While the pandemic saw a rise in the number of home chefs across the country, dishing out tasty meals one after another, the recent festivals have proved to be a boon for them. With the festive season right around the corner, home chefs are now taking it a notch higher — churning out sweets and savouries that have been a part of their family for decades, while also serving healthy versions. Here’s a glimpse…
Homemade taste, hygiene and quality gives home chefs that winning edge
“Most of my customers are bachelors, who look for ghar ka khana. They rely on home chefs like me even during festival time because they say that the food we prepare reminds them of their home,” says Trupti Patil Kalgutkar, a makeup professional from Bengaluru, who began cooking from her home during the pandemic and has already begun making sweets like besan laddu, rava laddu, chiroti and more for the festivals.
Ramya N, a working professional from Bengaluru, says that given the current situation, ordering food and sweets from home chefs is a safer option. “Unlike commercial establishments where there are multiple workers producing food in bulk, home chefs take extra care about hygiene, there are minimal people involved in the cooking process and the quality is great. Another great aspect about home chefs that I really like is that they make food in a staggered manner and the way they pack the food items, they ensure that there is minimal physical contact with whoever is carrying/delivering the food,” says Ramya.
For Mumbai-based PR professional and home baker Averil Gouria, the need to prepare healthy sweets/desserts rose from her own needs. “After my godmother said that she was craving sweets, but couldn’t have what was available due to health reasons, I did my research and realised that there were not many players in this market who catered to those who required healthy sweets. I took it upon myself to make healthy sweets, at home, without any artificial colours or flavours and were tasty as well. Now, with Deepavali around the corner, I am working out an interesting hamper that includes sweets like Baked Quinoa Laddus, Baked Gurpara, Tahini and more — all healthy,” she says.
Spreading love through family recipes and dishes
Chennai-based Girija Venkatachalam has been serving sweet and savoury snacks for many decades now. However, this year, she says the trend of gifting sweets and savoury items has picked up. “Since many people are not visiting their friends or families, they have been ordering Deepavali hampers through us, which we deliver to the customers. While earlier, people used to order sweets and snacks for their own consumption at home, this year, due to the pandemic, the number of orders for gifting purposes have shot through the roof. In fact, we had to close orders early, so that we could prepare the sweets and other items at home. Unlike commercial establishments, we do not prepare sweets and other items in bulk. We prepare them in small batches and dispatch it to our customers, says Girija, adding, “For Deepavali this year, we have included sweets like Cashew Katli, Butter Maaladdu, Dry Fruit Mittai and more. The recipes we use have been in the family for ages and so they are unique in taste.”