Slurrp Exclusive: Home Chef Manjari Singh On Her Journey To The Bihari Cuisine Cloud Kitchen
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“The Chhaunk'' was established in July 2021. It is a Gurgaon based cloud kitchen startup that exclusively offers Bihari Food. With COVID-19 having been altered – and still, in the process of transforming – the new normal. The food industry suffered, but the crisis lies in opportunity. The (Saas-Bahu duo) two women entrepreneurs, Mrs Hiranyamayi Shivani and Mrs Manjari Singh, gathered the courage to launch a homemade FOOD EXPERIENCE. Setting up the business wasn't planned, but Mrs Hiranyami got stuck during the lockdown and couldn't go home. Since she loved cooking, this idea came up, and it was beautifully implemented. A food recipe from a mother has a lot of essences, relaxedness, calmness and a plethora of love. The Chhaunk got all this because of Mrs Hiranyami's recipes- the mother of Bihari Recipes. Good cuisine binds us to create memories and is something everyone fond of. With the thought of bringing street food stories along with the traditional Bihari taste, The Chhaunk is thrilled to share their amazing Bihari Platter so that their stories reach the fulfilling palates of family and friends. 

Amidst the COVID-19 impact on the food and beverage industry, what inspired you to start your venture in the cloud kitchen industry?

No doubt, the restaurant and cloud kitchen segment had been affected a lot due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and now one more virus, the omicron, is lurking around the world.

Establishing this business was not pre-planned, but during the lockdown, my mother-in-law, Mrs Hirayama Shivani, age-58, could not return to her birthplace Bihar. Also, many immigrants could not visit their hometown for months and must have missed out on a harmonious dinner with their families. As she enjoyed cooking, an idea occurred in her mind: why not bring food to individuals who live away from their hometown, those who got stuck, and provide them with a homemade food feeling.

So, we helped each other, and we 'SaaS-Bahu' originated 'The Chhaunk' that brings homemade Bihari Cuisines to the doorstep. Finding Bihari cuisine in every restaurant is effortless, but the traditional homemade taste is not easy to get everywhere. We've all grown up hearing stories about food & culture for years, delicious food & traditional culture, which has brought us together to figure out memories and bond with our peers. 

What sort of packaging is used by The Chhaunk, keeping COVID protocols in mind?

Nowadays, everyone is concerned about their safety. When it comes to delivering our food, we have kept all of the Covid-19 protocols in mind as a company. There is no commercialization of the meal preparation, and everything is the same as any Bihar home. For food packing resources, we've partnered with the Favola brand. We are 100% dedicated to being a green company, and we do not practice any help in the restaurant that are detrimental to the environment. Furthermore, we practice glass packaging to give nonleaded, freeze-safe, and leak-proof food. The vessels are also completely sealed for the customer's convenience.

How will you expand the demand for Bihari food?

Bihari cuisine is one of the most sumptuous cuisines. Since we have detected the unavailability of Bihari food in most of the restaurants, that’s why we get you the yummiest Bihari food which contains Litti Chokha, Bhat, Dal, Roti, Tarkari, and a lot more. Bihari’s missed the taste of their mother’s home-cooked food. Therefore, we present you with one of the most diverse cuisines globally, which was consistently underestimated due to the unfocused approach by brands that it always deserved. The demand for any food item is raised by its taste.

Was the 2021 Diwali season an excellent opportunity for The Chhaunk? 

The previous festive season evidenced a turnaround for our sales volume. We received orders more than we had predicted as people are now more fond of culinary, which they haven't practised yet and the Bihari Cuisines is one of them. As a result, 60% of our sales spiked compared with our regular days.

What is your way of preparing food?

There is no blending here; instead, a 100 per cent pure traditional method of preparing is employed. To give our food a homemade and classic sensation, we use homegrown spices and resources to make many dishes.

How are the chefs learning recipes from your kitchen?

Homemade spices, prepared and used in almost every Bihar home kitchen, have significantly influenced us. We closely follow the same procedures and apply only the herbs we produce ourselves. We have trained chefs in regional cuisines who will prepare the dishes according to the mother's directives. They are willing to learn about the ingredients and recipes that the mother has given them, and they are executing them to the letter.

How is the saas-bahu duo helping grow this venture even further in the coming years?

It's significant to have a great partnership when running a business. As a saas-bahu pair, we are enormously helpful to each other. Currently based in Gurgaon, we plan to increase across Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Goa, Bangalore, and Jaipur within the following year. Similarly, early this year, we have launched two outlets in Manesar, Sector-52 and Gurgaon (Sector 85). In the upcoming 2-3 years, we will open at least 50+ outlets to deliver the best homemade Bihari Authentic food.