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Ambika Somasundaran’s merchandise embody the soup powder, mixes of millet, payasam and breakfast flour

Ambika Somasundaran’s merchandise embody the soup powder, mixes of millet, payasam and breakfast flour

It was a big gamble for Ambika Somasundaran when she resigned from her well-paid job and have become an entrepreneur in 2017. Nevertheless, it has paid off. Immediately, she runs Kariat Dry Meals, a enterprise enterprise at Marottichal within the Puthur panchayat of Thrissur district. Along with flours, curry masalas and powders below the model title, Dry Combine, the corporate sells value-added merchandise from moringa (drumstick).

“I labored with ESAF Small Finance Financial institution for 17 years and as a part of my job, I used to conduct and coordinate entrepreneurship growth, talent growth and consciousness programmes. Ultimately, I developed an curiosity to grow to be an entrepreneur. So I selected to resign and pursue my dream,” she says.

When it got here to zeroing in on a enterprise thought, Ambika says that she had a number of choices. “Ours is a hilly terrain the place there are sufficient uncooked supplies within the type of greens, turmeric, nendran bananas and jackfruit. With the steering of District Industrial Centre I took a subsidy below the Prime Minister’s Employment Era Programme [PMEGP] to begin the enterprise,” she says.

Value-added products from drumstick manufactured by Ambika Somasundaran

Worth-added merchandise from drumstick manufactured by Ambika Somasundaran
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Her goal was to make “safe-to-eat merchandise” made out of locally-available produce and make use of ladies in her neighbourhood. “These ladies needed to grow to be economically unbiased. However due to the restrictions in a patriarchal set-up, they weren’t able to do something on their very own. They instructed me that if I began one thing, they might come to work for me,” remembers Ambika.

Kickstarting the enterprise

She launched her enterprise by promoting curry powders, and flours to make breakfast dishes equivalent to idiyappam, idli, dosa and puttu in addition to completely different styles of sun-dried wafers ( kondattams). “However it’s an immensely aggressive subject and I needed to give you one thing new. That’s how I ended up experimenting with completely different sorts of flour to make puttu and merchandise made out of drumsticks,” she explains.

Women at work at Ambika Somasundaran's food processing unit, Kariat Dry Foods, in Marottichal, Thrissur

Girls at work at Ambika Somasundaran’s meals processing unit, Kariat Dry Meals, in Marottichal, Thrissur
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Puttu, a breakfast staple, is often made with rice flour. Dry Combine has 10 kinds of puttu flour with rice flour as a base. There’s flour with carrot, beetroot, banana, inexperienced gram, jackfruit, jackfruit seed, corn, peanut, ragi and njavara rice.

As for drumstick merchandise, there may be powder, rice flour and soup combine made out of drumstick leaves. They had been launched in August 2021 by Minister for Agriculture P Prasad. “A buyer had requested for drumstick leaves powder. Across the identical time, a pal had inquired if I might assist with making a dish within the colors of our Nationwide Flag for a contest in his ward’s faculty. By then I used to be already experimenting with manufacturing drumstick powder. As soon as I examined it with my common clients, I used to be assured about launching it. My pal’s baby made puttu within the colors of the flag and gained first prize as nicely!” she says.

Ambika Somasundaran's food venture has flours for making 10 varieties of 'puttu'

Ambika Somasundaran’s meals enterprise has flours for making 10 styles of ‘puttu’
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Her enterprise is supported by Ollur Krishi Samridhi (OKS), a farmer producer organisation (FPO), which falls within the constituency of Ollur MLA and Minister for Income, Ok Rajan. The FPO launched a programme to propagate drumstick cultivation in January 2020 below which 10,000 drumstick saplings had been distributed to 4 panchayats.

P. Anitha, professor, Division of Vegetable Science at Faculty of Agriculture, Kerala Agricultural College, had taken consciousness lessons in these panchayats on planting the saplings and taking good care of them. She, alongside together with her scholar, Anitta Judy Kurian, had performed a research in 2018-19 to guage nutrient composition in numerous styles of drumsticks as a part of a “plant challenge” funded by the Authorities of Kerala. “We collected 25 drumstick varieties that had been within the fifth 12 months of planting. Drumstick is a reservoir of vitamins, starting from proteins, vitamin C and A, minerals equivalent to calcium, iron and potassium, antioxidant compounds and the like. Nations equivalent to Thailand and Malaysia are far forward in manufacturing value-added merchandise from drumstick; Kerala is taking child steps on this route,” says Dr Anitha.

Drumstick soup mix

Drumstick soup combine
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Ambika is at the moment sourcing leaves from households in her neighbourhood. “We give ₹30 per kilogram of leaves. They must take away the principle stem solely. The leaves are totally cleaned in turmeric water to take away bugs/worms and dust. They’re put within the drier the identical day itself and the dried leaves are packed in air-tight containers. We powder them as wanted. To get one kilogram of dry leaves, we’d like a minimum of eight kilograms of recent leaves. And when the dry leaves are made into powder, one other 100 grams or so are misplaced,” she says.

Product vary

The drumstick powder can be utilized in curries. It can be had with water or buttermilk. “The ready-to-mix soup powder has cumin, pepper, shallots and garlic. Combine it in water and boil. Shallots sauteed in oil or ghee could be added for flavour. The drumstick rice flour can be utilized to make dishes equivalent to puttu or idiyappam or could be added to idli/dosa dough,” Ambika explains.

Ambika Somasundaran

Ambika Somasundaran
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Drumstick millet combine, chutney powder and rasam combine from drumstick leaves are a few of the different merchandise. There’s a payasam combine as nicely, with drumstick flesh and manicholam (Sorghum). She additionally plans to fabricate oil from drumstick seeds. “We’ve got bought the equipment to make drumstick powder capsules. In the meantime, Ollur Krishi Samridhi has initiated steps to export drumstick merchandise, puttu flours and millet combine, which are available three varieties. We’re wanting on the West Asia market initially,” she says.

Drumstick merchandise can be found at SARAS Mela at the moment on at Kanakakkunnu grounds in Thiruvananthapuram. They are often purchased on-line as nicely. Contact: 9539731501.

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