City restaurants respond to growing demand for nutritious meals for COVID-19 patients in home quarantine
Chennai restaurants pivot to meet growing demand for nutritious meals for COVID-19 patients, serving everything from creative millet pizzas to hearty milagu pongal
“I feel like those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and in home quarantine crave comfort food. They offer so many tips, suggestions, ideas and meal combinations, to make every meal tasty and interesting, ”says NS Krishnamurthi of Prems Grama Bhojanam (PGB), a restaurant in Adyar specializing in rural millet cuisine.
As cases of COVID-19 increase, the need for nutritious meals increases for both patients and people in quarantine. With cooking and groceries challenging, restaurants, cloud kitchens and home kitchens across the country are happily pivoting to create menus and meal plans – with contributions from nutritionists and doctors, to provide meals. warm and comforting.
For added convenience, these meals are available as weekly packages and can be customized for individuals or for the whole family. “By respecting COVID-19 times, we make sure to include certain ingredients believed to boost immunity in our culture, such as Indian gooseberry, ginger, garlic, cumin and pepper in most dishes, ”says Krishnamurthi, who sends meals for lunch and dinner.
These are deliberately priced economically, compared to dinner prices, as he sees it as his duty to be helpful in difficult times like this. At PGB, the COVID-19 meal plan with breakfast, lunch and dinner costs ₹ 1,800 per person per week. Phone: 9840062772
To make sure that patients, already struggling with their isolation and difficult symptoms, enjoy the food, Krishnamurthi says they offer a different menu every day. “The demand is high for millet Rasam rice and kaara kulambu rice because the patients feel that the spicy food suits their palate. “
Also at Sangeetha Veg restaurant, orders for Covid meal packages have increased. Customers include people in home quarantine as well as private hospitals. Velachery branch manager K Prasanna says they send more than 200 meals a day to hospitals as well as homes in Velachery, Tambaram, T Nagar, ECR, OMR and other nearby locations.
The package, titled ‘Fight With COVID19’, can be booked for a week or two weeks, and costs ₹ 650 per day, including breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner and delivery costs. Phone: 8754574305
“We provide ginger tea with breakfast, which is usually Venn pongal, idli, uthappam or idiyappam. We make sure to provide kabasura kudineer, turmeric milk and garlic milk every day. Garlic is cooked in milk and powdered panangkalkandu (palm sugar candies) is added to boost immunity, ”explains Prasanna.
He adds: “Any variety of sundial or germinated moong Dal sprinkled with pepper and salt is sent to taste it with ginger tea. Our protein ball has gone well with COVID-19 patients. We prepare it by grating together Paneer, ginger, green chili, garlic and add salt and pepper and shape it into a ball shape. In citrus juice we add Indian gooseberry and tulsi. ”
- COVID19 Bestsellers: Mint Rice, Kaarakulambu Rice, Rasam Rice, Milagu Pongal, Paneer Balls, Millet Pizza, Ginger Turmeric Sloth, Ginger Tea
- Atithi Khana: 9566248148
- CURI renal diet canteen: 8838093097
- Sangeetha Veg Restaurant: 8754574305
- Roo’s Food Concepts: 7299023000
- Prems Grama Bhojanam: 9840062772
Dinner includes steam idli, idiyappam, or kal dosai, uthappam, roast. “We send turmeric milk with dinner. Some patients ask us to send them Rasam rice or mint / coriander rice for dinner, and for them we polish the menu. But lunch is still a South Indian meal, ”he says.
“Around the same time last year and even now there was a huge demand for quarantine meals,” says Gayathri Nandakumar of Roo’s Food Concept in Kilpauk. They offer Covid meals on a subscription model, on a weekly basis. The cost, which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, is ₹ 4,500 per week for vegetarians and ₹ 5,000 for non-vegetarians. Phone: 7299023000
“We focus on a balanced diet. There is a misconception that dairy products and fruits should be avoided by patients with COVID-19, but the body needs all kinds of nutrients and so we provide cut fruit and curd rice. We sprinkle chia seeds on the fruit and send a sachet of dry ginger powder, which can be mixed in hot water, ”she adds.
Gayathri says the demand for food from South India has increased, as has the preference for millets. “We notice that many vegetarians opt for the egg as suggested by the doctors. Our subscription base is mainly made up of seniors, but we also have a good number of teenagers and young adults, ”says Gayathri. At Roo, they offer continental cuisine, in addition to South Indian and North Indian menus. “As COVID patients seem to lose their ability to smell and taste, we make a point of providing them with different foods from different cuisines for each meal. Young people ask us for healthy wraps or sandwiches, ”she says, adding, however, that their most popular article is Rasam rice, followed by their milagu samai arisi pongal and idli samai ginger-turmeric.
For the good old days
RA Puram’s Atithi Khana (phone: 9566248148), primarily a delivery platform, is now also providing 50 meals across town for people in home quarantine. Founder Ashish Nahar says demand has been unprecedented in the past 10 days.
“We offer vegetarian lunches and dinners from South India and North India, and there has been a high demand for millet foods as the emphasis seems to be on healthy eating. Ashish explains, adding that they have introduced a pizza, where the base is made of ragi. At Atithi Khana, two meals per person per day equals ₹ 250.
“Compared to last year, I see that the population is more aware and that patients with COVID-19 are taking good care of themselves by purchasing nutritious meals from service providers. Our strong point is that we assess the patient over the phone and understand their symptoms and other medical conditions and our diet team carefully creates the diet plan for them. It is not a meal for all, but a personalized and balanced meal to meet individual needs, ”says Gayathri Ananthakrishnan, General Manager of CURI Hospital, Old Mahabalipuram Road.
Their meal plan starts from ₹ 400 per day. Telephone: 8838093097.