Sohna hi sona

THE AROMA of Basmati rice is too alluring. And if it is coming from the land of Sikhs, then nothing to beat it. One just has to take it... er... taste it. Quality and hygiene. Flavour and savour. Well, thanks to a tie-up between the A.P. Markfed and Chandigarh-based Punjab State Cooperative Marketing Federation Ltd, the sweet-smelling product is available in Andhra Pradesh now.

Along with the rice come seven varities of `Sohna' (beautiful) heat-and-eat cooked curries -- delicacies of the North. Topping the list of the packaged curries are the mouth-watering ready-to-eat `palak paneer' and `sarsonka saag', a Punjabi delicacy. (A 450-gm pack costs Rs. 35). "It will serve four persons. One doesn't have to worry about its shelf life. It is sure to last two years," Punjab Markfed officials said at the launch of the products in Hyderabad on Thursday.

The other curries to hit the shelf are `dhalma khani', `kari pakora', `chatpata chana', `rajmah' and `alu methi'. The other items being sold in the State are micro-refined sunflower oil, vanaspati, jam, honey, tomato sauce, squash, Markfed wheat, fruits and potatoes.

But why are the Punjabis coming to Andhra? Chips in the Additional Managing Director, Markfed, Meghraj, `the Rs. 8,000-crore organisation wants to spread its wings and diversify into different areas." Hence, the tie-up with the A.P. Markfed. This marks the opening of a new chapter in the over 40-year history of the apex cooperative, quips G. Srinivas, Managing Director.

Along with aroma, a touch of glamour was also added to the evening's launch. There were Jayaprada, cine actress and Telugu Desam MP, and hero Srikanth.

By V.N. Harinath

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