serving with endurance – The Hindu

Opika classes by Sarojini Dantapalli and Dwithya Raghavan take care of native seasonal produce, studying about fermented meals and understanding microbes

Opika classes by Sarojini Dantapalli and Dwithya Raghavan take care of native seasonal produce, studying about fermented meals and understanding microbes

Opika means endurance in Telugu. Fr pals Sarojini Dantapalli and Dwithya Raghavan; it means way more, it consists of their studying as they tried to benefit from seasonal greens in the course of the lockdown. This in flip led to a number of trials and errors to achieve their aim with a dish. Such is their endurance and persistence that the duo have since embarked upon Opika as a platform to unfold the message of aware use of seasonal produce.

Sarojini and Dwithya’s intention with Opika is to discover varied age-old methods of fermentation, to develop the tribe of fermenters and to be aware about our components and meals.

Aam panna by Opika

Aam panna by Opika | Photo Credit: Special association

To this finish, the duo did not merely create fermented merchandise (past sourdough), they carried out workshops, shared ebook readings and conversations and likewise hosted curated dinners that spotlight ferments.

Sarojini says respiratory within the spunky scents and tasting the complicated, edgy flavors of fermentation, led them to be taught extra every day. Dwithya says, “Our promise is a commitment to intention, to care for our environment, to be thoughtful in everything we do and, in our own imperfect way, continuously strive to live in harmony with nature.”

Taking child steps, they constructed themselves an experimental kitchen in Begumpet the place their meals fantasies take flight and no concept is just too wild. With that readily available, each month they arrange a desk for six on their terrace the place they curate a meal that highlights seasonal components and ferments within the meals and drinks. “Recipes and methods for everything that is served will be shared for free, on request, because what we want the most is more people to become fermenters,” provides Sarojini.

lacto ferment

lacto ferment | Photo Credit: particular association

Both are from non-F&B backgrounds; Sarojini is an architect and Dwithya works in schooling and analysis, it’s only their curiosity and love for studying that made them dive deeper into the world of components. Sarojini, an architect by career explains, “Opika is a nudge to pay attention, be curious and a journey of discovery. Opika asks you, ‘what do you notice when you turn down the noise of the world?’ Over the last two years, as the pandemic forced us to turn the volume dial down, we began to hear the rhythms of nature more clearly.”

With the provision chain impacted deeply for 2 years as a result of pandemic, they associated on produce that was native and seasonal. “Most importantly, in our own small ways, we started using our ingredients with intention. It is with this consciousness that we took the turn into the world of friendly microbes and we are now happy residents of this community. We reclaimed our relationships with the natural world and saw ourselves in a new light; as part of a vibrant community that is symbiotic, a community that supports mutual growth and thrives in diversity,” provides Dwithya.

Giving particulars on their relationship with microbes, Sarojini says, “While trying out various fermentation methods to cook and preserve the food, we found ourselves learning more and more on methods, temperature, influence of weather etc. Yes, we made bio-enzymes, compost pit and all, but we also made a drink from pineapple peels. Making the most from one ingredient was our lookout.”

How do they differentiate themselves from enthusiasts advocating kitchen gardens and composting kitchen waste? “We do talk about those as well, but a large part of our sessions is about understanding ingredients. We started enjoying these jam sessions in our kitchens so much that we started documenting and sharing them with our friends and family. We are now collaborating with our new invisible friends (microbes) to interact with fruits and vegetables in a way that is rooted in who we are and where we come from.”

The Opika session is internet hosting a dinner this Saturday, May 15 at Begumpet. Check @opika on Instagram or go to

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