An urban meal with loads of goodness
Visakhapatnam-based Meghna's venture ‘The Urban Meal’ is about whipping up fresh and healthy salads, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian for the health conscious
Emptying the containers of sliced capsicum, lettuce, chunks of paneer, diced tomatoes and onions into a large tray, Meghna Koneru mixes them with required salt, pepper along with a handful of herbs and loads of love.
Guarded with gloves, an apron and a cap, she gets creative at the counter while dishing out portions of salads and packing them with care to deliver to her clients, who will be receiving them within a couple of hours.
Meghna's recent venture 'The Urban Meal' revolves around whipping up healthy salads, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
Egg salad with multigrain toast, chickpea and sweet potato salad, honey soy paneer salad, sprout salad, Thai peanut or chicken salad, sautéed mushrooms with Alfredo sauce and toast, Greek chicken or paneer salad with tzatziki sauce are some of the varieties that dot the menu. Interestingly, these are being served with fresh and handpicked dressings and homemade sauces.
Passionate about cooking since the age of nine, Meghna says that serving healthy portions of meals to her clients delights her beyond anything else.
Her endeavour turned out to be an instant hit among the health-conscious lot. "They are safe, healthy and filling and have either low or no carbohydrates at all," Meghna clarifies.
After completing her master's in computer science, in the US, Meghna decided to extend unconditional support to her mother N Anita, who is also an entrepreneur.
However, she preferred to wield a kitchen knife and a chopping board rather than climbing up the ladder of success in the corporate world.
"Cooking has been an integral part of my life ever since my childhood. Wielding the ladle in the kitchen started with my father when we used to team up to prepare meals for the family on Sundays.
I used to look forward to weekends then. Though my father is no more, my love for cooking never left me," she says.
When Meghna was into a diet plan, she preferred salads during dinner. "I made them with innovative combinations and dressings.
When my cousin K. Mahesh and my friend Lakshmi got to taste them, they were extremely impressed and could not help asking for more," she recalls how her friends coaxed her into starting her venture in Visakhapatnam.
"The Urban Meal came into existence after my friends pushed me into the idea. My husband Yeshwanth and my mother infused confidence in me to take the endeavour forward.
Today, the menu has over 15 options and caters to 30 clients residing at Lawson's Bay Colony, Seethammadhara, Beach Road and among other colonies.
Those, who are allergic to any particular ingredient like tomatoes or potatoes, replacements are being made," elaborates Meghna.
A lot of research has gone into bringing out each recipe and it is tried and experimented with family and friends before adding to the menu.
Those who like to explore the salads can do so by going in for a weekly subscription.
"Nutrition consultant and founder of Starlite Nutrition and Wellness Centre Anjali Dange assists in giving the nutritional value of each meal and also dishes out a couple of salads to the clients," says Meghna.
She says that order should be placed at least a day ahead. "I am very particular about serving the salads fresh.
The dressings are served separately to retain the crunchiness of the salads. Care is also taken not to waste food," concludes Meghna.
No wonder, her clients get back to her complimenting her recipes and many subscribe to the cyclic menu designed from Monday to Friday.