One question can start a life journey

For OMR resident Jyotsna Reddy, that statement means a travel into a rabbit hole of fresh discoveries about traditional accompaniments: Pickles, podis, pachadis and avakkais 

June 25, 2022 10:37 pm | Updated June 27, 2022 01:31 pm IST

Pandemic-induced lockdowns have unlocked hidden talents. Over the last two years, there have been innumerable stories of how someone serendipitously discovered a latent talent for something out of their regular path, simply because they could not tread this familiar path anymore.

Jyotsna Reddy’s story would partly mesh with this narrative.

“It all started with a friend asking my mom if she could make him some avakkai because he was missing home. To our surprise, he insisted on paying for it. That is when the idea of home-made food products for the homesick, struck us,” says Jyotsna.

Building on that idea, Jyotsna, along with her husband and mother, unveiled Upala’s Kitchen at their 2000 sq ft flat in Sholinganallur.

Her’s mom’s traditional culinary acumen was being put to good use. The food enterprise’s USP is a 100% preservative-free menu, one that consists of a wide range of pickles, podis, pachadis and avakkais.

Regulars reportedly seek these dishes as if they come coated with gold dust: mango avakkai, dal podi, ginger jaggery bomb, tomato pachadi, and chilli garlic kaaram.

Jyotsna takes special pride in their instant chutney, touted as an option for those seeking the taste of home on the go.

With every order, Upala’s Kitchen sends out a detailed food suggestion sheet that plays up best pairings among its offerings. Prices start at ₹299 per 250 gm. Besides, 100 gm tasters are available for most products. “All our products are made on order and in small batches. We do not compromise on the quality of ingredients, which reflects in the prices,” adds Jyotsna. For details, visit

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