Office-goers and others on the lookout for lunch options may now check out the ‘home-cooked’ food packets being offered by a group of women coming together under the Kargil Samskarika Vedi (KSV) in the city.

The recently launched initiative now offers various dishes at main junctions in the city up to 2 p.m. These, according to KSV secretary Poonthura Jeromy, include a chicken biryani packet at Rs.50, a fish biryani packet at Rs.60, a ‘kappa and fish curry’ packet at Rs.40, and fish curry meals at Rs.30 which goes up to Rs.50 if one wants fried fish.

The KSV, set up in 1999 with the aim of honouring memories of Kargil war martyrs, took up the initiative as part of its activities to offer self-employment opportunities to women, predominantly from the coastal belt.

As of now, the group set up for the lunch-packet initiative comprises 175 women, 60 per cent of whom are from the coastal areas.

Out of them, 10 are the chief chefs. A permission from the government for providing ‘mid-day meals,’ in the words of Mr. Jeromy, followed up with a licence from the Thiruvananthapuram Corporation, a certification from the Food Safety authorities, and medical check-ups to ensure that the cooks were ‘healthy enough to prepare healthy food,’ has set the group going.

“We are now adding items such as ‘appam’ and egg curry, ‘idiyappam’ and chicken curry or vegetable kurma, ‘kappa’ and fish curry, and a few sweet items, including ‘unniyappam,’ to our menu, to be offered from around 4 p.m.,” Mr. Jeromy said.

The group launched the “4 p.m. delicacies” at Shanghumughom Beach on Thursday.

The food packets will be available at junctions including the Secretariat, the District Treasury Office, the Thiruvananthapuram Taluk Office, Vanchiyoor Court Complex, Kerala University premises, Palayam, and near the Secretariat Annexe as well.

Proceedings from the business will go to a common fund, from where the KSV plans to ensure a monthly salary of about Rs.5,000 for the women. Profits, if any, will go into the fund for annual bonuses or financial assistance for the education of their children, Mr. Jeromy added.