Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Speciality Restaurants serve as museums for traditional cuisine


A kitchen in Coimbatore is experimenting with recipes from Ethiopia and India

COIMBATORE: Tucked away in a quiet neighbourhood in Coimbatore, is a 3,000 sq.ft kitchen buzzing with pre-dinner activity as young chefs chop, clean, and toss food in pans. This is no ordinary restaurant kitchen but a laboratory of sorts where traditional recipes are tried out, some-times modified, and standardised.

From Ethiopia’s injera to the Kongu region’s kambu roti, different kinds of food are being worked with by the chefs and kitchen staff at a facility created by VM Hospitality here. The chefs are helped by food critics, experts and homemakers.

The inventory at the experiment kitchen includes gongura from Hyderabad, ber-bere and mitmita from Ethiopia, and puran poli from Maharashtra.

The kitchen and a 20-acre supply farm are working to ensure the authenticity of cuisine at their specialty restaurants. Leafy vegetables and special varieties of chillies are grown at the farm.

The initiative is aimed at identifying region-specific traditional recipes for four brands of restaurants that specialise in Ethiopian, Parsi, south Indian and Maharashtra cuisines.

In the last two years, the company has opened seven speciality restaurants in different cities and plans to take the total number to 24 in another two years.

As part of their research to learn about the history of the cuisine, teams visited remote villages, spoke to many people and identified recipes.

“We worked from 8 p.m. to midnight for a year trying out recipes, tasting and ranking them. Those who shared the recipes also spent time in this kitchen to bring out the authentic taste,” says Vikram Mohan, chairman of VM Hospitality and Pricol Group.

Jemilla Ibrahim, who is from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will be in Coimbatore for about a month to train the chefs. “Ethiopian flavour profiles are similar to Indian. My children and I have always en-joyed Ethiopian food when we travelled overseas,” said Mr. Mohan. VM Hospitality has tied up with homemakers and groups of women who provide the restaurants with homemade eats such as pap-pads, thayir vadagam and chakli vadagams. The master chefs at the restaurants are from villages.

Skill development centre

The company now plans a skill development centre in Coimbatore for culinary arts. It will be a residential campus and is expected to be operational in another five months, says Mr. Mohan.

“I was always passionate about food. I wanted to get in-to the food business when I hit 40. So, I started travelling in my free time to study different cuisines. We picked up recipes that were adaptable and chose the places where we could serve authentic cuisine. There is heritage and history to food of a particular region. Our restaurants are like museums, showcasing the artefacts and culture of the area too. The whole world is going for speciality restaurants. My idea is to create brands,” he says.

Source: The Hindu

Recommended for you