Mutt Road, RA Puram (near KVB Gardens side), Phones: 35633368, 9984536392.

Wood pressed cold rolled cooking oils are sold here. The wood press machine and the oil extraction process is on on this premises.

Customers are free to bring their own oil seeds, but can feed the machine only if there is a minimum of 10 kgs. The charge is Rs 50 per kilo.

Wood pressed coconut, sesame and groundnut oils are readily available. Cost is Rs. 300, 360, 260 per litre respectively.

Also sold are castor oil and brown sugar (naatu chakkarai). Wood press process releases lesser oil (5 to 6 lts per 10 kilo depending on the quality of the oil seeds) than the iron press, whereas the latter releases more heat into the oil.

The shop is two years old and offers special prices on the oils during festival times.

Report by V. Soundararani


Kitchen Needs: traditional grinding stones
Selvi Stores
Owner: S Raja

Address: 66, North Mada Street, Mylapore.
Phone no: 9444386118, 9551600725
Timings: 10 am to 8 pm. ( all days).

Selvi Stores sells the traditional grinding stones that are manually used in the kitchen and made out of stone.

Endiram-thirugai also called chakki or raaikkal and items like aattural, ammi are available in varying sizes that can be fitted/placed in your kitchen or in the backyard of your house. The endiram with the rotating handle is used to make paruppu podi, idli podi, to make coarse dhal and grain rava, various powders and to halve whole pulses.

The handy mortar pestle, called idi kal, to crush spices, made of stone is also available in various sizes. Also sold here are miniatures of all these items – you can display these in show cases or let kids play with them or use them for pooja purposes.

A 10 inch thirugai endiram costs Rs 1500. These stone items are sourced from Coimbatore region.

The store also sells kalchatti used for cooking – to make kuzhambu – and eeyachombu, made out of tin, for making rasam.

Report by V. Soundararani


Jaggery, salted grams, organic brown sugar
Thirumylai Varukadalai Nilayam
Owner: M. Srinivasan

Address: 136, Kutchery Road (near E1 Police Station)
Phone: 9841136485
Timings: Monday to Saturday 9.45 to 9 pm
Sundays – 9.45 am to 2 pm.

This 45 year old simple, peanut-selling shop is well-known for stocking pure jaggery of superior quality (paahu vellam) suitable for making sweets.

You can also buy delicious, salted and fried grams of channa and peas (uppukkadalai) specially made from chosen quality pulses. The shop-owner says they have had regular, outstation customers of the past 20 years.

Organic brown sugar (naatuchcharkarai) that is pure and chemical-free is another speciality at the shop.

All these apart, a wide range of goodies – candies of groundnut, pori, corn flakes and more made in the shop are sold in packets.

Jaggery costs Rs 120 a kilo, presently.

Report by V. Soundararani


M. SARAVANA PERUMAL FRAME DESIGNER WORKS
Owner: D. Mohana Krishnan

Address: 70/137, R K Mutt Road, Mandaveli.
Phone: 9952944766.Timings: Monday to Saturday:
9 am to 9 pm; Sunday: 9 am to 1 pm

Looking for a place that can frame your photos / pictures?
Look no further than M. Saravana Perumal Frame Designer Works, which offers framing
services and has been in existence for 13 years.

Mohana Krishnan, who has been in the business for 24 years, uses teakwood, synthetic frames in a range of designs and mounting material to lend a smart look to the completed work. He always has enough samples of a variety of framing materials at his shop. You can bring your wall hangings, artwork, family photos or aesthetic mirrors for framing. The shop is known for its neat work and timely delivery.

Basic framing of a 6”x4” size picture will cost you about Rs.100. If you want unique, costly frames, then the charge will be in thousands.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • Batter: idli, dosa and siru dhaniyam mix

Name: Krishna Foods

Address: East Mada Street, Mylapore.
Timings: All days: 10 am to 9 pm.

This shop makes dosa batter adding special grains like ragi, wheat, bajra, corn and wheat – called siru dhaniyam. This helps people who require it for a day’s use and cannot make small quantities of batter everyday at home.

The regular idli / dosa batter is also available daily. One day in the week is marked for the sale of batter using grains. Also, on one particular day there is a sale of batter to make appams.
Price is Rs 40 per kilo, Rs 20 per half kilo.

Address: 34, East Mada Street, Mylapore.


  • Servicing Steel Cupboard, Locks

Lakshmi Furniture Service
Owner: N Devarajan

Address: 94, Veera Perumal Koil Street, Mylapore
Phones: 9841282090, 9003091981 (available 24 hrs for emergency calls)
Timings: 9.30 am to 1.30 pm, 5 to 8 pm Monday to Saturday.

