Food

Making it work

Currently, there are 13 kiosks in the city, including the ones at TCS, HP, HCL and Accenture. Photos: S.R. Raghunathan

Currently, there are 13 kiosks in the city, including the ones at TCS, HP, HCL and Accenture. Photos: S.R. Raghunathan  

Healthy Bites kiosks try to amp up the health quotient of IT professionals by making traditional food available at affordable prices

Corporate employees are known to binge on junk food. It is, after all, a function of their long work hours and fast-paced lifestyle. Two food entrepreneurs — Rajesh Antony and Mendonza Joseph — set out to change that four years ago. Through Healthy Bites, they cater heritage cuisine at various IT companies, to provide healthy options that hold on to their traditional value. Their vegetarian menu includes 152 items for the health-conscious IT professional.

Currently, there are 13 kiosks in the city, including the ones at TCS, HP, HCL and Accenture. “Our sucrose red rice, sprout salad and ragi porridge seem to delight employees,” says Mendonza, as he scoops out a ladle of steaming barley bisque from a huge pot. The rich broth has lots of vegetables, flavoured with fine black pepper and curry leaves, and tastes like it has been simmered for hours in a soup steamer to retain nutrients. “It does not contain a drop of oil or the food additive monosodium glutamate to enhance flavour,” he adds. Also served are varieties of soup made of banana stem, curry leaf, mushroom, drumstick, green peas, etc. These are hot favourites among their target consumers, who are tired of the cost and taste of canned soups. “It’s the small things that make us stand out,” says Mendonza, “We store water in copper vessels to reap the health benefits it offers and the rest in 320 stainless steel for pest control.”

For the main course, they offer a millet meal combo, which consists of kodo millet sambar rice, little millet curd rice, oil-free chapattis with channa masala, and a sprouts and pulses salad, priced at Rs. 50.

Their refreshing buttermilk, neer mor in Tamil Nadu, is made using a fine paste of spices that include ginger, garlic, black cumin seeds, rock salt, crushed mint and curry leaves to give it flavour. It is finished with a sprinkle of chaat masala and a pinch of jaggery to give the drink, served in small mud pots, a kick.

“The workplace definitely influences your eating habits. In this fast-paced world, we need to be really conscious about our food intake, and our traditional fare is the most reliable when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle,” says Rajesh Antony, who has future plans of launching a concept-restaurant.

For companies looking to get healthy, Healthy Bites can be contacted at 7871099922.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 2:54:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Food/healthy-bites-kiosks-offer-affordable-traditional-food/article7919225.ece

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