These entrepreneurs sell traditional sweets and savories made of millets, heritage rice, jaggery and karupatti from Tamil Nadu’s farms
Forty-three-year-old Hima Kiran, once an engineer by profession, is now a full-time agriculturist, cultivating over 60 acres of land in Komakkambedu, Thiruvallur district, as well as in four other villages in Thindivanam and Villupuram. “By funding and supporting other small scale farmers in the region, we at Namma Farm are promoting organic food production. We started offering hampers last year,” says Hima.
“We collaborate with Chennai’s Organic Positive, to make sweets and savories from produce from the dsitricts,” he adds. This Deepavali, Namma Farm offer kambu Mysore pak, thinai laddu, Mappilai samba rice-based adhirasam, samai mixture and varagu murukku. Hapmers with assortment of sweets and savories are sold as 500 grams and one kilogram boxes.
Chennai-based Spirit of the Earth’s Deepavali hamper features heritage rice sourced from their farm at Manjakudi near Thanjavur. That is not all. “The chillies are from Palani, urad dal from Chidambaram, oil from Thiruvannamalai, Thooyamalli from the delta belt, nattu sarkarai from Anthiyur in Erode, cashews from Adhanakottai, desiccated coconut from Batlagundu, Kadalaiparuppu from Karur….” lists Jayanthi Somasundaram coordinator of Spirit of the Earth, an organisation that focusses on conservation and cultivation of heritage rice varieties.
Ingredients are cast iron pan roasted, sun dried and stone ground to make it easy to cook three sweet, savoury and spiced heritage rice blends. The hamper includes notes on each grain, ingredients, and cooking instructions.
The hamper is priced at ₹1250, and the cost includes free shipping across India.
Visit www.spiritoftheearth.in Call: 9500082142
In 2014, when the company was launched, 1,000 farmers contributed ₹1,000 per head and became shareholders. The organisation based out of Pudukottai, helps them by procuring their produce, developing value-added products, and selling them. “Our products include rice and millet flours (for dosa, adai, puttu), rice flakes, sweets and snacks. Though we offer traditional snacks all round the year, we have more items during the festival,” says Ahila Bharathi, the CEO.
She says that they are well equipped with machinery, including the facility to make groundnut oils used in the snacks. Ghee is sourced from local farms. “We avoid processed sugar, and use jaggery, palm jaggery (karupatti) and nattusakkarai,” she adds. For Deepavali, they have Mappilai samba seedai, Karuppugavuni adhirasam, Thinai mixture, three types of murukku made with different heritage rice and millet karasev.
Orders can be shipped across India. Bulk orders accepted.
Visit www.pudhigaiorganics.org.in Call: 6383112234
The name means ‘unto perfection’ in Tamil. Patham was launched in 2017 by a group of five friends in Chennai, and expanded to Madurai this year. Perumal Raj, one of the founders, says that they wanted to popularise traditional rural sweets and savouries made of palm jaggery and palm sugar crystals. As we do not add additives or preservatives the shelf life of these products are less than mass produced items. Also our products may not look colourful but in different shades of brown or black. But due to continued support from our customers spread across the country, we have opened Patham Sweets in Madurai,” says Perumal.
Patham procures traditional snacks from two manufactures, in Sivakasi and Madurai. “We are also collaborating with palm tree climbers to motivate them to make karupatti on a larger scale, and are also researching dishes that can be made using palm fruit (panam pazham) and palm roots (panam kizhangu),” he says. Pala dhanya karupatti halwa made of multiple millet flours and coconut oil, seeraga samba karupatti jangri and kambu coconut oil cookies are their bestsellers.
Shipping across Tamil Nadu. To place the orders, call: 9940545122
The team at the organic store reStore, in Kottivakkam, is busy organising a Deepavali Eco-Bazaar scheduled for the end of the month. The all-day event includes arts, crafts, clothes, sweets and snacks that can be purchased directly from the makers. Home decor products and gifts made of palm leaf, terracotta and coconut shells; clothes by Tula and Porgai; and garden essentials will be sold. Workshops on clay modelling, drawing, palm leaf weaving and puppet making will be conducted at the venue which is open for children and adults.
At 6 pm there is a puppet show for children. Teas and juices are by Vananeeli and baked goodies and sandwishes are by Prana. You can pre-order your Deepavali bakshanams, made by NGOs supporting the farming community in rural Tamil Nadu, and pick it up at the fair.
The Deepavali Eco-Bazaar at reStore, Kottivakkam. October 31, 10 am to 7 pm. To regsier for workshops and to pre-order sweets, call: 24921093