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Mumbai: Home chefs, caterers supply daily meals to infected families in high-rises

Many of these services were already supplying meals to quarantining families.

Written by Benita Fernando | Mumbai |
April 20, 2021 4:54:51 am
Night curfew is imposed in Mumbai on April 14, 2021 (Express Photo: Pradip Das)

On Monday morning, Mumbai-based chef Saransh Goila, founder of Goila Butter Chicken, posted a call for food providers across India who could deliver meals in the neighbourhoods of Covid-19 affected families. By evening, Goila and his team had put up a spreadsheet with details of various home chefs, tiffin providers, cooks and restaurants that affected patients and families in quarantine could use.

Many of these services were already supplying meals to quarantining families. By being part of a consolidated list, the aim is to help patients locate services in their area easily. The list focuses on Metros most affected by the second wave, such as Mumbai, Delhi and Ahmedabad, but more will be updated in the coming days. These meal services come at a time when high-rises and housing societies are seeing a surge in cases. Last year, initiatives such as ‘Khaana Chahiye’ delivered free meals to lower income populations through a network of restaurants and kitchens and continue to do so. Now, high-rises in Mumbai, many of them sealed by BMC, are seeing a need for daily tiffin services.


“This is not a list for charity. There are many big MNCs and FMCGs working for charity and that’s a different ball game altogether,” Goila said. This list, he added, is for people who are at home and can probably spend about Rs 150 on a 14-day subscription. The list can be accessed on Goila’s social media accounts.

Among the 40-plus food providers listed in Mumbai is Vile Parle’s Vama’s Kitchen. Labdhi Mayank Shah, who runs the service started by her mother Nita Shah, said that they provided meal boxes to the underprivileged last year. However, in the second wave, with whole families catching the disease, they have been getting several orders for tiffins. In one case, a family has requested for plain moong water as prescribed by the doctor to help with lung recovery.

Shah said that five rotis, one vegetable and rice costs Rs 140 at Vama’s Kitchen, with additional charges for delivery. “We usually come up with fancy menus like Thai cuisine. But now, we are getting orders for basic meals, with spice and oil in control,” she said, adding that they have also been getting requests from families of patients at hospitals.

Delivery services usually deliver to homes, irrespective of whether the family is Covid-19 positive or not. However, some food providers believe that families are hesitant to use delivery services, especially if every member is quarantined and the building is sealed. “If delivery persons can’t go till the doorstep, then someone has to pick up the parcel from the security guard. In these cases, residents have to rely on neighbours to do this or just make peace with what’s available,” said Anmol Vijan, who works at Culinary Garage, a food delivery service started by Vishay Vijan – a chef previously associated with Masala Library and Papaya. The service is also in Goila’s list.

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