Home Animal 72-YO Girija Paati Sells Meals Made From 100-YO Recipes

72-YO Girija Paati Sells Meals Made From 100-YO Recipes

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72-YO Girija Paati Sells Meals Made From 100-YO Recipes

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Trying to find particular Pongal meals like Ven Pongal and Paruppu Vadai. Girija Venkatachalam runs ‘Girijapaati Meals’ to supply genuine home made podis, snacks, sweets, pickles, and savouries.

As Pongal approaches, Girija Venkatachalam’s house is stuffed with festive pleasure. The air is wealthy with the scent of ghee-fried cashews, raisins, and cardamom. Paati (Tamil for grandmother) and her ladies helpers are energetically getting ready particular dishes for the pageant. Regardless of working laborious, fatigue doesn’t present on their faces; the house is energetic with pleasure and laughter.

This 72-year-old runs ‘Girijapaati Meals’ the place she sells conventional home-style South Indian meals gadgets with “secret household recipes which might be over 100 years previous!”

Beneath the model, she presents round 40 sorts of genuine home made podis, snacks, sweets, pickles, and savouries — together with garlic paruppu podi, bisibele tub, thengai podi, vepillai katti, black ulundhu laddu — and the checklist goes on.

Paati has recently introduced ready-to-cook Pongal must-haves like Chakkarai Pongal, Ven Pongal, and the crispy Paruppu Vadai.
Paati has just lately launched ready-to-cook Pongal must-haves like Chakkarai Pongal, Ven Pongal, and the crispy Paruppu Vadai.

To make the pageant extra joyous for city residents, she just lately launched ready-to-cook Pongal must-haves like Chakkarai Pongal, Ven Pongal, and the crispy Paruppu Vadai.

“These days, many youngsters transfer out for research and jobs. Whereas they crave conventional meals, they lack time to prepare dinner it, so I made a decision to offer them with quick access to genuine home-style meals. Though it’s best when you prepare dinner your meals at house to stay a protracted wholesome life. However when you lack time, you then come to me as a result of I’ll provide you with what I eat and what my household eats,” she says.

Regardless of the big variety of orders the enterprise receives, Girija says she prepares all meals gadgets simply the best way she cooks for her grandchildren.

Little question then that her cellphone is consistently ringing as demand for her South Indian delights is much and huge. However right here’s one thing attention-grabbing, this Chennai resident had not all the time been keen on cooking. Then how did she arrange a model that’s enslaving individuals’s tastebuds?

In dialog with The Higher India, paati shares all about her entrepreneurial journey.

Paati and her women helpers are energetically preparing special dishes for the festival.
Paati and her ladies helpers are energetically getting ready particular dishes for the pageant.

A kitchen mishap that led to a satisfying culinary journey

Born in Chennai, Girija was the eldest of six siblings. Her household hailed from Kalpathi village, positioned on the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.

“We lived in an enormous joint household of 40 individuals. My mom can be occupied within the kitchen. So, I used to be entrusted with the duties of caring for my siblings — from waking them up, taking them to highschool, and serving to them end their homework to feeding them and placing them to sleep,” she says.

Girija by no means entered the kitchen till 1968, which is when she acquired married. Her husband’s household comprised 100 members, and the 18-year-old bride was requested to fry papadums for them. “I had by no means cooked earlier than. This was the primary time that I had stepped contained in the kitchen. I didn’t know what to do however I used to be scared to inform it to my mother-in-law,” she recollects.

Girija says she prepares all food items just the way she cooks for her grandchildren.
Girija says she prepares all meals gadgets simply the best way she cooks for her grandchildren.

“Anyway, I poured oil into a big pan and stood like half a foot away from it. I threw a chunk of papadum into the overheated oil. It splattered over me. Because of this, my shirt acquired caught to the pores and skin and I suffered extreme burns on my shoulder. For the subsequent month, I couldn’t come out of my room as I couldn’t put on a shirt. So, that’s how my first day of cooking at my in-laws’ went,” she laughs.

However that day, Girija determined she should study to prepare dinner.

“My mother-in-law began instructing me the fundamentals and nuances of cooking. Ultimately, she taught me the standard household recipes. Each time I might go to my mom, she would additionally share her culinary expertise with me. I used to be studying various recipes from each of my moms. In actual fact, my grandmothers additionally handed on their data to me,” she says.

That was how Girija’s culinary journey started. And at this time, a grandmother herself, she makes use of her household’s secret recipes to feed hundreds of people that crave home-style South Indian meals.

Paati offers around 40 varieties of authentic homemade podis, snacks, sweets, pickles, and savouries.
Paati presents round 40 sorts of genuine home made podis, snacks, sweets, pickles, and savouries.

It’s by no means too late to run a enterprise!

Earlier than beginning the meals firm, Girija had been cooking conventional delights for her kin and associates for over 5 many years. She commercialised her merchandise when the demand for her merchandise grew exterior her prolonged household.

The concept to run an organization got here to her amid the COVID-19 pandemic when males from low-income backgrounds in her neighborhood began shedding their jobs. “Their wives would come to me for jobs as they misplaced their means to feed their households,” she says.

Lovingly referred to as paati (Tamil for grandmother), Girija began using these ladies in her kitchen. Alongside, because the demand for her merchandise grew, she formally launched her firm ‘Girija Paati’s’ in 2021.

Each festive season, the workforce caters to a minimum of 2,000 orders from throughout the nation from states like Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Gujarat.

In the meantime, Girija, even on the age of 72, continues to dedicate a minimum of 10 hours to cooking every single day. Her day begins with cooking meals for her staff, then experimenting with meals gadgets within the kitchen, supervising the employees, and winding up the day by checking the accounts.

“If it was not for this enterprise, I don’t know what I might have been doing. About 10 years again, I misplaced my husband, and progressively, all my youngsters and grandchildren moved out one after the other. I had nothing a lot to do. As soon as, I had 100 members in my prolonged household, now I didn’t have sufficient individuals to handle. Everyone acquired busy. However now I’ve so many individuals to feed,” she smiles.

“I agree that I have to decelerate. I do know that in 10 years, I’ll not have this vitality degree. However I don’t want to take retirement until my final day,” says paati as she goes on to cater to her subsequent set of orders for Pongal.

If you wish to strive Girija Paati’s South Indian delights, you may order right here.

Edited by Pranita Bhat. All images: Girija Paati.



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