If you thought that culinary prowess in the Pandemic is all about baking banana bread and making dalgona coffee, you are mistaken! Thanks to Covid-19, the concept of ‘Home Kitchens’, ‘Farm Kitchens’ and ‘Virtual Kitchens’ has picked up in a big way and one sees a number of new entrants in the market in Jaipur as well. The minimal staff required in the operations of such kitchens not only makes it economically viable for those who run it but is also the preferred choice of customers over the typical dine-in restaurants owing to safety standards. Most of these kitchens prepare the food from scratch once an order is placed (requiring minimum 24 hours to prepare the dishes) and either deliver through online delivery services like Dunzo or require you to pick up food from their kitchen.From farm fresh dips, kombucha and breads to delectable home cooked Bihari mutton; from Asian hotpots to Jewish babka, these enterprising kitchens are delivering it all. Let’s delve deeper into the stories of a few.
Our Kitchen Fables
A curated menu consisting of recipes handed down from one generation to the other and largely influenced by Rajasthan and ‘Kayasth’ style food is the USP of ‘Our Kitchen Fables’, a home kitchen which came into existence in the Pandemic.
“When the pandemic hit us and lockdown was announced, we thought of this time as an opportunity for us to pursue our passion which otherwise stood neglected due to our full time professional lives. Our Kitchen Fables is an ode to our years growing up in the royal state of Rajasthan, where our lives fondly revolved around savouring and cooking some of the best royal non vegetarian delicacies and other specialties, cooked brilliantly by our mother. This project is our quest to share some of our kitchen delicacies and the fables that follow with friends, family and the world at large”, say the founders and sisters-in-law, Devyani and Minal.
Some of their best selling dishes include Bihari mutton, Kayasth style Daawat-e-Raan and Mutton Pasanda. They curate weekly menus and the food is prepared fresh for each order by them with their in-house cooks.
With another home based venture ‘CRÈME’, the gastronomes of Pink City were introduced to the Jewish Babka (a sweet braided bread with a filling of pesto or chocolate) as well as many other international breads and unique cake flavours.
“I was working at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai when suddenly we were asked to return home until further notice. I came back to Jaipur and realised that this situation is not going to get better anytime soon. CRÈME was born with a wish to introduce Jaipur to the best of Pastry and Bakery, made with the finest of ingredients in a safe and hygienic environment”, shares its Founder, Chef Ayushi Agarwal.
The other Chef Special items in their menu include – Lemon & Blueberry Cake, Vanilla & Dulce Caramel Cake, French Brioche Loaf and Cinnamon Roll Tea Cake.
The Mystery Kitchen
Another weekend home kitchen that has been making waves in Jaipur is The Mystery Kitchen. “The Mystery Kitchen was born out of the love and passion to provide hygienic, wholesome and delectable home-made made straight to people’s homes”, says Naina Johar, Founder of The Mystery Kitchen. Their must try dishes include mutton shammi kebabs, chicken wings, khow suey, Goan Fish Curry, Spicy Andhra Prawns, among others. They curate special menus too on an advance notice.
The Scrumptious Slice
A self taught baker, Doorva Sharma grabbed the Pandemic Opportunity with both hands to start The Scrumptious Slice, a home kitchen for baked delicacies. “I am a self taught baker and the pandemic gave me a chance to focus totally on honing my baking skills and now I have taken it up professionally. Baking for me is therapeutic and to see the joy on people’s faces when they receithe goodies is immensely satisfying”, shares Doorva. They are also making vegan (Dairy free) desserts. The most recommended treats from their menu are the choux pastry, banana cake, genoise sponge mango custard cakes, marble cake, among others.
Once Upon a Table
Once Upon a Table (OUT) is yet another home kitchen in Jaipur. It is run by the mother duo – Parul Khaitan and Chetna Agarwal. Serving globally inspired, wholesome vegetarian meals prepared using seasonal ingredients and organic produce, OUT is based on the idea of bonding while sharing stories over a scrumptious meal.
“The grandmother’s philosophy of ‘Jaisa Ann, Waisa Mann’ is our mantra when it comes to food. In addition to using quality ingredients, what we also greatly focus on is positive energy and love while cooking”, tell Parul and Chetna while sharing more about OUT.
With no professional culinary training, Parul owes her prowess in the kitchen to her travels and experiences. Some of their Must Try dishes include Kimchi Gyoza Hot Pot, Garlic Crackers with Trio Dip, Ravioli, Crispy Roller Rice, among others. They have some delicacies from Bengal too like Luchi, Posto Aloo, Begun Bhaja, Aloo Bhaja, Mishti Doi and Sandesh.
The Solitude Kitchen
Priyamvada from Earthbowl Farms and Chef Anuroopa founded The Solitude Kitchen, a farm to fork concept that aims at bringing delicious, healthful options with menus changing every week to reflect fresh, locally sourced produce from their farm, local produce aggregators or independent farmers. While their original idea was to have food, music, art and craft tie into each other in a space, right now they are functioning as a farm to jar kitchen owing to the circumstances.
Chef Anuroopa cooks using skills acquired in culinary school in Rome and draws from her travels and training in Michelin Star restaurants across the continents of Europe, Asia and Australia. Priyamvada is the founder of Earthbowl Farms, an organic dairy farm in Jaipur, from where the bulk of ingredients are sourced. Their menu changes weekly based on the produce available and one must try their artisanal loaves, organic butters, soft cheeses as well as kombucha.
“We focus on zero waste, sustainability, conservation of land and ecology as well as flavour. One must know where the food on your plate comes from, how it is created and the culture one can create by choosing what they eat and how they eat”, say Priyamvada and Anuroopa while sharing their food philosophy. “Along with our food, our packaging too is sustainable, we pain-stakingly print our packaging papers with flowers and leaves to bring a bit of nature and individuality into each product”, they further add.
So what’s stopping you from relishing these sumptuous dishes handmade with utmost hygiene in the comfort of your own homes?
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