With the Union government gearing up to declare 2018 as the ‘Year of Millets’, a restaurant that exclusively serves food prepared with millets is definitely a good idea. Enter Millets Kitchen, the newly opened outlet in Sainikpuri that serves wholesome and nutritious food.
The moment you step inside, you are welcomed with an elaborate menu containing delicious millet-based recipes. Order the Gobi Manchurian starter and you’ll be surprised with what you receive. Instead of the oily and artificially coloured Manchurian made with maida, a delicious and healthy Manchurian made with millets is served. From Millet Pulihora, Raagi Sangati, Millets Biryani and Pulao to Nannari, one can experience a wide range of food here. Nannari, a healthy substitute for those who love colas, is definitely worth a try. A herb name Sarsaparilla is used to make the drink and soda is added to give one the experience of drinking a soft drink. The other interesting item on the menu is Millets Saggubiyyam Payasam.
Sailaja Narayan Kalasapati is the woman behind the restaurant and the recipes. “My husband, Ravi Narayan Kalasapati and I wanted to gift this place to our daughter, Chandana. When we were in Rayalaseema, our parents would use only millets for cooking. None of us in the family ever fell sick. However, everyone’s gotten busy these days and we have forgotten these recipes. Not only did we want to pass on these recipes to our daughter, but we also wanted to reach out to people,” says Sailaja, adding, “People are under the misconception that millets are sick food. We want to change that and introduce millets into the daily diet.”
Around 376 recipes have been given to the chefs. These include other dishes such as Millet Mirchi Bajji, Dosa, Idli, Upma and Rotis. All of them are amazing, but a thali would allow you try many items on the menu.
Millets Kitchen boasts of a relaxed ambience and friendly staff. During peak hours, the place is buzzing with activity. Says Krishna Chaitanya, a customer who has already visited the restaurant thrice, “I ate Millets Manchurian, Chilli Paneer and Millets Bisibelabath. The food is awesome. The place started only a couple of months ago but I am already a fan.”
While another customer, Ram Tilak, adds, “The drink Nannari is really good; it’s my favourite here. Millets are low on cholesterol and are a healthy option. It’s a new concept that everyone should try.”
Foxtail, Little, Kodo, Proso, Barnyard, Sorghum, Pearl and Finger Millets are on the menu. Not only do the chefs at the restaurant begin cooking only after you place an order, but there’s also no refrigerator at the place. Another interesting feature is that the restaurant has a different menu for each day of the week. Apart from the regular menu, it also has a vegan and Jain menu.
Say customers Raghavan and Anusha, “We cook with millets at home too. Today, we ordered Millets Manchurian and Rotis. They are delicious! We definitely would like to come back here.”
The kitchen looks well-kept and clean as the seven chefs are busy cooking with millets. Says the head chef, Bipin Kumar, “I have been cooking with millets for many years. I think it should be part of a healthy lifestyle. I am cooking Millets Tomato Dum Aloo and Dal Makhani for the day. They look amazing so far!”
Millets Kitchen started in November last year and Sailaja plans to introduce more branches. “We were initially doubtful about the response from people but they have welcomed us so warmly. People are becoming health conscious and we are happy to help them. It’s not just about eating traditional food, but also about using traditional techniques in cooking,” concludes Sailaja.