Most eateries in the city are serving only puri, upma, and pakodas
Idlis and dosas have vanished from Berhampur, a place famous for its South Indian delicacies, after Cyclone Phailin. Along with it the cyclone also had a drastic effect on the dishes cooked in households. Except a few eateries idlis and dosas are no more available in the city.
The staple food dished out at most of the eateries in the city now is puris, upma and pakodas. Power supply has not yet been restored in most of the areas of the city. In the areas where it has been restored, power is provided only for a few hours during night. Most eatery unit owners say that due to power problem they are unable to grind the batter for idlis and dosas due to which they have stopped preparing these items.
Most eateries have stopped preparing chutneys also. Susant Das, a person from Puri who came to Berhampur to take stock of the situation at the home of his relative in Phailin-hit Berhampur said, “This cyclone seems to have taken away the sheen out of the South Indian food, which was the culinary identity of this city.”
A few eateries like Shanti Bhojanalaya on Lochapada road, however, continue to prepare idlis. The owner of this eatery said this could be done only due to the efforts of the female members of his home who grind the batter for idlis by hand. Because of which he has increased the price of each idli from Rs 2 to Rs 4.
Vegetable prices up
The price of vegetables has also increased manifold after the cyclone as most vegetables are being sold at Rs 50 per kilogram or more. As it is the month of Kartik, when most families become vegetarians due to traditional beliefs, potatoes have become the major vegetable in most households. They are adding up soyabean chunks to the dishes.
In most middle class households housewives like Pranita Patnaik are compelled to cook only a single curry for the meal which is usually eaten both during lunch and dinner. “It is really hard to cook in darkness and without the grinder working only a few dishes can be cooked,” she said.
Most of the restaurants have stopped allowing customers to sit and eat during night to save cost on running generators and precious water needed to clean the dishes.
They are only selling dishes and meals in packets. Several middle class families are preferring to buy curries for their dinner rather than cooking them at home. Restaurants which are using generator sets with facility to have customers sit and eat are doing good business at night.