Mostly offering door-step based service, the shop undertakes servicing and repair of steel cupboard locks, handles and key duplication. Painting, door repair, rust removal are also part of the services.

Velmurugan D. here also services electronic lockers, being the authorised service agent of Godrej locks. Key duplication and lock repairs are done at the shop for visiting customers.

He helps to open locked doors, service old doors, provide door closures, door chains and door stoppers.

The shop has been in business for 28 years.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • Gurusamy Nursery
    Owner: Suthakar A

Address: 19, Chitrakulam North Street (near Gandhi statue), Mylapore
Phone: 9962860401
Timings: 8 am to 9 pm on all seven days

Gurusamy Nursery sells materials for home gardening including grow bags, mud pots, coco peat, organic manure—vermicompost, insecticides like panchakavyam, meenamilam and so on.

Started by current owner Suthakar’s father, M Arasappan, this 18-year-old nursery also sells saplings of rare varieties such as nagalingappoo, vanni and vilvam.

Saplings of flowering plants like hibiscus, shenbagam, manoranjitham, pavazhamalli, malli, kodi sampangi and kanakambaram are available here. The price of flower saplings begins at Rs 20 while whole tree saplings cost Rs 100 onwards.

If you plan to start a kitchen garden, seeds to grow cabbage, radish, brinjal, lady’s finger, tomato, etc. as also for indoor plants, snake plants, ZZ plants and so on are sold here.

Suthakar and his team can help you set up a garden and take care of it through monthly or weekly maintenance services. The fee is Rs 800 onwards for a man day’s work.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • WAHAB STORES
    Owner: A. Ansari

Address: Luz Bazaar Complex, 4/30, R K Mutt Road (opp. Mylai MRTS)
Phones: 9884560445, 9840651743.
Timings: Monday to Saturday: 10 am to 9 pm; Sundays: 10 am to 2 pm

Think arts and crafts requirements, think Wahab Stores, the go-to place for all types of fabric and base material for making soft toys, glass painting, fabric painting, Tanjore painting, canvas and so on. It also sells craft requirements for schoolchildren such as bead dazzlers, adhesives, ribbons, stitch kits and Camlin and Fevicryl products.

The shop has a good stock of threads, borders, laces, satin cloth, curtain tapes and rings. And if you are worried about the finishing end of the spectrum, you can get glass etching and framing of your artwork done here. Also available are an array of cane products such as trays and baskets with lids.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • PEARL CITY SERVICE CENTRE
    Owner: Subramanian

Address: 81/43, R K Mutt Road, near Mylapore post office)
Phone: 9840495550
Timings: 10 am to 9 pm from Monday to Saturday (Lunch break: 2 pm to 3.30 pm)
Closed on Sunday

Pearl City Service Centre repairs and services all kinds of household appliances such as gas stoves, mixers, grinders, iron boxes, fans, heaters and so on. Owned by Subramanian, the centre has been around for close to 15 years now.

The charges for the services are quite reasonable. Mixie services start at Rs. 150. A basic service for an ordinary gas stove will set you back Rs. 200. The charges will vary depending on the type of service or repair required. Turnaround time is pretty quick, sometimes less than 24 hours.

Report by Baskar Seshadri


  • RAMACHANDRAN BANANA LEAVES AND COCONUT DEALER

Address: 84, Chitrakulam North Street (near Velleeswarar Temple) Mylapore.
Phone: 9444069738, 7338771138.
Timings: All days: 7 am to 9 pm.

Ramachandran’s shop sells whole and cut banana leaves (vazhai illai). He ensures that the round banana leaves that are placed over dining plates are always well stocked!

Eateries and restaurants are his regular customers. Individuals head to this nook on special tithis and when there are functions at home.

While the price of cut leaves starts at Rs. 5 each, it’s Rs. 15 for one full leaf (muzhu illai). The price varies depending on the demand for the day or season. Door delivery is considered for orders of 100 leaves and more.

As the name suggests, the shop also sells coconuts at wholesale prices.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • DELUXE PLASTICS
    Owner: E. Askar Ali

Address: 4, Luz Bazaar Complex, R K Mutt Road (opposite Mylai MRTS station)
Phones: 044-42329061, 9884660358.
Timings: Monday to Saturdays:10 to 9 pm. Sundays: 10 am to 2 pm

Though the name reads Deluxe Plastics, the shop sells eco-friendly and biodegradable products like areca nut (paakku mattai thattu) and sugarcane fibre plates and cups, trendy jute bags and rafia bags (woven polypropylene bags with mesh-covered plastic layer). Also on sale are paper bags of different sizes, models and designs, which are in demand during the festival seasons.

