Food

Scaling the food pyramid

Producer-turned-actor V Natarajan recently launched maavadu.in, a traditional Thanjavur-style meal delivery service

Fresh, steaming hot food is something everyone likes to dig into. But to what extent can one actually go to meticulously plan their meals; even when travelling?

Film producer V Natarajan, popularly known as Pyramid Natarajan, ensures that all his meals are planned to the T. For instance, his quarterly trips to Courtallam by the Chendur Express (departs from Chennai at 4 pm) would see him arrange for piping hot pongal and gothsu to be delivered from Sri Krishna Vilas Hotel in Chidambaram.

By the time the train pulled into Kumbakonam at 10 pm, there would be rava dosa, kadappa and curd rice from Venkataramana Hotel awaiting him. For the return journey he would make arrangements for fluffy idlis and chutney to be brought to him from Modern Restaurant in Madurai. “If I plan meals during a train journey this meticulously, you can imagine just how much planning goes into my everyday meals,” he chuckles.

The gourmand that he is, he decided to launch a carrier meal delivery service, and that’s how Maavaadu came about. Launched earlier this month, the service offers people traditional Thanjavur-style meals for either lunch or dinner, based on a monthly subscription.

Natarajan has put together seven different lunch and dinner menus. “The idea is to serve the best food that we eat. It is the combinations we offer that are our USP. Some preparations such as vazhakkai sevai, senai masiyal, poricha kuzhambu, pavakkai pitlai and seppan kizhangu gravy are popular. We also make a variety of thogayals and chutneys,” he says.

“We are emotionally involved with maavadu.in. We serve good-quality vegetarian food that is simple and nutritious (supplied in a hot case); reviving traditional authentic food is a fulfilling experience,” says Natarajan. Currently, the food is prepared in their kitchen in West Mambalam. The price for meals is ₹250 (serves two) for a trial order. Monthly subscription for lunch and dinner is ₹12,500 plus taxes.

Talking about his fondness for food, he says, “ There are serious discussions at home to come up with the day’s menu,” says Natarajan. He adds that he named his latest venture maavadu.in to connote authentic home-style food. “I initially came up with this idea as a small-scale service; a sort of extension of my home kitchen to help senior citizens in and around West Mambalam. But the response has been overwhelming and we are now looking to expand.”

In fact, this love for food reflects in Natarajan’s family too. His younger brother V Mohan, known for his matchmaking service Kalyanamalai (has been telecast on television for 18 years now), had also ventured into wedding catering and planning through his venture Athithi.

The company aims to spread its reach to Thiruvanmiyur, ECR, OMR, Velachery and Tambaram as well, in the next month. “Safeguarding traditional recipes is our mission and we are trying to popularise it through maavadu.in. Even our cooks are from the Thanjavur region.”

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 11:16:52 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/v-natarajans-thanjavur-meal-delivery-service/article20643252.ece

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