Innovators: Sunny and Manoj
Vocation: Health-oriented restaurantiers
Location: Mewar, Rajasthan
There were once two friends with a similar passion. One of them used to help his father sell kachori and samosa on a cart while the other worked as a helper at people’s homes. However, both learnt to cook from their father and mother, respectively, and decided to carve out a new road ahead of them. The two friends travelled across the country in pursuits of more knowledge about matters that interested them —treatment through herbs, innovation from waste and farming. Eventually, they decided to go back to their passion and make a living out of it.
This is the story of Sunny and Manoj, who now run a restaurant in Mewar called Millets of Mewar. Millets of Mewar is not just another restaurant but stems from an idea and a revolution to promote better health and environment.
Sunny and Manoj believe our bodies are like temples. To nourish our souls, we have to give ample food to it.
There is a saying in Mewari language that goes something like this: “As is the food, so will be the thinking.” This saying forms the basis of Millets of Mewar. The two friends believe that what we consume goes to our hearts, our minds, our emotions, eventually becoming a part of us.
Millets of Mewar experiments in amalgamating traditional crops with contemporary food. So their menu comprises of delicacies like Ragi Tacos, Kangani ka Pizza and Hamo ki Tikiya, among others. This way, the restaurant serves it customers food that is not made of maida, is not instant food and has not lost its nutrients in the process of being cooked. At Millets of Mewar, Sunny and Manoj, thus, promote Slow Food — food that is cooked over a longer period of time or in leisure, ensuring retentions of maximum nutrients.
At Millets of Mewar, one realises cooking is an art and learns about the true diversity of healthy food.
In today’s global food chain, most people, in India especially, depend on wheat and rice as staple food. These do not only harm our body but also cause damage to our environment. To grow these crops, farmers have to spray chemicals, pesticides and water, thereby “poisoning” our soil and the eventual consumers of the food.
The restaurant, thus, uses desi (native) crops in its food. Desi crops are naturally grown around us, without the need of any chemical or pesticide and with just one-fourth amount of water compared to what we need to grow wheat and rice.
Sunny and Manoj can be an inspiration for people with a passion of cooking. They are an example for people who can set new standards for natural crops for healthy eating.