When fresh chillies are added to sautéed onions, the sizzle attracts our attention to the kitchen and we wonder what mom is cooking for the day. She uses her secret ingredient – love, which makes all the difference.
But when you are away from home, no matter how much you like pizza or chicken from your favourite outlet, you will always crave for her secret ingredient. The usual tiffin services also fail at delivering that flavour. So should we give up that quest?
No! Not according to these Hyderabad-based home chefs.
A former teacher by profession, Poonam Malik Arora always enjoyed cooking. “It is my hobby and I love when people come home for food. When people demand less oily or spicy food, I treat it accordingly and I always get overwhelming feedback from them,” she says.
Poonam gets her daily orders on a group created on a social media app. She also has an Instagram page where she posts pictures of her food everyday.
“It’s been a year now since I have been taking food from her. It is exactly like that made at home and I love it. My favourite is Sattu ka paratha,” remarks Pari.
“One day a food delivery person explained to me that I am similar to the chefs of ‘dark kitchen’. I was confused as I had never heard the term before. But when I searched about it I realised he was right about it,” explains Poonam.
Western society has named the concept of delivery-only kitchens as ‘Dark Kitchens’. These kitchens sell meals exclusively through delivery. Rather than cooking for eat-in diners, dark kitchens cook purely for delivery purposes.
Another home chef, Alpa Modi Munjal feels empowered after starting her own business. “I left my job in the US and settled here with my family 10 years ago. Along with preparing food on requests, I started my own YouTube channel ‘Something’s cooking with Alpa’ which became a hit,” she says.
When Hyderabad-based fashion designer Vaishali found her passion, there was no stopping her. “After the birth of my daughter, I couldn’t take up a job as she became my priority. But I used to feel alone when she started going to school and my husband was busy with his job. So that’s how I started making food on order basis. Now I specialise in bakery items,” she recalls.
She posts pictures of her bakery items on her Facebook page ‘The Little Sugar Fairy’ which helped her attract customers.
Gone is the era when women were looked down upon being a ‘mere’ homemaker who looked after the household and cooked for the family. These empowered women are breaking that perception and making a success out of their passion.