Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ode to the Original Pulippu Muttai

If you still have not figured out what I'm talking about, perhaps you should shift sites now. On second thoughts, perhaps you should stay on to learn about a forgotten nugget of history : the Original Pullipu Muttai (pu-li-ppu mu-taai). Though it is a crime in translation, I guess you could call it an 'orange sweet.'
Oh dear. So lame.
However, if you belong to the exclusive band of people that has felt the roundness of the Original Pulippu Mittai in the mouth, sucked deep it's orangey-sourness on the tongue, rolled it around and stuck it in a cheek, ahhhh... you surely know what you are missing.
In childhood, the pullipu muttai was a top favourite. Because it tasted good, (yeah man!!), but also because of the shocking orange it left on your tongue. Also, I suspect because it cost as little as 5 or 10 paise at one point of time. OR as they used to say then, 5 np! You just had to turn in a not-so shiny 20 ps coin to bring back a child's handful. A child's delight.
It was, by the way, also recommended for those suffering from motion sickness and nausea.
Today, you cannot find the original pullipu muttai anymore. Not even in the small shacks, our potti kadais. Today, in Chennai, ask for a pullipu muttai and the potti shopkeeper, if he is old enough, will sadly nod his head and share in your angst. If he is not, then he is likely to turn his nose up at you. Which is o.k. too.
There is a third obnoxious category of shopkeepers that attempts to sell clones masquerading as pullipu muttais. CLONES, HAH! As if we cannot tell. Sophisticated boiled sweets that come in smart sachets ; that run colour on your tongue, but are not a patch on the original pullipu muttai. Not a patch. Uh-huh.



Blogger the wannabe indian punkster said...

'orange sweet'....oh god...heights of lameness....this translation does not do justice to the greatness of the pullipu mitai..ahhh....:)

11:34 pm

Blogger the wannabe indian punkster said...

And check out my latest post and the shocking reaction it has evoked from the guys...well what can I expect...SIGH...

11:35 pm

Anonymous prakash said...

njaabakam varuthey njaabakam varuthey :-).

that orange pulippu mittai will leave a strong evidence in your tongue and the risk factor is comparitively high. we go for the harmless kammarcut, elanthapayam, 5 paisa peppermint and such..

11:45 pm

Blogger hari said...

Hi Ramya,

Your sudden passion for Pulippu Muttai gives me a feeling that there's more to it than reflected in the post. Anything special!!!!

5:31 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm reminded of a dialogue in Michael Madhana Kamarajan. Kameshwaran's friend pesters him for Pulippu Muttai, to which he replies, "Eppa pathaalum Pulippu Mittai, nee enna Garbasthreeya?". :)

5:36 pm

Blogger None said...


yeah. im culpable. orange sweet's SO LAME!

and i've commented extensively on your blog! :)


6:24 pm

Blogger None said...


somehow as a child i was denied the pleasure of elanthampazham. my mom thought it would be bad for my throat (it is). but kamarkat?! ah, that is a different issue!
as for the orangeness it leaves on the tongue, it's part of the thrill!


6:26 pm

Blogger None said...


ithu enna vamba pochu?! oru friend, motion sickness irukku avangalukku, bus journey poganumnu pulippu muttai thedinanga... thedinom...
athu than ithu!


6:28 pm

Blogger None said...


good movie. mmkr.


6:29 pm

Blogger Sriram said...

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Stop making me homesick!! I warn you! Or else, i shall rid the entire world of pulippi muttai :d.

Seriously though - shocker of shockers, I found pulippu muttai here in the US recently! But since then, haven't been able to get hold of it :((

And yakkao.. think you've got e-mail notification "on" and your mail ID is wrong or something. Every time I leave a comment, i get a "failed delivery notice" in my mailbox or something close to it. Pliss look into it :)

10:42 pm

Blogger Without Borders said...

hello, ramya. how are you now? your blog is great.

3:24 pm

Blogger the wannabe indian punkster said...

Actually Ramya...what word can you use in english for 'pullipu'.....sour? bitter?
Bah the english language can be lame some times!
(BTW I answered you comments on my post)
thanks your post Ive been racking my brains for a english word for "pullipu"....Ugh!

9:44 pm

Blogger Shpriya said...

Hi..stepped on to ur site by chance :) Pulippu mittai was renamed 'fanta peppermint" for sometime. Perhaps u may get it in this name in pottikadais :)

11:03 am

Blogger None said...


how are you!din;t think for a moment that you'd be an eminem fan! :P


9:55 pm

Blogger None said...


i think it'd be sour, but when you say 'pullips' and then you say 'sour' the latter never really does convey the meaning of the former does it! :P


9:57 pm

Blogger None said...


welcome! what a valuable nugget of information! gee thanks! I'll try that out!


9:58 pm

Blogger Sriram said...

Baaah rums! you ignored me comment again. Me shall now curse you with bad voo-doo. :D

11:32 pm

Blogger None said...


oops! :) no intent to malign, as they say! :)


1:10 pm

Blogger Ghost Particle said...

i think we had one version of the mittai here in malaysia...thought you cannot find it anymore...

9:46 pm

Blogger Vidya said...

Pulippu mittai I get here in India... lots of them.. in a small shop near my place.. I love them too.. also get it in a yellow(lime) flavour. But I think skittles is a good substitute if u are here.

10:28 pm

Blogger IBH said...

damn! RK, u made me long for it now :) pullippuuuu muttai and elandhai vadai :) do u remember elanchai vadai? for 25 paisa one big round of elandhai vadai....and 10 paise pulippu muttaii yummmm!

1:24 am

Blogger keerthi said...

i thought it got exticnt. but hey, its still there... 25 np. :)
I even got it once in the Jet Airways.

And IBH, elandha vadai (my personal favourite) is available in Ambika appalam depot.

How about Sooda Mittai :)

10:05 am

Blogger IBH said...

and yeah! ofcoure 'then mittai' :)

big tastes comes in small packages eh :)

8:52 pm

Blogger kuttichuvaru said...

aah.. pulippu mittaai!! u remind me of my school days.... wen we were a set of ppl crazy abt pulippu mittaai....

9:32 pm

Blogger None said...

ghost particle! :)

hey, malaysia?! wow! i now know what to ask of travelling friends...


1:31 pm

Blogger None said...

ibh and keerthi,

then mittai and sooda mittai... hmmm... death of the past.


1:33 pm

Blogger None said...


WHERE, o WHERE do you live? :)

1:35 pm

Blogger None said...


tell me about it! :)


1:36 pm

Blogger the wannabe indian punkster said...

Ha ha thanks to you, Ive asked my mom whos visiting me next month to get me a huge bag of pullipu muttai's!

9:47 pm

Blogger None said...


and promise me, if she can find them, you will tell me where she bought them from! :)
btw, chk photoblog. wd like to see what you think of the latest.


9:54 pm

Blogger chikuado said...

i know... cant believe the crap that is packaged as pulippu mitai now!! hopeless!!

and i remember u cud get 2 handfuls for ONE buck... man.. gone are those days!!

7:03 pm

Anonymous Rajesh Chandramouli said...

Dear Ramya
Pulippu Muttai is one and the second one that I miss is Then Muttai (Honey dipped). I dont know if you know about this. It was a semi wet, soft oblong sweet. Though my parents thought it was extremely unhygenic to eat them, did managed to eat them off and on.

6:08 pm

Blogger frissko said...

:)...on cenotaph road, opposite Cornucopia...there is a potti kadai that sells Pulippu mitai and Thaen mitai...try your luck there...(am a regular customer there for thaen mitai)...

12:09 am


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