Disposable paper, bio-cups, plates, tissue papers and toilet rolls are available at the shop, as are biodegradable muhurtha bags with appropriate prints.

The items are reasonably priced. For instance, a 12-inch areca plate costs Rs. 10 each if you buy a minimum of 10 plates.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • SERVICING CYCLES
    Contact: Akbar Basha

Address: 59/21, Bazaar Road, Mylapore
Phones: 9176740199, 9094487864
Timings: All days 8 am to 9 pm

This 40-year-old shop undertakes servicing of all types of cycles, ranging from the basic model to mountain terrain bikes (MTB), single-speed bicycles, hybrid cycles with gears and so on. The owner generally manages to procure any type of spare required for a replacement.

The speciality of this shop is that it offers door-to-door delivery of the cycles to be serviced.

This offer is exclusive to customers residing in Mylapore area. The cycle will be picked up and delivered to the doorstep when it is ready. Another related service that the shop owner, Akbar Basha, offers is facilitating the sale of used cycles.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • Cobbler Service
    Contact: Ravikumar

Address: Opposite State Bank of India, Venkatakrishna Road, Mandaveli
Phone: 6380485616
Timings: 9 am to 5 pm (Monday – Saturday); 9 am to 2 pm (on Sunday)

Ravikumar mends footwear, including stitching back a toe ring that has snapped open, fixing holes and executing repairs on chappals, sandals and shoes of all types—rubber, leather, canvas, etc. He has been providing this service for almost 20 years now. He took over from his father-in-law, who ran the show for close to thirty years.

Ravikumar’s charges are very reasonable, ranging from around Rs. 10 for a simple, basic service to a max of Rs. 150 to 180 for bigger and more complex repairs.

By Baskar Seshadri


  • Cleanex Laundry and Dry Cleaning

Address: 28, Greenways Road, R. A. Puram (near Andhra Mahila Sabha)
Phone: 43156999, 9629984888
Timings: 9 am to 8 pm. (Call before you go)

Cleanex is a chain of outlets in the city. Roll polishing of sarees, done at a reasonable cost, is an attractive feature here.

The roll polish process makes the cotton and silk sarees look as good as new, free of fine wrinkles. The sarees (even dhotis, if you choose to give them) get a little bit of stiffness (with a coat of starch), which lends them a smart look.

Other services at the laundry include dry cleaning, steam pressing, washing, bleaching and darning of all garments.

The charge for roll polishing a cotton saree is about Rs.60. For silk sarees, the base price is Rs. 80. Depending on the density and intricacy of the jari work, the price rises.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • Fathima Thuni Nool Kadai
    Owner: AbuBacker

Address: 87, Kutcheri Road (near Mylapore Post Office)
Phone: 9940020678
Timings: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 9.30 pm

The shop sells a wide range of tailoring needs: sewing threads, lining materials, saree falls, bobbins and bobbin cases, needles, fancy buttons, poplins used for in-skirts and so on. The prices here are reasonable, with the best lining material costing around Rs. 50 a metre.

Fathima Thuni Nool Kadai also offers related services. These include stitching blouses and churidars, fixing saree falls and undertaking pico for silk sarees. AbuBacker also does knotting—creating a decorative pattern produced by interlacing and tying knots in various yarns.

The business was started by AbuBacker’s father, Shahul Hameed, in 1972 and has completed 50 years.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • AKBAR HERBAL MILL 
    Owner: Akbar

Address: 43, Bazaar Road (off Kutcheri Road). Phone: 9283112517
Timing: Monday to Saturday, 9 am to 7 pm

Akbar Herbal Mill specialises in dry grinding of exclusive and special-use podis. Turmeric powder, herbal powders and aromatic powders for external use, which need special care, are processed here.

There are seven machines that Akbar operates: one each for every category—medicinal powders, aromatic powders, turmeric powder, shikakai powder and so on. This is done to avoid contamination and the mixing of flavours. He even has a separate machine for grinding turmeric powder that’s mixed with milk.

The medicinal powders that are ground here include prasava marundhu, diabetes powder and kashaya podi, as well as vasanai podi and payaru maavu used to bathe infants.

It costs Rs. 120 to 140 per kilo of the raw material that you bring. You can customise the mix of raw materials for your podi.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • PENQWIN RUBBER STAMP WORKS / DUPLICATE KEYS
    Owner: Mohd Riyaz

Address: 225, TTK Road (near Vinayakar Temple at junction of Beemanna Garden Street)
Phone: 9840704759. Timings: Monday to Saturday, 10 am to 8 pm.

