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Features

In Bengaluru, you can now get food from your neighbour for a price via WhatsApp

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The format of these forums is simple. Someone who is cooking a dish puts up the plan on the group a few days beforehand. People interested order portions for a price

We have all been seduced by the aromas of food that waft from next door. While sometimes a bowl is sent over, many a time it’s making do with the fragrance of an all-elusive feast.

But thanks to technology and the sense of community building in Bengaluru, many are getting to taste food from their neighbour’s kitchen at a nominal price.

At Ferns City and Ferns Paradise, two gated communities in Doddanekkundi, the WhatsApp group Namma Oota is two months old. It’s here that residents find freshly-made home food. Cuisines include dishes from North Karnataka, West Bengal, European, Italian and Tamil Brahmin kitchens.

“It’s a blessing to be able to try different kinds of food. Sometimes, I’ve even asked for a specific dish and someone’s offered to make it,” says IT professional Vinutha Shantiraj, 40, who has been ordering regularly on the group.

The format of these forums is simple. Someone who is cooking a dish puts up the plan on the group a few days beforehand. People interested order portions for a price. On D-day, the food is picked up from the household at a specified time.

Sonia Joy Francis, 44, began offering her bakes, European and Italian preparations three weeks back on the group at Ferns City. The demand has been unprecedented. “I end up making twice or thrice the amount owning to enthusiastic requests. I also cross order, from others in the neighbourhood,” says Francis, who relocated from the UK a few years ago.

The concept of community food sharing is also helping many start small businesses from home. Deepika Sharma, a mosaic artist, started the APR Super Chef group at Adarsh Palm Retreat, Bellandur, two years ago. Today it has 700 members from the community who share home cooked food. “Many have started their own catering and baking businesses, after being a part of this group,” Sharma shares.

For many working women, forums like these also come in handy. NGO professional, Garima Bhatia, 45, started the Raheja Home Chefs group at Raheja Residency, Koramangala.

“Some days, when I don’t find time to cook, I check on the group. I prefer to get food from a neighbour than from an eatery because the quality and hygiene is guaranteed as the food is being cooked for one’s own family,” she says.

Forums like these offer the opportunity to taste food from different states. “One gets access to food that is intrinsic to households, the recipes of which may have been passed over generations and can never be bought at a restaurant,” food consultant and blogger Monika Manchanda adds.

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