Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 2:
Dabbawalas in the Twin City are ferrying home-cooked food to the people who are bogged down with work, do not know how to cook or are too old to take care of themselves. The dabbawalas are a blessing in disguise for them who crave for homemade finger-licking food. In the Twin city, many entrepreneurs have made it a lucrative business catering hygienic, delicious and healthy food with the homemade flavour and at a price which suits the pocket.
Here are a few dabbawalas from the Twin City who have become the lifeline for many people:
- Kitchen Queen (Cuttack)
Arpita Duttagupta started Kitchen Queen in 2015 from Marwari Bagicha in Cuttack and has become a saviour for the young hungry professionals. She takes special care to supply dabbas filled with delicious biryanis, Chinese food or simple maach-bhat-aloo bhaja . She handpicks the vegetables, non-vegetarian items, spices etc. from the market so that quality is never compromised. Her dabbas of special biryanis and Chinese cuisine are some of the all-time favourites for the customers who work in offices, schools, colleges, hospitals etc. “They are so mentally and physically drained that even cooking a simple khichdi becomes a marathon task. Weekends are only meant to laze around and do laundry or have fun with friends,” she comments.
You can get: Vegetarian biriyani at Rs. 150, Non-veg biryani– Rs. 250, non-vegetarian noodles- Rs. 100, chilly chicken- Rs. 150. Her special fish paatudi and prawn dishes are very much in demand.
2. Patel catering services (Cuttack)
Minal Patel from Buxi bazaar in Cuttack started his dabba services recently which even though at a nascent stage is becoming popular. “The response is very encouraging and I mostly cater to students who live in the mess or hostels, medical students, hospital staff, bank employees etc.
The non-vegetarian Odia thali costs Rs. 40 and the vegetarian is rated at Rs. 30. It consists of rice, dal vegetable fry or bhaja, salad and achar with fish or chicken as desired. It is a huge relief for the students and other customers who get fresh, hot food packets delivered on time when hunger pangs hit.
3. Geeta’s Kitchen (Cuttack)
A simple housewife can also become a good business person and can get job satisfaction, feels Geeta, who lives in Cuttack and supplies dabbas. She started her career by catering simple food to her extended family for which she was paid. The first dabba was a simple combination of Roti santula (vegetable dish) for an ailing sister for which she was paid Rs. 15. Now her dabba consists of rice, dalma, khata, bhaja and any fish, mutton or chicken items as desired.
“My dabbas go to nursing homes and school staff. I charge Rs. 50 for a vegetarian dabba and Rs. 60 for the non-vegetarian one,” she commented.
4. Curry Nation (Bhubaneswar)
A dream company of Smruti Biswal and his brother Rana who thought of serving hygienic, packaged delicious food of all varieties to the corporate sector, students and whoever desired it. In 4800 square feet of land in Chandrashekarpur, they have set up the base kitchen, kitchen garden and the warehouse from where they cater good food to their customers.
“We are recipe driven and have collected authentic recipes from all across the country. Our major share of dabbas go to corporate houses. The students order online and we deliver it to them wherever they are in the city,” said Smruti. This four-month-old company boasts of dabbas consisting of authentic food from across the country like Lal Maans from Rajasthan, Vindaloo from Goa, Chettinad-styled meals from Chennai and more on order.
5. Homemade Food Services (Bhubaneswar)
Moumita Banerjee thought of starting a dabba service realising that a lot of people needed good food but did not know how or where to get it.
“My customers are usually college students, a few residents of my housing society and the neighbouring apartments. I always keep the food in the vegetarian and the non-vegetarian dabbas simple and healthy,” she said. Nominally charged and delivered on time, she claims of long and satisfied clientele.
6. Shagoon’s Kitchen (Bhubaneswar)
His dabbas are a dream for the hungry. His customers love to order their dabbas of biryani, home-style food, exotic dishes including Odia pakhala, etc. “I love cooking and all my customers are fascinated with the innovative dishes that I create: like the prawn-parwal-aloo pulao, chicken cooked with pepper, red chilly, honey and perri perri sauce and the likes. I try to make delicious combos which tickle the taste buds and this is my USP,” said Shagoon.