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The first of its kind, Durai Raj’s dry fruit pizza is already a hit in Pondicherry

DURAI RAJ’S tryst with food started long ago, in 1992. A year-long stint in Mumbai at an Indian speciality restaurant took him to Food Land, a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. Five years later, he returned to specialise in tandoori cuisine at Hot Pack, a restaurant in T Nagar, Chennai and then trained under Aurovillian Jesse, the man who introduced pizzas to Pondicherry. Four months ago, Raj started his own pizzeria, dishing out authentic wood-fired pizzas on Canal Street.

piz5Auro Pizza, a modest 12-seater enterprise, with its pocket friendly prices, is already a favourite haunt with the university and medical students of the city.  Available in three sizes—baby (seven inch), small (nine inch) and medium (12 inch)—at present there are 20 select pizzas on offer. Raj, an attentive host, informs us that his current menu includes  classic veg, Indian veg, classic non veg, tandoori non veg, and seafood pizzas, along with fresh juices to wash it all down. For an innovative twist, he offers their unusual sweet pizza with jam, cheese, cashews, almonds, raisins, cherries and olives. A rather interesting pizza, it took me a few bites to warm up to. But my vote goes to the calzone topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Not a dessert you’ll forget in a hurry.

Priced between Rs. 250 and Rs. 300 for a meal for two. Open between 11am and11 pm. For home delivery (minimum order Rs. 500) in under 30 mins call 9786876018 / 9489920969

— Dipen Desai

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