The aroma of ghee wafts in the air as Vijaya KN puts generous amounts of it on an aloo paratha cooking on a tawa in a small but neat kitchen. Two parathas are packed into a flat cardboard box with a butter chiplet, which, along with a cup of curd, two types of pickles (green chilli and mixed vegetable) and sliced onion goes out for delivery. That was one among the many orders of the day for Vishnu Ka Dhaba, a takeaway near the Western entrance of Sree Balasubramania Swamy Temple, Ulloor.
The one-year-old enterprise is run by Vijaya’s son-in-law, Vishnu S Sivan, and specialises in different varieties of stuffed parathas, snacks and drinks.
Vishnu says, “I stumbled upon the idea because of my mother-in-law, a nurse in the government service in Rajasthan for over three decades. She is familiar with the preparation of many of the dishes and snacks of the region. My wife, Asha, also knows most of it.”
The 39-year-old tried his hand at many jobs before becoming an entrepreneur. “I opted for this because I am a foodie to the core.”
During the 30-plus years she lived in places such as Jodhpur and Pali in Rajasthan,Vijaya, whose late husband was in the Indian Army, learned the culinary traditions of the region.
Vishnu Ka Dhaba’s menu usually has aloo paratha, aloo-onion paratha, mixed paratha and gobi paratha. Snacks include vegetarian spring roll, Punjabi samosa, pizza pockets and cheese corn bites, out of which the last two are not prepared at the Dhaba. Thandai, jaljeera, kesar badam and aam panna are also available.
According to Vishnu, the highlight of the Dhaba is that the masalas and spices are purchased from Rajasthan. “People have mentioned that our parathas and eats taste different. That is because of the masalas we use. The green chilli pickle comes from Rajasthan. Also, we don’t use garlic in the paratha stuffing,” adds Asha, who works with a private firm. While Asha helps out outside her office hours, cooking is mostly taken care of by Vijaya and a help, Chandrika.
All the products are available on food delivery platforms with a pair of parathas priced ₹160. When purchased directly from the Dhaba, the parathas cost ₹150. “My plan is to start an outlet and expand the business,” says Vishnu. Meanwhile, he is planning to roll out non-vegetarian snacks such as chicken nuggets, chicken wings and chicken fried momos.