Hi, In this episode of our interview series, "What's Cooking", we are bringing two home chefs of Ahmedabad. They have the same reason of starting their home cooking business - Taking care of young children and passion for cooking. 

Ritvija had worked in travel and tourism industry for almost a decade. She had taken a break when her son was born. She could not go back to work as she wanted to enjoy  her son's growing up years. But as it happens in most of the working women's cases, after being stay at home mum for some time, she started contemplating something to start of her own. Leaving her son at home and going out to work just disappeared from her plans. While being at home, she found her passion about cooking. Whenever any of her close friends or local relatives had guests at home, she used to support them by sending some of her signature dishes. In those days, she never used to charge and was doing it to help them and for her own enjoyment. Slowly, with the support and suggestion from her husband and in-laws, she started her cooking venture - RITVIJA' KITCHEN. After taking the plunge, she said there was no looking back. Her cooking has evolved with time. Her kitchen became her training academy and support of local community of "mum's chefs" became her mentor in this journey. She used to try  new dishes and her family and friends became her tasters. She standardizes her recipes before adding them to her menu.

Petpuja: What did you feel while taking your passion to profession? 

Ritvija: I had both fears and butterflies in my stomach 😋. While transiting from passion to profession, from close group to open market, I had few open ended questions in my mind -  will people like my food or will I get any orders? These questions were weighing upon my mind. But with support from my family and friends, I started my venture. The local platforms "Konnect" and "Moms Chef" proved to be boon for me. My first order was for 60 persons. That first order settled all my anxieties.

Petpuja: That's a  great start! So, it has been almost an year since you started your journey as a foodpreneur. How has been your experience till date?

Ritvija: The journey has been amazing. With every order, I was evolving as an entrepreneur and as a human being too. In initial days, we had logistic issues and we sorted them out faster than we ever thought. When you are determined to do something, different ways open up and one can always find light at the end of the tunnel. I see a better version of myself every day. I feel more self confident and accomplished as I am doing what I enjoy. 

Ritvija cater to wide variety of people. They are mainly who appreciate hygienic & healthy home cooked food. On daily basis she caters to working couple, corporate lunches , elderly people and students staying alone and away from their families

One of their segment caters to elderly people who need special kind of food as advised by their doctors. Ritvija' Kitchen has become a blessing for people who were home quarantined in these COVID times. They had catered to many Covid patients and families when the neighbors and people around them refused to support them. 👏👏

Ritvija's thoughts about the increasing demand of healthy foods: Healthy food has come in center stage these days as more and more people are becoming aware. Thanks to social media and availability of different resources. I, as home chef is very responsible towards supplying healthy food. We at Ritvija' Kitchen use the best quality products and use oil in controlled quantities. All greens and dairy products are procured fresh and spices are home made. 

RITVIJA' Kitchen serves multi Indian cuisines food. The most popular foods are from Gujarati, Punjabi, South Indian cuisines. Indian street food which are very  popular with clients are  panipuri, ragda- pattice & chole- tikki. 

Talking about her future plans, Ritvija says she is planning to open a central kitchen to cater to more people. She is planning to build a team of women who are passionate about cooking. Thus empowering them to be financially  independent. She is also planning to add more cuisines to offer more choices to food enthusiasts. 

Petpuja: Do you think client's feedback is important? How do you use these feedback? 

Ritvija: Feedback is important. Critical feedback helps in improvements and positive feedback motivates to do better. I remember one of the best compliments came from a 75 years old granny who said your food is so much similar to my mom's. Your food has freshen up her memories. This was very overwhelming. I strongly believe that criticisms is pivotal to improve on expectations and we accept the same with grace and make sure we work to overcome that and is not repeated again.

Petpuja: What is your message to women who are thinking of taking home cooking as profession?

Ritvija: Every one has some hidden talent. If cooking happens to be your passion, whatever be the age just go for it and pursue your dreams. 

Petpuja: Thanks Ritvija for sharing your journey with us. We wish you a great future ahead! 

Ritvija can be contacted for orders and catering service queries at 9998109040. She is based in Ahmedabad. 


Our next home chef is beautiful Jalpa ! Jalpa and I live in the same society.  Our morning and evening walking times coincide many times and we exchanged  few smiles . None of us know each other by name at that time. Around Uttarayan last year, in our society's whats-app group, she sent a message  for Undhiyu order booking. Undhiyu is a mixed vegetable and cereal dish , which is specially made on Uttarayan in Gujarat. She is a Gujarati and I thought of giving  her order to have an authentic Undhiyu. She came herself to deliver and then we came to know about each other. Her Undhiyu was super tasty and since then I have become a fan of her Gujarati dishes. I have seen her grow strength by strength over time. While doing this series, I thought of calling her to have her consent to participate in the series. She happily agreed  to share her journey with us. 

 Petpuja: Welcome to the blog, Jalpa . Home cooking is a tough choice as a business especially in Ahmedabad which is hot and very hot for 11 months in an year. Cooking in hot weather is tough.How come you have zeroed in on this? 

Jalpa: I had this burning desire of doing something of my own since years. However like any other mother, my  primary focus was on taking care of my children . Children grew up fast and here I am with my venture - YUMMY TUMMY. 

