Saturday, 12 May 2012


Sometimes I come across interesting people who have really pushed themselves to do something worthwhile, and do it well. One of these persons is Bharti Arora, an entrepreneur who has taken up the business of catering North Indian food in a hard-core South Indian area like Mylapore in Chennai, and honed it to a thoroughly satisfying skill. I wrote about her while I was with Mylapore Times, our neighbourhood paper. I order food from her regularly, especially when entertaining, and our guests also enjoy her fare. And when she started a new venture, alongside with the catering, she called to let me know. I liked her idea, and wrote about it for Mylapore Times, with whom I still maintain a friendly connection. The following piece (with a few changes) appeared in a recent edition of the paper. 

 Packing a healthy and tasty lunch for people at work is always a challenge. Here is something that Bharti Arora offers, a vegetarian lunch that is nutritious and neatly packed, and easy to eat without messing up your fingers. And because it is the staple food of Punjab, it is called Le (pronounced Lay) Punjabi – it means ‘Take Punjabi.’ The lunch pack consists of two parathas - plain, or stuffed with veggies or cheese, and a packet of pickles.

 Bharti Arora
Photos Courtesy: Mylapore Times
The parathas are made fresh every day with whole wheat flour, and do not contain any artificial colours or preservatives. Bharti says they are made in the authentic Punjabi way and are prepared and packed hygienically. “Whole wheat flour is a rich source of dietary fibre, iron, calcium and minerals. It is more nutritious and provides a better option for a healthy diet,” says Bharti.

 Bharti has been in the business of catering, dishing out authentic North Indian food for many a year now. She belongs to New Delhi, and moved to Chennai in 1988, when she got married. She started her kitchen Vege Delights, with the support of husband Sanjiv, “to give people in Chennai authentic Punjabi food,” she says. Orders are taken on the phone, and the food is prepared in her kitchens, and door-delivered.

“We also take orders for parties and corporate catering,” says Bharti, who lives in R. A. Puram. She loves idlis and dosais, but must have one paratha meal everyday she says.

 Right now her focus is on the brand Le Punjabi and making the packed lunches accessible to as many office-goers as possible. The parathas come in these varieties - Aloo paratha, Gobi paratha, Mooli paratha, Aloo Methi paratha, Onion paratha and Paneer paratha, and are priced between Rs. 40 and Rs..60. The parathas are available at many places in the neighbourhood, and in the city too.

Bharti and Sanjiv may be contacted at 9840060200 and 9840240571.

The photos were taken by R. Saravanan, photographer for the Mylapore Times. 


Gowri Mohanakrishnan said...

That was a lovely little appetiser. I want to sample those parathas now!

lalli said...

wow..dats awesome!! should try wen i come to chennai..!!!

Dinakar KR said...

Good for you, good for B.
Noble venture, even if it is for a bit of profit. Didn't know about Mylapore Times connection.

adee said...

good to see a little corner of North India in Chennai :)