From handling cameras, R.K. Tewary moved to making kulfis. Vipasha Sinhas reports

Not all the regulars at “Tewary’s Kulfi” in Lake Area know that the man behind the counter was once a popular name in tinsel town.

Ravindra Kumar Tewary, who is making and selling kulfis since the 1980s, was director of photography for films such as Sattam, Sundara Kandam and Vidhi. He has also received an award for his work in Azhage Unnai Aarathikkirean.

After passing out from Pune Film Institute in 1972, he worked in the Hindi film industry as operating cameraman and was soon promoted to director of photography. When he started getting work in the South with prominent directors, he shifted base.

Apart from the camera, he loved food and he invested in a restaurant in 1982 at Montieth Road, Egmore.

“It was called Tripti’s Kitchen Rich. I opened the restaurant for the love of it. My kulfis were its speciality. Those days, they were sold in carts by hawkers. I decided to make them in hygienic conditions and present them with a dash of style. I started supplying kulfis to star hotels too. I had to shut the business as I was finding it difficult to spend time at the hotel because of my film commitments,” says Tewary. Though the restaurant was closed, he was making kulfis from home with his wife’s support and started supplying them to the regular customers.

In 1989, they opened their first outlet in T. Nagar and then shifted to Lake Area, Nungambakkam, in 1991. They have been there ever since.

“When I started making the kulfis, I didn’t realise one day it will be my main source of income. I wanted to give this Indian-style ice-cream a wider appeal and started experimenting with flavours. I keep looking for inspiration. For instance, I was watching a food-travel show, where they were making a dessert with banana as the core ingredient. That inspired me to make banana kulfi. Moreover, my friends in restaurants and hotels encouraged me to keep doing something new. Chef Nagpal from ITC is one of them,” he says. Tewary seeks the approval of family and friends before adding a kulfi to the menu.

R.K.Tewary’s products are now sold in various outlets and he plans to go national. He however wants to give the reins of the business to his son Abhishek Tewary and take a backseat.

Tewary’s Kulfi is at 7, Corporation market building, Lake Area, Nungambakkam. Ph: 044 28171509

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