Meet Anna, the ‘Achayathi’, who serves delicious Kerala food in Chennai

Meet Anna, the ‘Achayathi’, who serves delicious Kerala food in Chennai
Anna Antony, hailing from Kooroppada in Kerala's Kottayam, found a niche for herself in the vibrant food scene of Chennai with Achayathis.

The acclaimed 'Achayathi' restaurant has captivated the palates of Chennai's food enthusiasts with its tantalizing Keralite cuisine. Meet the unlikely restaurateur behind it – Anna Antony, hailing from Kooroppada in Kerala's Kottayam, who found a niche for herself in the vibrant food scene of Chennai. Anna's culinary prowess traces back to her mother, Mary, who instilled in her a profound love for food and cooking. Initially venturing into the real estate sector, Anna's aspirations took a turn when her endeavours yielded unexpected outcomes. Encouraged by friends who recognized her culinary flair, Anna ventured into entrepreneurship, seizing the opportunity to showcase her culinary talents. Today, she stands as the proud proprietor of 'Achayathi,' renowned for its authentic Kerala delicacies and an array of delectable dishes.

Cloud kitchen
Initially, Anna wanted to open a cloud kitchen in Chennai. However, soon, it developed into a full-fledged restaurant in Nungambakkam. The moniker Achayathi was suggested by Anna's close friend and noted sound designer, M R Rajakrishnan (The term 'achayathi' colloquially refers to a Christian woman from central Kerala.). The restaurant was opened in 2020; however, she had to close it down, three months later, due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As soon as permission was granted for hotels to function, Anna tried selling food through online food delivery platforms. She prepared five pieces of puttu and Bengal gram curry at 5 am and waited for orders. Not a single order was received in the first few days. One day, she received an order for puttu and Bengal gram curry and got Rs 160 as the first payment. The customer who loved the dished raved about it by posting an online review. She also introduced Anna’s breakfast dishes to her friends. Slowly, Anna became the flavour ‘queen’ of Chennai, serving delectable Kerala cuisine. Word of mouth soon catapulted Achayathi to culinary fame. Four years after Anna opened her first restaurant, she is all set to open another outlet in Velacherry. Besides, another one would be soon opened at Maduravoyal too.

Secret’ ingredient
Anna's culinary journey is deeply rooted in her mother's teachings, who serves as her cooking guru, often emphasizing that patience is the cornerstone of crafting exceptional dishes. Each offering at Achayathi is meticulously prepared to ensure an irresistibly delicious taste.

While chefs from various Kerala districts lend their expertise in the kitchen, it is Anna's exclusive recipes that set Achayathi apart. With the restaurant opening at 8 am, Anna diligently oversees every aspect to ensure flawless execution. Her unwavering commitment to quality is evident as she meticulously maintains the taste, flavour, and aroma of every dish, earning Achayathi a special place in the hearts of food aficionados.

At Achayathi, tradition takes precedence over modernity, with dishes prepared in the time-honored manner reminiscent of home-cooked meals. For example, the slow-cooked beef fry, simmered for almost four hours in the traditional uruli, boasts an unparalleled depth of flavour that truly delights the senses.

Kerala dishes

Achayathi boasts an extensive menu featuring a diverse array of Kerala specialties, catering to every palate. Indulge in comforting delights like hot kanji (rice porridge) and payar (stir-fried mung beans), alongside tantalizing offerings such as tapioca, spicy fish curry, and fish mango curry. For meat lovers, options abound, including succulent beef roast, fiery bird eye chili beef, flavorful prawns theeyal, and aromatic pearl spot mappas.

Additionally, popular items like mutton perattu, chicken varutharachathu, chicken peralan, kizhi biryani, and pothi choru promise to satiate your cravings for authentic flavours. For those seeking the ultimate culinary experience, Achayathi presents the authentic Kerala sadya, featuring twenty-four delectable dishes and two varieties of payasam, available every day of the year.

A beloved favourite among patrons is the iconic combo of flaky and soft Malabar porotta paired with savoy beef, a testament to Kerala's culinary prowess. Embraced by Tamilians as well, Achayathi has garnered a devoted following, as enthusiasts revel in the rich and aromatic flavours of Kerala. Operating from 8 am to 11 pm, the restaurant ensures that every mealtime is a delightful culinary journey for all who step through its doors.

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