Flavours of home

Manjula Seshadri poses with her delicacies. DH PHOTO dinesh S K

Manjula Seshadri was looking for a ray of hope when she was facing a lot of problems and it was her kitchen that showed her the path.

   It has been 15 years now and despite the temporary makeshift place where she currently supplies her takeaway food, many people in and around Jayanagar vouch by the typical South Indian vegetarian food that is available at the Ace Iyengar Home Products.

“It all started with a Pulioggare Gojju,” says she, “I was always interested in cooking and everytime I tried something new I would give it out to a few of my friends to get their response. The Pulioggare Gojju was an instant hit among all my friends and slowly other people started demanding it,” recollects Manjula.

That’s when Manjula decided to start a small store which would sell this Gojju, masala powders and homemade snacks.

    In the process, her family members too joined her. She also hired an all-women team of eight, who brought in their own flavour to the food.

“Our only means of advertising was through the word of mouth and today with many suggestions and feedback, we have around 45 items on our menu,” she says.
What’s really special about their snacks are that they never reuse old oil and also make it a point not to add any dalda or preservatives in their food. “This not only makes the item fresh and healthy but they also last for more than a month,” she explains. 

    Five years ago, she borrowed a concept from another eatery in the City of selling simple South Indian food in kilos and litres.

    White rice, various sambars, vegetable preparations, rasam, pakodas, bajjis, kesari bath, sweet and khara pongal, chappatis, bisibelebath etc are all measured by kilogram or litres. “Since the items are all made by hand, there can be an issue of maintaining the consistency of size of an item. This way there will definitely be no confusion,” says she.
    Of course for someone who is ordering for the first time there is bound to be a little confusion but that too is solved by ordering any of the fixed meals or with the help of the people.

 For breakfast, the place offers items like Uppittu, Idili, Chutney and Sambar; rice, Rasam, Sambar and three kinds of vegetables are available for lunch and dinner. Festivals are the busiest times for the place.

    Many people pre-order sweets like the Holige, Hesarubele Payasa and
Kadabu.

   “More than an eatery, the place and the people out here have become one among the family. Not once did I feel like I am eating food from a restaurant,” said one of the customers.

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