Mohd Riyaz can make duplicate keys for twowheelers (NOT for four-wheelers) and locks, provided a sample is given to him. He uses a key cutting machine that reads the pits and bumps of the sample provided. The process takes less than 10 minutes for one key.

Riyaz charges around Rs 150 for duplicating one key. Riyaz does not undertake cases where the keys are lost and
there is no “original” to be duplicated. It will entail a visit to the site to see the lock, and the cutting machine will not be of help in such cases.

Riyaz also makes rubber stamps.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • R. P. A. PAZHAKKADAI
    Owner: R Prabhakaran

Location: On pavement opposite Veeraperumal Koil Street
junction, R H Road.

Phone/WhatsApp: 9380063192, 9840155782
Timings: 6 am to 8 pm all days

Though he calls it a fruit shop, selling vazhai ilai (banana leaves) is the main business for Prabhakaran.
Assisted by his mother, Prabhakaran has been in the business for 18 years now.

He manages a fruit stall too.

His clients are tea stalls that sell bajji-bonda, small restaurants and pavement food hawkers. Households also order whole leaves and cut leaves for rituals and ceremonies. The rates vary depending on the size of the leaf, whether cut or full and whether it is a normal day, an auspicious or inauspicious day, etc. It starts at Rs10 for a full leaf.

For an order for ten-plus leaves, Prabhakaran offers door delivery to areas within a kilometre radius.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • CLOTHES ALTERATION / RESTITCH
    Owner: Velu S

Address: New 13 Veeraperumal Koil Street, (near Thannithurai Market)
Phone / WhatsApp: 9962479418
Timings: 9 am to 8 pm all days

Velu undertakes alteration of women’s and men’s dresses and restitching of clothes that do not fit anymore, including churidars, blouses, pants, shirts, sherwanis and waistcoats, at Alteration Point, his 25-year-old shop off RH Road.

Stitching new dresses was his forte in the early years when he stepped into the business 40 years ago. Now, he strictly takes up only alteration and restitching. He says it brings better returns.

He handles all the orders single-handedly. He says he is a Mylaporean from birth.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • SRI JAYAKUMAR OIL STORE
    Owner: K A Kumar

Address: 100/64, Bazaar Road
Phones: 9445163906, 9941280685
Timings: 9 am to 8 pm Monday to Saturday

Sri Jayakumar Oil Stores, which has been in business for sixty years, offers on-the-spot wood or iron cold pressing of groundnut, dry coconut, and sesame oils from seeds. The charges are approximately Rs. 35 per kilo. If taken in large quantities, it becomes cost-effective. Gingelly oil, used exclusively for pooja and bathing, costs around Rs. 240 a kilo.

You can also get readily available cold-pressed oils here. The prices vary depending on the market prices of the seeds.

Presently, the cost of gingelly and coconut oils is around Rs 320 per kilo, while groundnut oil costs Rs 240. The country variety of seeds is used for oil extraction. The residue, namely the oil cake, is also sold here.

Report by V. Soundararani


  • AR ABDUL KAREEM GILD WORKS
    Owner: AK Abdul Azeez.

Address: No.91, Kutchery Road, Timings: 10 am to 9 pm, Monday to Saturday

Contact: Basha. Phone: 9952094324, 8072737958.

At this 90-year-old shop, started by Abdul Karim, you can get your metal decorative items and artifacts lacquered.

Lacquer polishing adds a coating on the exterior surface to prevent the metal from getting tarnished due to humidity.

Other services that the shop offers include repairing and polishing gold, silver and covering articles; making and polishing medals and shields in silver, copper, brass and nickel; and panchaloka polishing in five metal colours.

The shop is now owned and managed by Karim’s son, Abdul Azeez.

By V. Soundararani


  • KUMAR VETHALAI KADAI
    Contact: Shanthi

Address: Royapettah High Road (near old Thannithotti Market, Mylapore)

Phone: 9087111341. Timings: 5.30 am – 8.30 pm, all days.

Shanthi sells betel leaves, and only betel leaves. She sells in wholesale baskets, or in kavuli (100 leaves) that costs Rs 70 presently, sometimes even less than that. This retail local business has been running for some 50 years, she says. The shop owner Kumar recently passed away; Shanthi is his relative. She can be reached on phone. She stays put at her pavement side post – selling betel leaves all through the day, sitting under an umbrella if the sun hurts, near the gate of S&S Apartments.

