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Community caterers taste festive profits

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Hyderabad: It’s that time of the year when the season decides the menu. Community restaurants, or those eateries that serve cuisines particular to one community or State are the busiest now, starting with those that offer dishes that can be eaten by those observing a fast.

With Navratri being observed, there are many who are fasting, and quite a few restaurants have come up with snacks that are made exclusively for such people. ‘Marathi Katta’, a restaurant-cum-catering service in Sultan Bazaar area, is the only Maharashtrian restaurant in the city that not only offers tasty Maharashtrian food, but also delicious ‘upvas’ snacks.

“For ‘upvas’, people prefer ‘Sabudana Wada’, ‘Sabudana Khichdi’, ‘Shrikhand’ and ‘Kokam’ juice, and on order, we prepare ‘Rathaalu’ (Sweetpotato fry), ‘Ratlu’ (sweetpotato halwa), groundnut and jaggery laddu, ‘Rageera’ laddu, ‘Bhagar’ and ‘Amti’ (Tangy rasam),” says Ambarish Lahankar, the owner of Marathi Katta.


Stating that not just Maharashtrians, but Telugus too were relishing their dishes, Lahankar says the people of Hyderabad are liking the special Kolhapuri masalas from his eatery.

“Apart from catering orders and people visiting the restaurant, we are getting 30-40 orders on Swiggy and Zomato, and we also deliver directly to homes,” he adds. There are some who prefer their food with no onion and no garlic, or in other words, the ‘Jain thali’.

HS Bhatia, who runs New Singh’s restaurant in General bazaar area, says his restaurant has a Jain menu as well. “As this area is surrounded by Gujaratis, Jains, and Sindhis, initially going by the name, people thought we only serve non-vegetarian,” he says. People mostly ask for

‘Paneer Taka Tak’, ‘Tadkas’, ‘Sarso Sa Saag’, ‘Makki Ka Roti’ and ‘Chole Bathure’, Bhatia says.
While most restaurants have their own community cooks, a few have hired locals as well. Ajay Ojha, who runs the Rajasthani restaurant ‘Annapurna Bhoj’ at Parklane, says his menu has Navratri special items such as Rajasthani thali, Gujarathi thali, Marwadi thali and Jain thali. “As this is a Rajasthani restaurant, people come looking for ‘dal bhati’ and ‘churma’ and also ‘malpuva’,” adds Ojha.

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