OMR Food Street is nothing but a confluence of multifarious cuisines at one single spot; albeit with many spots around Chennai. Here, one can witness and experience food in its many forms, catering to the likes of the individual and opening the doors to gustatory worlds that have never been explored before. One such world is ‘Innsuvai’, an organic, millet-based restaurant at OMR Food Street, Guduvanchery.

An alternative to rice, millets are considered to be highly fibrous, antioxidant rich and gluten-free, in addition to a bevy of other nutritional advantages. However, they are less known and consumed by the general population. “Millets had been the major staple food in central India, southern India and hilly regions of Uttarakhand for centuries till the time of the Green Revolution. After the advent of high-yielding varieties of rice and

wheat during the 1970s, millets got sidelined from our food basket,” says Vilas A. Tonapi, director of the Indian Institute of Millets Research in Hyderabad. Innsuvai makes up for this lack by incorporating millets into the regular South Indian food we consume; idlis, dosas, paniyarams and the like get infused with a dose of millet goodness. The food essentially becomes more nutritious without varying much in its taste or texture.

Food Ordered: Chilly Idly & Millet Paneer Dosai

Coated in a thick layer of gram flour and fried in oil, the diced idlis are then sautéed in a mixture of chilly masala, onions and herbs to form a dish that would seem very unlikely in its form and taste, to be called idlis. The centre of the diced and fried idlis are much harder than the regular ones, with the coating of gram flour altering its texture completely. Even though you may doubt whether you’re actually munching on idlis, the dish is a unique treat for sure.

The millet paneer dosai is much like any other stuffed dosa, the only difference being the addition of ground millets into the dosa batter. Served with sambar, coconut chutney and tomato/chilly chutney, the millet paneer dosai seems quite bland and uninteresting, in comparison to the chilli idli’s pronounced flavors, although quite filling just on its own.

Walking into Innsuvai, one is sure to notice the wallpaper showcasing the health benefits of incorporating millets into their diet and how it compares with other grains. Either ways, the restaurant is definitely one to look out for, considering the healthy food choices people are on the lookout for.