Teacher-Turned-Chef Nidhi Mer Wants To Run An All-Women Eatery
Nidhi Mer, Founder of Flavors of Nidhi, was born and brought up in Nangal (a town in Punjab). While her first professional step was working as a school teacher, Nidhi later found love in flavours.
“I am married to a person who belongs to Gujarat, a different culture from where I grew up. It was a new experience for me to taste food from a different culture. While before my marriage, my mom taught me some basic cooking, post-marriage my mother-In-law trained me in this. I enjoyed the experience and started exploring cooking once we settled in Bangalore,” Nidhi recalled.
How cooking happened
My life took a turn after marriage when I had to shift to Bangalore for my husband’s job. Initially, I spent my days in settling down. Staying far from the family was another struggle. After my daughter started school, I had a bit time to spend or look out for other opportunities around me to explore.
During this time, one of my cousins introduced me to PinStove, where I registered as a home chef. Since then I am onboard as the work suits me perfectly.
Support from family
Our family was extremely happy to know that without stepping outside the home, we can serve customers. My in-laws own a restaurant in our hometown Barwala Ghelasha in Gujarat. So it was easy to convince the family.
Future expansion plans
“I want to open an all-women restaurant”
Being Home Chef Is: Authenticity
When a person prefers homely food, it means he/she is looking for something special rather than having the restaurant style food daily. Being a home chef, I know the feeling of tasting home-made curry. Keeping that in mind, I don’t prepare and store any masalas. I keep dry spices at home (i.e, Clove, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Star Anise) and mix them according to the dishes and make instant masala as and when needed.
USP: Taste which reminds you of the ethnicity of food
It’s always tough to convince a customer who is hungry and needs food urgently. Also, customers look out for available options that can be delivered quickly. If the customer orders and receives food that is not up to the taste or not freshly prepared, he will never order from the same place. Being a home chef means preparing food from scratch.
“Delivery is the biggest concern when I have to do it personally”
Cooking as a Liberated Profession for Women
If women are enthusiastic, they can get success in any industry. But cooking requires a passion for food. Nowadays, if women have the skill and are social media savvy, they can run the cooking show and sell delicious dishes anywhere.
“I have seen older women, who prepare authentic pickle and masalas at home, sell those items online with the help of social media. Isn’t it liberating?”
I believe women and kitchen go hand in hand but that does not mean to only cook for the family. If they are given a chance and a platform they can run their own company.
Specific Style Of Cooking
I belong to Punjabi and Gujarati family (two states famous for their cuisines). I prepare dishes like Shahi Paneer, Kadhai Paneer, different kind of parathas, Thepla and Dhokla and take orders for lunch and dinner.
About Indians Trying Out New Cuisines
India has too many states and varieties of food habits but the new generation of India believes in trying out flavours from different states.
“Success may be delayed, but nothing can stop you if you are determined”
Shattering The Norm
Women don’t belong to kitchen. They own it. We can see women taking up this challenging role like Chef Aarthi Sampath in Vikash Khanna’s restaurant. Or for instance Chef Pankaj Bhadouria, winner of 1st Master Chef India. She was a teacher and homemaker.