Downtown

The spread gets larger

Pattappa and his son Balaji. Photos: Madhumathi Viswanath  

If guests at a wedding wait eagerly to taste three items particularly — curd rice, curd vada and pal payasam — there is a high likelihood that it is Pattappa’s catering.

But, people no longer have to wait for a wedding to taste his food. Pattappa’s son, Balaji, has started Pattappa’s Thaligai, a restaurant on Luz Church Road.

Pattappa is a very popular name in the wedding catering services. This six-generation-long family business started off as a regular labour contract service during which they would visit the homes of their clients and cook for the people present there, a much smaller crowd compared to the ones they serve at weddings today. When Pattappa took charge, the business rose to an all-new level.

Many would say that food without onion, garlic and spices would not taste as good. But with his team, Pattappa has come up with more than 150 items without using any of these ingredients.

“We make sure that none of the items we serve for one meal is ever repeated in the next. We have managed to retain the quality and the taste of a dish without using onion or garlic. For instance, to make paneer butter masala, we grind tomatoes with cashewnuts instead of onions, thereby making sure both the creaminess and the rich taste are retained,” says Balaji, who has now taken over the family’s catering business.

The no-garlic, no-onion formula is carried over to the menu of their restaurant as well.

Pattappa’s Thaligai, started less than a month ago, aims to serve senior citizens in Mylapore, providing them with light and healthy meals at affordable prices.

“Wedding catering has always been our main profession and primary source of income. So, the idea of opening a new restaurant was never for a commercial purpose. We plan to contribute a part of the profits to orphanages,” says Balaji.

The leftovers and unconsumed food at weddings are regularly distributed to the homeless and destitutes living on platforms in and around Triplicane and Mylapore.

“We pack the leftover food in hot packs along with a big can of water and around midnight, it is distributed to the homeless,” he says.

Balaji plans to expand the restaurant to Nanganallur, K.K. Nagar and East Coast Road.

“We would like to branch out in six months’ time,” says Balaji.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:29:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/downtown/The-spread-gets-larger/article14429895.ece

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