With entire families quarantined, restaurants in Chennai are tweaking menus and logistics to deliver affordable, nutritious and hot meals to your doorstep
Pattu Subramaniam and M. Bhagheerathi, managing partners, Dosai with a twist, T. Nagar, spent many weeks thoughtfully curating and putting together a healthy protein-rich COVID Health Package at their restaurant. With a focus on nutrition, they now cook two types of south Indian breakfasts, offering a herbal kashayam, peanut-cucumber salad and mango lassi. Lunch is a hearty collection of 11 items, including fruit salad, panagam and traditional dessert made with jaggery. Dinner is kanji plus a steamed tiffin item with turmeric milk, fruits and nuts.
“We developed the menu to ensure sufficient protein in all the three meals. We try to give variety so they feel comforted and pampered. Which is why every meal comes with our signature traditional chutneys and dessert,” says Subramaniam. Launched on May 10, they offer meal packages at ₹600 per day, only on pre-order. (All meal packages are for breakfast, lunch and dinner for one person.) Seven and 14-day packages are also available. Delivery is free within six-kilometre radius. For details, call: 9940147611
“We cater predominantly to elderly patients as well as to hospitals and our USP is that we customise COVID19 meals as per the requirement. For example, we have requests for salt-free or diabetic meals, and we take care to supply meals that adhere to these specifications,” says Ram Bhat, who runs Matsya. Stating that homemakers are now mentally and physically exhausted, they too have started ordering food regularly now. “Families no longer have the energy and enthusiasm to prepare exotic dishes and share it on social media. Instead, they are now getting food from a trusted source,” he says, adding “It is a ghee roast and hot cup of coffee that everyone is missing, but we try to send them cold coffee and chilli cheese toast as it suitable for delivery.” At Matsya, the COVID 19 meal comes with sundal and sprouts. “Rice, sambar, rasam, vegetable poriyal and any one Keera kootu is part of the menu. We give a cup of Udupi style Thambli as a complimentary drink as it is good during the summer months. Breakfast is idly or pongal. For dinner, it is roti and subji,” says Ram. There are three different meal packages to suit the requirement and the delivery across the city. The meal package per day is ₹ 600. For details, call: 2819.1900.
Namma Veedu Vasantha Bhavan (across all the branches) has just launched a COVID meal package in response to the rising demand. Anand Krishnan, the director, says that will include one millet-based item on the menu either for breakfast or dinner, with nutrition-dense spinach and herbal soup for lunch.
“Our home-style meal is packed in aluminium foil packets, and we avoid deep-fried and spicy food. We are also accepting customisation, and have made it cost-effective to serve a large section of the population affected by COVID19,” says Anand. The meal package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meal package per day costs ₹ 499. For pre-order, call: 7418474493.
The team at ID by SPI (formerly a part of Satyam Cinemas, which is now PVR) has curated the soul box, which offers a standard menu for seven days to cater to the home quarantined COVID 19 patients, as well as families who want a break from the kitchen. Nitin Suresh, business head, SPI Diners, says that they have included millet dosa and ragi idly for their nutritious value.
“We send variety rice or flavoured rice on certain days of the week and on other days we send rice and gravy separately. We offer South Indian style meals with a Jain option,” he says. Every day, the menu includes amla juice, lemon-ginger juice and other fruit juices, which are packed and sent with lunch. There is turmeric milk included with dinner service. A package for a day costs ₹450. For details, call: 7358162777.
When S. Subramanian tested positive two months ago, he underwent treatment at a government hospital for a fortnight and that was when he realised the importance of hygienic, nutritious food for COVID patients. As he was already running a catering service, Divine Dine, for senior citizens in and around West Mambalam, he made it his mission to feed home quarantined patients. “I want to serve those in need, especially elders living on their own during these times,” he says. Subramaniam charges ₹300 for three meals per day. For placing an order, call: 9600822444.
Subramanian’s daughter, Harini S, a lawyer by profession who decided to follow her father’s footsteps, has started delivering homemade food for the elderly covid patients in and around Velachery since Mid March. “My mother-in-law lost her employment last year due to the pandemic and I decided to keep her motivated by involving her in this service. We provide only lunch and dinner. My husband and I work from home, we take turns delivering food to the elderly. We pack food in aluminium foil covers as senior citizens tell us that such packing makes it easy for them to reheat it by simply placing it in hot water. Our rates are nominal as service is our focus, our lunch portions are sufficient for two adults,” she says. Lunch and dinner per day cost Rs 175. For details, call 7397351879.
Pay it forward
Many NGO’s have been actively involved in sending meals for the COVID positive patients as well as their families since the first week of May. “As we have been sending packed food for patients and their attenders at Cancer Institute for the past five years, we decided to extend our services to COVID19 patients’ families under quarantine during the lockdown period.
All they have to do is just give us a call and let us know the address and number of days they require meals,” says Shilpam Kapur Rathore, founder of Aranya Foundation, an NGO. They are currently supplying free meals in Kilpauk, Anna Nagar, Nungambakkam, Mylapore and Adyar. Phone: 42997501.
Sri Sathya Sai Amudham, an initiative by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, has been sending home-cooked meals for home quarantine families across Tamil Nadu. “Each district has volunteers who cook meals at their home and with the help of other volunteers, we door to deliver the meals. In Chennai, we have been supplying over 2500 lunches per day. We have set up three kitchens at different locations in the city and hired cooks to prepare meals on a large scale. In other areas our volunteers have been preparing and packing meals for families in need of such service,” says A. Anand, district president of the organisation. Call their helpline: 7358562055.
The Chennai-based, RYA Cosmo Elite has launched Elite Care, an initiative to provide free lunch to COVID patients and their families. They have been supplying over 1000 vegetarian lunches for the past two weeks. While the meals are free, they charge ₹ 51 per for packaging and delivery. They supply meals across the city. For booking, call: 9940563528