From ‘pazham pori’ to Goan prawn curry, here’s how well-loved Chennai brands are turning into cloud kitchens


The previous 5 months have confirmed that it’s inconceivable to recreate the restaurant expertise at dwelling. Not even for those who are Pradhyuman Maloo, in Netflix’s Indian Matchmaking, ostentatiously wielding liquid nitrogen and fox nuts, shadowed by a nervous military of kitchen workers.

His recipe, unveiled on Instagram entails roasting fox nuts (makhana), including peri peri, liquid nitrogen, then “gold dust and good vibes”. Alternatively, toss makhana in turmeric, purple chilli powder and chaat masala for a a lot simpler and tastier, if much less camera-friendly, model (“Gold dust and good vibes” optionally available.) This means, you are much less doubtless to burn your mouth, oesophagus and higher airway with improperly consumed liquid nitrogen, which has no enterprise in a house kitchen.

Of course, in a great restaurant, skilled cooks carry way more to the desk than Pradhyuman’s mangled molecular gastronomy. Which is why, wholly adapting a restaurant menu for supply is inconceivable: temperature, texture and presentation are important. Inevitably, compromises have to be made.

The various is establishing cloud kitchens with menus created for takeaway. Flavours want to be heightened and dishes should be strong sufficient to journey effectively. (Biryani, for instance, which has been the lockdown’s hottest, takeaway dish throughout India.)

Over the previous few months, we have now seen an increase in well-loved Chennai brands launching cloud kitchens, with menus particularly tailor-made for benched households craving normalcy {and professional} cooking.

KCK Food Pack

Enter the Mallu Bento field. Instead of reopening Kappa Chakka Kandhari, now that lockdown guidelines have eased, Chef Regi Mathew has launched KCK Food Pack as a separate vertical, focussing on takeaway consolation meals.

Explaining how the brand new menu was curated, he says, “We are looking at how the dish tastes after one hour, and how it travels. We planned portions keeping in mind how a family orders, with dishes that can be shared.”

The star right here is the Malabari Bento field (₹ 540), a joyful, if sudden, mix of smooth Japanese aesthetics and an extravagant Kerala marriage ceremony menu. Arriving in a neat rectangular field, the pack contains biryani, a flaky paratha and small, however wealthy, parts of prawn roast, hen curry, chutney, pickle and caramel custard. An admittedly overwhelming buffet of hearty flavours, however appealingly good worth for cash. And the benefit of WFH is you may pop any unfinished meals into the fridge for one more meal.

Although KCK is understood for Kerala delicacies, sourced from household cookbooks, this launch options meals from different southern States. So whereas there are common staples comparable to tapioca, puttu, barbecue and payasams, it additionally contains Goan prawn curry, Mangalorean hen gassi and Nellore fish curry. The high quality is on par with the restaurant which already has a loyal following.

“We will keep adding to this menu,” guarantees Regi. “We have decided to look at this situation as an opportunity. There is no point saying ‘Oh my God!,’ he states firmly. “We have to keep moving forward.”

Call KCK on 9940499404

Gogo Chai

If you crave crisp, onion pakoras and chai each time it rains, you are not alone. When Ashvin Rajagopalan, who runs Ashvita, awoke to a cloudy, moist day, he requested his restaurant cooks to make a batch of pakoras, and despatched out photos to associates and prospects through WhatsApp. They had been bought out by tea time.

And, that’s how GoGo Chai was born.

The model is Ashvin’s second lockdown launch. “Our first COVID-19 baby was GoGo Desi,” he says wryly.

“We, like many others, were severely hit by the pandemic and lockdown. And, we continue to be hit,” he says. Realising that many individuals have misplaced jobs or taken paycuts, however nonetheless want to order meals generally, he launched GoGo Desi from a separate, vegetarian kitchen in June, focussing on competitively priced home-style meals like dal, parathas and okra fry. “The response has been great, because this is home cooking. In fact, this is the exact same food I eat at home everyday,” he says.

With WFH, Ashvin realised that there was one other alternative: a model centred round chai time, operating solely from 3pm to 5 pm. “We are trying to see what the market is like — surprisingly it is huge,” he says. After the onion pakora success, he tried Kerala’s pazham pori (₹100 per field), following his mother-in-law’s recipe, leading to pleasingly crisp edges and candy, steamy interiors. Then got here chilli bajjis, oozing cheese (₹125). Although GoGo Chai formally launches in September, strive these snacks through GoGo Desi, because the workforce builds the chai menu. Meanwhile, Ashvin is engaged on convincing his aunt to share her legendary masala vadai recipe along with his cooks.

Call GoGo Desi on 42109990

This weekly column tracks town’s shifting culinary panorama. Heard of a brand new enterprise? Tell me: [email protected]

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