Chennai Adupadi: Charity begins with Homely Food

By Ayshwaria Lakshmi (cbedit@imaws.org)

Home food has become an elixir for the health-conscious and many others during the Corona pandemic. The trend is also spawned by the limited food delivery options with the lockdown restrictions in place across the country.

For those who can’t cook or afford home food, the next best option is ‘homely’ food from outside, which might be as good as ‘mom-made’. But then, to each his or her own. Everybody doesn’t have the same palate or preference, when it concerns food.

A ready-to-cook products brand from Chennai has discerned this fact. It is rustling up dishes based on every customer’s unique needs. The kitchen has on its menu a veritable smorgasbord of ready-to-cook and -eat products. “Our foods are convenience products. We use the same pure and high-quality ingredients for every dish as we do at homes. We do not add any additives and follow the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) norms,” informs S. Vellayan, Co-founder of Chennai Adupadi, as he kicks off the conversation with ChefBharath.

The recipes of Chennai Adupadi (meaning Chennai’s kitchen, in Tamil) have personally been developed by Mr Vellayan and his wife and Founder, V. Kamala, who is the brain behind the homely kitchen concept. The husband-wife duo aspires to serve caterers by supplying hygienic foods, including chapatis, flavoured pooris, tortillas and wraps, but with a difference. It caters to the B2B market supplying to caterers , hoteliers, and restaurant. “The raw materials we use are of the best quality. We neither compromise on our quality nor stick to a particular brand. We care about what we offer our customers, which is why we prefer to make preservative-free products,” claims Mr Vellayan.

Depending on every customer’s unique need and demand, though, Chennai Adupadi would add preservatives. For instance, a fresh dish can last about 24 hours by itself, but some preservatives are needed to make it last longer than a day. Their items sent to banquet orders are zero-preservative ones, but the dishes to restaurants contain minimum preservatives to increase their shelf life to over 15 days, if refrigerated.

The food supplier is a vendor to Modern Foods, a company famous for its bread and bakery products. Being a vendor of such a large brand has enabled the kitchen to set the bar high. “This has helped us adhere to international standards for all our products,” says Mr Vellayan.

Chennai Adupadi has also been associated with NGOs and social workers to supply home quarantine foods at affordable rates during the Covid-19 pandemic. “Apart from highest levels of hygiene, we offer consistency in taste and regular availability of all our items. Even in a situation like this, when everyone is facing acute human resources shortage, ready-to- eat or -cook products would help all,“ he asserts.

The food supplier uses multi-layered plastic packaging and customises it based on the specific quantity and numbers ordered by a customer. This kind of packaging, apparently, helps in extending the shelf life of their products. “Social aspects take a back seat when it comes to convenience. Eco-friendly packaging is not possible especially in this current situation, but we try and reduce plastic usage by packaging based on the customers’ demands. If a client needs 30 chapatis, we would put it exactly 30 in a packet,” explains Mr Vellayan.

This packaging method has addressed a social cause: food wastage among his clients is kept at a minimum level. According to the entrepreneur, packing only what the customer needs has ensured that no food goes waste. And so, continues the culinary march of the Chennai Adupadi couple, replete with a social cause or two.


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