Food

Oru Ilappothi uses corn starch sachets for their banana leaf-wrapped meals

Pothichoru from Oru Ilappothi

Pothichoru from Oru Ilappothi   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

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Oru Ilappothi is a branded avatar of a meal wrapped in banana leaf. A highlight of the packet is sachets made of corn starch in which curries are packed

To reduce single-use plastics, many concerned citizens are switching to traditional methods of packaging or innovating to come up with biodegradable alternatives. One that has caught on is pothichoru (a complete meal wrapped in a banana leaf). The eco-friendly lunch packets have made it to the menu of many hotels and restaurants and several home chefs are also cashing in on the demand.

Oru Ilappothi is one such initiative started by Nihad TR, an engineer and entrepreneur. The 30-year-old says that he still cherishes the flavours of the meal packed in banana leaves that he used to have during his school days. “Nothing can beat the aroma and taste of this simple meal,” he says.

Pothichoru from Oru Ilappothi

Pothichoru from Oru Ilappothi   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

However, when he launched the venture in January this year, it packed up after a few months. “The business didn’t take off as we had planned. We were finding it difficult to find a good option to pack gravy-based curries such as sambar and pulissery. We didn’t want to use plastic covers either. So these dishes were mixed with the rice and that didn’t go well with most of the clients,” he says.

So the re-launched meal comes with a solution. The curries are now packed in a sachet made of corn starch. “We get it from Delhi. These sachets are biodegradable and compostable. Now the curries and fish curry are packed in these sachets, while the rest of the meal is kept along with the rice,” he says. The packets come wrapped in specially designed white paper with cute green prints.

“We keep at least 50 packets ready. Most of the orders come from within Technopark. We have plans to introduce dinner as well,” adds Nihad, currently running an IT consultancy firm with branches in Kochi and the city.

Nihad TR

Nihad TR   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

At present, the service is focussed in and around Kazhakkottam area and locations such as Medical College and General Hospital.

Orders have to be placed before 11 am. No orders are taken on Sundays and second Saturdays. Contact: 7902680008, 7902980008

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 1:50:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/oru-ilappothi-is-the-branded-avatar-of-the-pothichoru/article30037254.ece

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