The pandemic has clearly not affected the Deepavali spirit, as families order their annual treats, and line up for hot filter coffee
“Gifting is a major part of Deepavali. This year, we were not sure if people were in the mood to celebrate. But it has turned out to be a better season than anticipated,” says Meera Maran of Terra Earth Store.
Orders have been steady; the only thing that has changed is mode of delivery. “This year, individuals gave us bulk orders with addresses of friends and families asking us to deliver the boxes on their behalf,” says Meera, adding: “Corporates are trying to connect with their staff who are now working from home. We delivered 8,000 corporate gift boxes across the country for a company.”
Terra has three types of thematic gift boxes: the Earth collection (predominantly ragi, red rice, palm jaggery and filter coffee), Go Green (sweets/savouries made of spinach, wheatgrass, green beans, chilies and karpooravalli) and Sunshine collection where turmeric, besan and carrot dominate.
“This year we have a launched a laddu assortment box that has been well-received,” says Meera. Popular options include wheatgrass kudhiravali laddu, thinai fig and honey laddu, sathumaavu-flaxseed laddu, and turmeric cardamom laddu. A box of 20 is priced at ₹800.
To order, call 99406 38931
Staff at Subham Ganesan Marriage Catering Services, Mandaveli, are working round the clock packing Deepavali bakshanams for door delivery.
“Orders started coming in much ahead of the festival. In fact, we have been receiving more orders this time than last year,” says Subham Ganesan adding that customers are picking up their orders via delivery apps or having them couriered even if they have to shell out more.
“We have neither scaled down the quantity nor reduced the number of varieties we usually offer,” he adds.
As always, this year too, their popular items such as special mixture, ribbon pakoda, Horlicks Mysorepa and jangri are fast disappearing from their shelves.
To order, call 96000 61064
“For the first time, we got bulk orders from Kenya this year: We shipped traditional sweets and savouries to Indians living there,” says Nalina Kannan, proprietor, Thaligai Restaurant, Mylapore.
She says they also packed a large number of thala Deepavali seer bakshanams [sweets for couples celebrating their first Deepavali after their wedding] this week.
Many of these were shipped across the country and overseas. “Couples celebrating their first Deepavali are unable to travel to their parents’ homes due to the pandemic. Which is why the parents are sending them sweets,” she says.
The restaurant is trying to engage more senior cooks as wedding caterers do not have big events booked this season.
There is one more perk this year: a hot jangri counter. “Jambu Nathan from Kanchipuram, has joined our team. He is a jangri, coffee and paal payasam master,” says Nalina. The live counter will be open from 3pm to 5 pm till November 14.
Well-known for their nokkal and manoharam, Thaligai has now added dry fruit halwa to its Deepavali sweets menu.
To order, call 9962599151
At Mannvasanai organic store in Kodambakkam, sweets and savouries made of heritage rice and millets steal the show.
“Even though we have been supplying Deepavali snacks for the past 10 years, it is only this year that corporates have ordered from us. We assume that this trend is due to an increased awareness on eating healthy,” says E Menaka, the proprietor.
At Mannvasanai, the thinai boondhi laddu and thinai adhirasam are a hit. “We have introduced kattuyanam aval navadhanya mixture this year. Popular snacks on our list are kichili samba milagu murukku, mappilai samba laddu and kambu ribbon pakoda,” she adds.
To order, call 98841 66772.