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With Arokya Nature Restaurant, Nagajothi Venkatesan hopes to get more people hooked to organic food

Last September, Nagajothi Venkatesan started Arokya Nature Restaurant and the Aaraamthinai organic outlet in Vysial Street—the first millet restaurant and store in Pondicherry. The underlying concept is to do away with ‘white poisons’, or white rice and refined sugar, to be more precise. “We follow what people followed several years ago. I was inspired by the teachings of Ayurvedic Dr Sivaraman to start the store that uses different varieties of millets for all its food items,” says Venkatesan, who has a masters in agriculture.

arok3Look out for their popular dishes like vegetable pulao, adai, panniyarum and dosai (varieties like ragi and kambu). “We have herbal dosais like mudakathan dosai, which is good for joint pain and thuduvelai dosai, which is good for cold. All the food is made from millets like kodo, foxtail and barnyard. We also use red rice and beaten rice flakes,” says Venkatesan. To wash all this down, you can choose from their health drinks like ashwagandha, triphala and vegetable juices like carrot, beetroot and bittergourd. Does this mean ‘no’ to desserts? “We make desserts like adhirasam using palm jaggery, sugarcane jaggery and honey. We even share recipes with those who are interested. Nowadays, people eat noodles and the like, not understand ing how badly it affects their bodies. Even if our ancestors ate just once a day, they ate healthy food,” she says. The store also has five varieties of millets, flour, cereals, flakes, pulses/lentils, and herbal, baby and health care products for sale.

Their lunch (Rs. 40) includes five varities of rice and two side dishes. The store is open from 8 am to 9.30 am. Details: 0413 2342921
— Mrinalini Sundar

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