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    Enkay’s in Kilpauk offers ready-to-fry starters and a lime juice concentrate with a twist

    The city is choc-a-block with home cooks and caterers offering signatures varying from desserts to pastas and pickles. Most of them have a steady following of loyalists who swear by their recipes. So how different is Gayathri Nandakumar from the others, we wonder, as we look up her Facebook page, Enkay’s, which she started in July. “I have been cooking since the third standard,” says the graduate who completed her engineering earlier this year. We almost think she’s joking and ask her where she learnt to cook after seeing names like fish in oyster sauce, herb crusted sausages and crab cutlets  on her menu. “I have never gone for a cooking class. I taste something and try to recreate it at home,” is her reply.
    After completing her engineering, Nandakumar convinced her parents that cooking was her calling, and Enkay’s is her way of testing the waters. “I want to open a cafe by the end of 2016 and need to know if my cooking will sell,” she explains. Working from her home in Kilpauk, Nandakumar restricts herself to five orders a day and has partnered with We Deliver Local to send her food across town (you pay for delivery, of course). From butter garlic prawns to herb crusted fish and pasta made with sauces that are not thickened with any kind of flour, orders have been pouring in from members of the Chennai Food Guide and through referrals. But interestingly, a unanimous favourite (and we agree after tasting them) is her selection of crumb fried dishes (chicken, paneer, fish, etc) that she also offers in a ready-to-cook format. “They are meant to be hot and customers are happy to fry them at home,” she says, adding that her assortment of crumb fried starters have also been ordered for small parties. “Also the lime concentrate that I learnt from my grandmother. It is simple, with mint, ginger, etc in a specific proportion that gives it a twist,” she adds. We know what we’re going to order next.
    Crumb fried starters from Rs 200 onwards. A day’s notice required on all orders. Details: 07299023000
     Ryan Peppin

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