Almost everyone must have eaten pickles of mango, lemon, cabbage, carrot. But have you ever eaten chicken, mutton, prawn pickle? Yes, you read it absolutely right. This may be a new thing for non-veg eaters as well, so forget the veg ones. Now the question will be that where will these pickles be found and who makes them? These pickles have been prepared by Mumbai-based home-chef Inderpreet Nagpal, also known as ‘Rummy’. Inderpreet through her brand name, ‘Herbs n Spices’ is serving people not only different dishes but also more than 100 types of pickles, jams and sauces.
Interestingly, she has been working as a home chef for almost 21 years. However, he started the pickle business only a few years back and after that he branded his business. Speaking to The Better India, 49-year-old Inderpreet spoke about how a simple girl who grew up in Amritsar has left a mark on her hand in cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Mumbai. In the last 21 years, Inderpreet lived in many different cities, but she never gave up her work. Because cooking and feeding people is more a way for them to live their passion than to earn money.
Growing up in an ordinary Amritsari family, Inderpreet had seen different types of pickles being prepared in her house since childhood. The traditional methods by which his mother and grandmother make pickles or chutneys or any other dish are still fresh in his mind. Apart from this, over time, inspired by the cuisines of different places, he has also prepared some of his new recipes.
She says, “I was very fond of cooking since childhood and that is probably why, I completed my graduation in Home Science. After college, I got married and moved to Pune with my husband.”
Entrepreneurial journey started with cooking classes
Inderpreet never thought about things like business or startup. She continued to do in Pune what she had seen since childhood. Make different types of pickles at home or prepare different types of dishes on special occasions in a hurry. The food prepared by him or the pickle, which he ate once, did not get tired of praising him. People around him started making pickles for their homes, and many of his friends asked him to teach their daughters how to cook.
“Earlier, I used to make pickles or any other dish and deliver it to my neighbors without taking any money. But then they felt very strange that I do not take any money. Many people told me that I should take some money for this work. It would be sometime in the year 1998, when I started ‘Rummy’s Kitchen’ at home and started giving cooking classes to girls. Most of these were girls who were either fond of cooking or had to cook themselves if someone wanted to go out to study,” he said.
While batches of cooking classes were going on, they started getting orders for cooking from people. Inderpreet says that she started working as a home chef over the weekend. Earlier, he used to get orders from near his house. But then he himself made small posters with his own hands and got Xerox out of them and put them in some space. Many times he gave the newspaper to his brother that he would deliver the newspaper from door to door. She says, “There was no social media and no mobile phone usage at that time. So if someone had to place an order, they would come beforehand on the landline or personally tell me what day, what dishes, how much quantity they wanted and I used to make them and deliver them or they would come and take them themselves.
His work did not stop even after the city changed
Inderpreet says that after living in Pune for a few years, she shifted to Bangalore with her family. But even after coming here, he started his work again. “Whenever you have a passion and a passion for something, wherever you are, you make your way. After moving to any new place, it takes you two or three months to settle down. After this, your acquaintance with people starts increasing. If people start knowing you then you can start your work easily. I did the same thing, made some of my own posters and got them installed at nearby places,” she says.
It started with a couple of orders and everyone who ate their food praised them and told others about them. Inderpreet says that during all this she never stopped learning. Rather, he enrolled his children in Montessori School, where he came to know about the teacher training program. He felt that he should do this course and he did that course. After completing the course, he also worked for some time in the same Montessori school. Along with this job, she also ran her food business on weekends.
She says, “You should always be learning something. One should try new things and never hold back from trying anything. Many people used to think that how do I manage home, job and my small business? But I used to enjoy it because I was doing it all on my own pleasure. At the same time, she was able to keep herself financially independent. I have got the full support of my family in this work.”
About 15 years ago, Inderpreet and her family had settled in Mumbai. In Mumbai too, he worked for some time as the in-charge of a Montessori school. But then his food business started growing, so he completely focused on it. He told that along with the home chef, he had also started the work of catering for small and big events. In the last few years, with the advent of internet, mobile, social media, his work also increased a lot and his name became known even outside Mumbai.
Talking about her routine, she says, “I start preparing my lunch orders at 5.30 am. This work goes on till eight o’clock. Then from eight o’clock I focus on household chores. Children’s college, someone’s office, household chores, while doing all this, it is ten and eleven o’clock. After that, I again get involved in preparing all the orders and deliver on time. During the day, I also take some rest and then from 4 o’clock work starts on the dinner orders, which I deliver to the customers by 6.30 pm. After that I spend all my time with my family.”
Along with her time-management, Inderpreet is also completely honest with her clients. Also, she never returns the customers disappointed. Let’s say they have fixed their menu for some day. But if someone has requested her for another dish, instead of refusing her, she tries to make a dish for him. That’s why more than half of their customers are now regulars, who definitely order once or twice a week. Every week they get around 70 food orders.
Apart from this, they also keep getting orders for small and big catering. To help him with his work, he has hired a woman, who helps him in cutting vegetables or making any other preparations. She told that she keeps Mondays and Tuesdays off in a week because on these two days she does her pickles, jams and sauces.
Makes more than 100 types of pickles
Inderpreet says that at present her food business is limited only in Mumbai. But people from other places also ask about pickles and so few years back he decided to start his own pickle business. So that we can spread the taste of our hands all over the country. He told that apart from making some common and seasonal pickles, he also prepared some different and brand new pickle recipes. Today she is providing more than 100 types of pickles to the customers. Some of these are year-round pickles, while some are made only according to the season. At the same time, she makes some pickles only on order.
Apart from mango, lemon, she also makes pickles of things like cabbage, carrot, bitter gourd, ladyfinger, radish, brinjal, potato, guava, jackfruit, kachalu. In non-veg pickles, she delivers pickles of chicken, fish, mutton, prawn etc. to the people. Apart from pickles, she is also making many types of jams, schezwan sauces. Inderpreet says that she gets orders from different corners of the country. He started his work with a very low cost and then continued to invest in the business he earned. Now she earns up to 10 lakh rupees annually from this business.
Tushar, who bought a variety of pickles from him, says that he had ordered pickles like chicken, mutton, prawn, garlic from him and all the pickles were one after the other. The more you eat the pickle made by them, the more you will feel like eating it. That’s why Tushar now advises everyone to order pickles from him only. At the same time, another of his customers, Devbrata, says that he had never eaten such a good fish pickle before. He said, “The matter of pickles made by Inderpreet is different. The best part is that Inderpreet does not add any preservatives or any other additives to her pickles.”
There are more achievements
She says that she has always learned that the food should be pure and well prepared so that the eater can bless you. That’s why she keeps complete honesty in her work. In addition, she is also upgrading herself from time to time. She has learned new age techniques from her daughters and now stays connected with her customers through Instagram and Facebook. Apart from her business, Inderpreet has also participated in cook shows. The unique recipes created by him have been featured in good places many times.
She said, “I had appeared in an episode of the cooking show ‘The Khan Sisters’. Apart from this, I participated in Sanjeev Kapoor ji’s show and won the cook show. That was a big achievement for me. I have also received Home Chef and Baker’s award 2020.” Despite so many achievements, for Inderpreet even today no one is more than his customers. She says that she really wants to feed the best food to the people. If you want to know more about their dishes or want to order pickles, you can follow them on Instagram.
Editing – G N Jha
Image credit: Inderpreet Nagpal
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