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Home kitchens earn 5 stars

While most of us have been overwhelmed with too much housework during the pandemic, these two enterprising women have maxed their culinary skills and are happily dishing out meals catered to individual liking.

Sim's Kitchen

Simran Kohli, entrepreneur and mom to two, talks about her passion for food. She says, "When we moved to Noida, a group for home chefs had just started. My friend insisted that I should try my hand, so I started in July 2018 and haven't looked back since. I have a WhatsApp group of 230 plus people, where I post a different menu everyday and clients order on a personal window. I get 25+ orders on the weekends so my hands are full, planning and catering. I have a kitchen unit in sector 83 but have been working from home during the pandemic. There are still a few teething issues like deliveries getting delayed due to shortage of staff, as we deliver all over Noida and Delhi. But I'm glad that most of the feedback I get is positive. My speciality is Chinese, Thai and Continental cuisines. I've also been praised for my Panko Crusted Fish and Juicy Lucy Burgers. I've never taken classes as I myself like to experiment with food. Some have compared my dishes with established joints like Big Chill and NYC Pizza. It's very encouraging."

Simran also makes the most delicious desserts at very reasonably prices. You can contact Simran here

Andy's Kitchen

Anandhi Dasaraj, Tamil by origin but born and brought up in Hyderabad, has had a mixed influence of culinary skills. She started Andy's Kitchen during the lockdown as more and more friends started appreciating her cooking. A development professional working on creative skills and livelihoods, she is a National Resource Person with National Rural Livelihood Mission and advises on non-farm livelihoods across India. Recently, she took a session on beauty and wellness for post-grad NIFT students from Kolkata and mentored two women groups on culinary skills. Food is her creative outlet, and she can cater to small home gatherings. She has no big plans other than a wish to retire to Coorg, and to simply go with the flow and let things unfold. But for now, she's based in Delhi.

Anandhi is also a Reiki healer. She says, "Food is a source of life energy and we all run around to feed our 6-inch belly. As my school teacher used to say, it is called prasad or langar because food is cooked with bhakti bhav and that energy goes into food. I felt that during the lockdown, emotions along with stress were running high. The best way to de-stress is to eat good home cooked food. I used to work at Rajeev Sethi's Foundation. He also used to encourage me to follow my dream (to open a craft shop and cafe). My neighbour, Ms. Meynell, said her son would even appreciate the lauki I sent over. Actually, it was with her support that I started the kitchen. Incidentally, another friend's son was unwell and I would send food to the hospital to cheer him up. He would also send me voice notes about the food. Most of the feedback I've received so far has been good. People have especially appreciated the Hyderabad mutton with salan, chicken ball curry and chicken 65, coconut rice with korma/mutton chettinad. All of them have distinct flavours."

Anandhi is very generous with the helpings, and her pricing is just about right (I paid Rs 600 for a veg biryani with salan and a dish of paneer 65, including delivery charges). You can contact Anandhi here

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