In the mood for homemaker Sarika’s mirchi ka achaar from Rajasthan or poha from Indore’s bylanes?
Bengaluru-based startup The State Plate will now deliver these, and many other hyper-local favourites, to your doorstep. “Bengaluru is a city of migrants. The recent lockdown meant they couldn’t make their customary trip back home to bring back staples. As their stocks ran out, they had nowhere to go for their favourite fare,” says Muskaan Sancheti, who co-founded www.thestateplate.com with Raghav Jwahar.
Muskaan and Raghav launched a survey and sent it to their contacts and went on the Internet to collect a database of local brands, homemakers and unique staples from various states, unknown outside a small geographical area and not found on supermarket shelves or e-commerce sites.
“For instance, though there is a range of potato chips available out there, Gujaratis swear by the Balaji Wafers, stocked only in stores in the Gujarat region,” says Muskaan. Some offerings on the site don’t even have brand names but go by homemaker-cooks’ names: ‘vada pav masala by Babita’, ‘ghee atta biscuits by Sunita’ and ‘Nagaraj’s nippat’.
“Some of the more delicious stuff comes from homemakers known only to members of a community. They make authentic, homemade products using recipes handed down through the generations,” says Muskaan, who says part of her objective is to uplift such women.
The State Plate, of course, is not just for migrants missing their afternoon khakhra or meal-time papad. With fare from Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat and Rajasthan to start with, it reflects India’s diversity in food. “Our Bestseller Box is packed with five specialties, one from each state, so one can experience the best from each region,” says Muskaan.
Support for seniors
The State Plate has tied up with Bengaluru’s Utkrsta, an organisation that helps women above the age of 60 sell their homemade snacks, masalas and condiments. Similarly, it has teamed up with Chaakri, a self-help group of 80-100 women in Maharashtra who make khakhras.