Petpuja: Are you fond of cooking or have been  trained professionally in cooking skills? 

Jalpa: Nah, I have not taken any professional training but cooking was always a stress buster for me. Slowly, I found that cooking for the family gives me immense satisfaction and happiness. Lately, I have become very passionate about cooking. However I strongly believe that if you pursue what you love, you create miracles. It has been proven for me. I love cooking. It is a fact that my love and passion for cooking  has helped me get recognition.

Petpuja:  Did you feel any butterflies in stomach before going commercial?😊
Jalpa: I am born in a business family and surrounded by people who are highly confident and supportive so I never had any kinds of fear. I believe fear exists only when one has doubt on one's acumen to deal with the subject. If one is confident about one's skills, there should not be any fear around.

Petpuja:  What's the USP of your products?

Jalpa: Well, our tag line says it all - "What we eat at home is what we serve".  I give special emphasis to quality of ingredients and hygiene.  Our  prices are higher given the quality we use but we are clear that we will serve only quality food and will not use commercial ingredients.

Petpuja: Please share your experience of running your enterprise. 

Jalpa: Mine is a very nascent enterprise. My husband always wanted me to use my skills to set up some enterprise and he kept pushing me to start as early. He is an Assistant Vice President with one of the renowned conglomerate but he never shies off to deliver my food parcels. With his support  and having grown up children, I decided to kick start my food venture. We started  by putting up a food stall in our own society's  fare. We got a very good response and by word of mouth publicity we grew faster than expected. 

Petpuja:  What kind of people are you serving?
Jalpa: Currently, we are at a very nascent stage of our business and hence with limited bandwidth, we are catering to few households as per the requirement. We  have plans to expand but we are not in hurry. We want to grow the business  ethically.With COVID 19 entry into our life, things had come to a halt . With easing out of restrictions, we have restarted and getting great response. 

Petpuja: Which are most popular items of your kitchen?
Jalpa: My most popular items are   Gujarati dhokla, Dabeli, Pizza, Garlic bread, Chhole Kulcha, Manchurian and Lunch/Dinner  packs. Gujarati cuisine is my forte. 
Petpuja:  What are your future plans?
Jalpa: We would like to en-cash on the opportunities lying with e-commerce. 

Petpuja:  These days people are very health conscious. What's your take on making healthy meals?
Jalpa: In my opinion, Indian cuisine itself is very healthy. But we are getting huge demands for  healthy salad platters, fresh juices etc from our customers, so  we shall  be adding them soon. We are working on standardizing the content and menu. 

Petpuja:  In any enterprise, as they say, customer is the king. Do you remember any instance which has really boosted your moral and motivations?
Jalpa: There are many happy moments in this journey but one comment from a client is very close to my heart. She said  " Jalpa tera khana khane ke baad baccho ko mera pasand nahi aa raha". We keep hearing that Maa ke khane se accha kuch nahi hota and when a mom gives such compliment , this is really heart warming and motivating too. 

Petpuja:  It's well known fact that we can not keep everybody happy. There must be some customers who may not be happy with the food, quantity or pricing. How do you handle such critical reactions?
Jalpa: Critical? I would say they're well-wishers who wants me to improve and excel. That's how I perceive it.

Petpuja: What is your message to women, who may be exploring home-cooking as a business?
Jalpa: My message is simple. Do only if it's your passion. If it's passion, you will excel irrespective of the circumstances.
Jalpa can be contacted at 

Here's the hit recipe from the "YUMMY TUMMY" Kitchen

White Dhokla

Rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 1/4 cup
Chopped Ginger - 1/2 inch
Chopped Green Chilli - 1pc
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1/2 teaspoon
Eno - 1 tablespoon

1. Soak 1 cup regular rice  and ¼ cup urad dal for 3-4 hours. Drain the water and then grind the rice, urad dal, ½ inch chopped ginger and 1 chopped green chili with 2 to 3 tbsp water.

The batter should be thick. You should be able to feel the grainy texture of rice in the batter. When grinding, the urad dal will grind till smooth & pasty but the rice grains take some more time. A slightly grainy texture of the rice in the batter is preferred. You can also grind them separately if you want.

2. Add ½ cup sour yogurt/curd and salt as required.

3. Mix well and keep the batter to ferment overnight or for 7-8 hours.

4. Add ½ tsp oil to the batter and stir. This helps in the softness of the dhokla.

5. Add 1 tsp Eno or fruit salt to the batter. You can also add ½ tsp baking soda in place of Eno. Be quick  to stir and mix the fruit salt evenly in the batter.

6. Pour the batter in a greased steamer pan and sprinkle with black pepper powder, red chili powder and roasted sesame seeds. The amount of black pepper powder, red chili powder and roasted sesame seeds is as per your taste.

7. Steam in a steamer or a pan for 20-25 minutes or till an inserted toothpick  comes out clean.

8: White dhokla need not be tempered. you can serve them straight. Slice into squares or diamonds. Serve it  either warm or at room temperature with coriander chutney or with any sweet chutney.

Jalpa can be contacted at 9416768434.
Her email id is - JALPA.PAREKH77@GMAIL.COM