Little eats to tide over tough times

Updated: 20 September, 2020 07:57 IST | Jane Borges | Mumbai

After their 13-year-old dog Yorkie, a poha-fan, passed away during the lockdown, the Barrids of Bandra launched a food service in his memory to tide over tough economic times. It's something the terrier mix would've approved of

Caroline and husband Maurice Barrid (Mickey), who started Yorkies Snacks, a fledgling home food service named after their late pet, at their Bandra residence. Pic/Atul Kamble
Caroline and husband Maurice Barrid (Mickey), who started Yorkies Snacks, a fledgling home food service named after their late pet, at their Bandra residence. Pic/Atul Kamble

The running joke at the Barrid residence is that if their pet Yorkie devoured a meal cooked by mama Caroline, it meant she had done a good job. For 13 years, the terrier mix, who ate what his human family did, was the guinea pig for home chef Caroline Barrid's food experiments. "Yorkie loved my food. He would gobble down anything I gave him, especially poha and bhajiya pav," the Bandra resident says. Yorkie passed on in May this year, during the lockdown. Around the same time, Caroline quit her job at a call centre, because the erratic work-from-home schedule, had robbed her of peace and time with family. So, when she decided to re-start her catering business, it seemed fitting to name it after her beloved, late pet.

Yorkies Snacks, a fledgling home food service launched this June, is the brainchild of Caroline and husband Maurice Barrid (Mickey). The slim menu offers veg and non-veg snacks that the couple prepares together. From corn and cheese balls, spring rolls, to wantons and chicken hariyali, as well as baos stuffed with teriyaki, manchurian and tikka masala, the treats are a reflection of their peripatetic lives. Before settling down in Mumbai in 2013, the Anglo-Indian couple and their four sons, lived in New York and Kuwait.

Yorkie, 13, passed away in May
Yorkie, 13, passed away in May

While Maurice was away at work, Caroline, who was a housewife in the US, spent hours experimenting with new recipes, some of which she had tasted during her time there. "I have always been passionate about cooking.

I think I was 13 when I started helping my mum. I remember making dal chawal, and kurkure bhindi," shares Caroline, whose mother Joan Barbara Stevenson's family hailed from Kerala. Her father's side was Scottish, and hence, meat was a staple. Shepherd's pie, chicken and beef roast and mutton and okra stew, were favourites, with coconut rice and meatball curry reserved mostly for Sundays. While Caroline did learn to prepare the ancestral fare, she was more interested in cuisines from the world over.

Chicken wings
Chicken wings

At the fag end of their decade-long stint in Kuwait, she finally decided to start a side business called Carol's Snacks, which became popular with friends and family. "We'd take party orders. The chicken lollipops and tikkas were sought after."

Though the business ended abruptly, when they moved back to Mumbai, Caroline and Mickey's love for cooking and feeding continued. "But we got really busy with our jobs here," she says. The lockdown gave her time to think about why she'd rather cook, than do a job that she had stopped enjoying. Starting Yorkies, she admits, was a decision she had to take suddenly, because of how tight resources were at home. "But the entire family brainstormed on how we could make this possible," she remembers. Mickey, who is the pro at making baos, tried and tested several stuffings, before selecting the final variety that would make it to the menu. While her eldest son, Shannon, 24, a BMM graduate, designed the logo, and handled the marketing and deliveries, her younger sons, Brad, Sheldon and Kyle, helped out in the kitchen or with the tastings. "They now want to be paid. We are taking the family business quite seriously," jokes Caroline.

Onion samosas and veg spring rolls
Onion samosas and veg spring rolls

Yorkies takes deliveries a day earlier. Caroline makes everything, including the spring roll, wanton sheets and sauces, from scratch. "Preparing the dough takes some time. Hence, we prefer to take orders in advance," she says.

Last month, Yorkies also launched a daily veg and non-veg tiffin service, from Monday to Saturday, with a different menu for each day. The menu comprises everything from maa ki daal to Kerala-style fried chicken, coconut chicken curry and naan or steamed rice to go with it. While the daily packages are steep at R450, the weekly and monthly packages are more reasonably priced.

Momos
Momos

The Friday menu we tried consisted of dahi kadi pakora, steamed rice, two pieces of fried chicken, papad and phirni in a clay bowl. Since the portions are large, and can be best enjoyed by two people, it won't pinch too much for that price. The fried chicken made us nostalgic about the southern fried chicken legs we had once tried at a fast-food restaurant, bordering Oman and Dubai.

Caroline is now planning to include Anglo-Indian specialities like meatball curry, and her mum's coconut rice into the menu. Her pet Yorkie, she says, would have approved.

Taste Test

We ordered the chicken spring rolls and wantons, and fried chicken bao stuffed with hot and spicy mayo sauce. The food came wrapped in silver foil. The order was perfect for a rainy evening; we particularly enjoyed the hot, crispy wanton, with the sweet and spicy garlic sauce. We got six pieces of finger-sized spring rolls and wantons, for R200 each—definitely value for money. The bao, however, will remain a personal favourite. It was soft, and melted in the mouth almost immediately. Yorkies also sells plain baos (six pieces) for R120, which Caroline suggests steaming again before eating. We think they'd be just as delicious with plain butter.

To place an order 8879848023
Follow @yorkies_snacks, Instagram

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First Published: 20 September, 2020 08:00 IST

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