– Report by V. Soundararani


  • SRI STICKERS
    Managed by R Santhosh

Address: No 94, Greenways Road, R A Puram ( opp. Hotel Raj Palace).

Timings: 9.30 am to 9.30 pm: Monday – Saturday. Half a day on Sunday.

WhatsApp & Phone: 8825970210.

This shop is owned by R. Santosh. It makes metal name boards, offers Sun Control film coating service for vehicles and buildings and full body stickers for vehicles. The store’s speciality is making rubber stamps and LED and gel number plates for vehicles at wholesale rates. These may be customised and
delivered in a short time. The store offers doorstep service too.

– By V. Soundararani


  • SAI VIGNESH WATCH & SERVICE SHOP
    Managed by Tamizharasi

Address: 1 R K Mutt Road, Mylapore
(opposite Thirumayilai MRTS)

Timings: 9 am to 9 pm all days

WhatsApp and Phone: 98410 70315

Tamizharasi, the owner, has the skill to service all kinds of clocks and watches —
pendulum, solar-powered, vintage wall clock, timepiece, battery operated and even a smart watch. Backed by her rich experience at a well-known service agency, Tamizharasi opened her shop a few months ago. One can also get batteries and watch straps replaced at the shop. Besides watch repair, she has a photocopier and offers printing services here.

– By Baskar Seshadri


  • BHARAT VIKAS GENERIC MEDICAL SHOP
    Contact: Raja

Address: 224/2A RK Mutt Road, Mandaveli (Opp. TVS showroom)

Open Monday through Saturday. Sundays closed. Landline: 42173660; WhatsApp: 9884262565

Generic Allopathic medicines are available at reduced prices at Bharat Vikas Generic Medical Shop managed by Bharat Vikas Parishad Jana Seva Trust (BVPJS Trust). The Trust’s only outlet in Chennai, the shop stocks generic antibiotics and vitamin and mineral tablets, as well as medicines prescribed for diabetes, BP, gastric-related problems, neurological disorders, etc. The cost reduction on the retail prices is quite significant.

– Report by V Soundararani


  • MURUGAN MAAVU MILL
    Owner: Ethiraj, Jaya

Address: No.110, TTK Road (near Bheemanna Garden junction) Alwarpet.

Timings: 9 am to 7 pm (Mon to Sat). Sundays 9 am to 1 pm.
Phone: 9444637645

Murugan Maavu Mill is where you can get grains and spices dry ground. Chilli, wheat, food grains, curry masala, dosa podi, sambar podi, rasa podi and murukku maavu are some of the things you can get done here.

The staff in charge notes the instructions on every order, such as coarse grinding, smooth finish or processing the grains without mixing them.

On one day of the week, the shop offers grinding of poosu manjal thool (pure turmeric powder for external use). The minimum order accepted is half a kilo. You will need to leave the raw material and your phone number with the staff in advance. Once the blades are changed for this exclusive grinding, you will be informed about it.

The shop also has a separate machine for shikakai podi grinding.

– Report by V Soundararani


HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES REPAIR / SERVICE

  • THANIGAVEL STORES
    Contact: Jayaprakash B

Address: 3/2, Thiruvalluvar Salai, off Eldams Road
WhatsApp and Phone: 7338870502 / 9894851963

Timings: 9 am to 9 pm Monday to Saturdays.
Sunday till 1pm.

The store has an exclusive space for servicing all brands of pressure cookers, gas stoves, wet grinders and mixers. It is also stocked well with various spare parts for these appliances. (This space is part of a stainless steel, household objects selling store)

The team of technicians are experienced in setting right fault/repairs. A special feature – they have spares and solutions for the gas stove hobs and its burner top discs. House visits closeby undertaken.

– Reported by V. Soundararani


  • HOMEOPATHY CLINIC
    Run by Chennai Corporation.

Address: Mandaveli Street ( near the market zone).

Timings: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (closes by 3 p.m.); Monday to Saturday. No phone line.

Chennai Corporation runs this Homeopathy Clinic in Mandaveli. The doctor treats people for cough and colds as well as the early stages of diabetes, blood pressure, etc. She also provides treatment as preventive care for Corona virus – to boost your immunity. Medicines are stocked here and the check-up, treatment and medicines are free to all people.

It is located behind the Mandaveli Post Office and since this GCC campus is in the interior, people tend to miss it.

Best time to check in here is between 8.30 am and noon.

– Input for this Nook came from Satya Venkatesh


This is a weekly post on less known, less flashy local, reliable shops / services we may need often. If you know of one such, do share details in the COMMENT section so we can write on it!