A father-daughter duo has whipped up a ghar ka khana menu in frozen form that can be stored up to six months
The kitchen counter looks clean, and the sink isn't filled with a pile of dishes. It is a rare, no-cooking day for us. Three frozen packs holding parathas, batata wadas and samosas in frozen form are waiting to be grilled on the pan and deep-fried in preheated oil at 180 degree C.
Started by father-daughter duo Sandeep Kalia and Tanya Morarjee, Eat Fresh offers a menu of home-cooked items including aloo paratha, samosa and batata vadas that are frozen and have a shelf-life of up to six months. Kalia, who has worked at five-stars across India and overseas, along with Morarjee, who has a background in advertising, started supplying bulk orders to flight kitchens and banquets from their factory in Bhiwandi last year. "The lockdown brought its challenges of supplies and labour issues. We decided to launch a retail menu. The food is cooked normally and then cooled to a certain temperature, after which it is blast-frozen to around minus 22 degrees C. In some items like the samosas, we fry it to keep it from crumbling. The food has no additives and in fact, frozen food is more nutritional than food kept in the fridge as the bacterial movement is minimum," explains Morarjee.
Most of their clients are senior citizens who don't have help at home, as well as housewives. "For big families, cooking every day in bulk is not an easy task. We're four months into the lockdown, and sometimes, it is good to have things ready," she explains. The company is into bulk food manufacturing, and so all FSSAI measures are practised to maintain hygiene and safety guidelines. "Since the lockdown, new guidelines including wearing face shields and other protective gear, and monitoring temperature and oxygen levels have been incorporated along with regular use of hand sanitisers, and limiting staff in the factory," shares Morarjee. The team has also introduced bare-minimum hand contact across the entire process to avoid the risk of contamination.
The package for review is double-packed, so it allows us to sanitise the parcel. We sampled the parathas ('150 for 10) that needed to be thawed for 15 minutes. The instructions suggest use of oil or ghee, but we didn't use either. The parathas were home-style, and have a spicy finish of ginger and green chillies. We slathered it with ketchup and cheese for our dinner. The outstanding item was the samosa ('250 for 10) that tasted like the ones we've eaten at Juhu's Chandan cinema. The folded edges formed the crispy crusts.
While we Netflix and chill through the lockdown, at least we won't have to miss the samosa indulgence from the canteens inside cinema halls.
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