You would possibly recognise former actor Raveena Taurani from the 2002 movie Dil Hai Tumhara or Bang Bang (2014). Right now, nevertheless, she is thought higher as a chef and founder-CEO of Yogisattva Cafe in Bandra.
The 31-year-old’s profession path diverged after a spinal damage in 2014, she recollects. “Following the damage, I started my journey of pursuing yoga, by way of which I found plant based-food,” she recollects.
“As a baby, you’ll by no means discover me within the kitchen to prepare dinner something. To eat — sure, however cooking was a particular no,” she tells The Higher India.
Being a chef was by no means her authentic plan, however the damage pushed her to the sector. She began having fun with making do-it-yourself vegan meals, and pursued a sophisticated diploma course in plant-based delicacies.
“In 2015, the concept of placing collectively a 100 per cent vegan and gluten free cafe struck me. However we began as a small supply kitchen from house. Veganism was nonetheless a brand new subject for Indians then and never many vegan restaurant choices have been out there round,” she explains.
“By specialising in making wholesome meals tasty and accessible, I launched Yogisattva Cafe in Bandra in 2021. Right here, we serve worldwide cuisines in addition to native tastes with a wholesome twist within the substances.”
Repurposing veggie waste
It was by way of a newspaper article that Raveena got here to learn about composting and its advantages for the atmosphere. She determined to set this up for her cafe.
Yogisattva recycles all of its moist and dry waste each day, she says. “Whereas the moist waste is composted, dry waste like vegetable peels is fed to the cows on the streets. The leftover granules from their espresso machine work as an awesome fertiliser for the vegetation within the cafe. The remaining pulp from the almond milk goes into their granola,” says the chef.
“We additionally collaborate with an organisation referred to as 5-Recycle to select up all carton containers, which come as a part of supply. These containers are later recycled by the organisation,” she explains.
Other than this, what makes the cafe fully eco-friendly is a set of small practices like not promoting plastic bottled water, not cooking additional to keep away from wastage and sharing seed playing cards.
“We give seed paper enterprise playing cards to clients and shoppers. As an alternative of promoting plastic water bottles we refill filtered water in glass bottles positioned on all tables. Moreover, we develop a whole lot of vegetation in and across the cafe to supply a greater and inexperienced atmosphere,” she says.
“Most dishes within the cafe are made utilizing natural fruits, greens, chilly pressed oils and dry fruits. Round 80 per cent of those produce are instantly sourced from farmers in Maharashtra,” Raveena notes.
“We observe a farm to fork mannequin the place natural produce is sourced from native farmers, thus avoiding pesticides and different dangerous chemical substances within the meals,” she provides.
Favourites on the menu embody uncooked vegan pizza, dal makhani, Indonesian tempeh curry, gnocchi and an enormous listing of guilt-free desserts. “Our bestsellers are Don’t Mezze With Me, Avocado Toast, Truffle Mushroom Pizza, Miso Ramen Curry, That’s a Wrap, Lebanese Buddha Bowl, Hazelnut Mousse, Brownie with Vegan Vanilla Ice Cream and Pistachio Baklava Bar with Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream.”
“We consistently experiment with worldwide cuisines. Mexican, Lebanese and Vietnamese are the majors we deal with together with festive meals that embody modaks and mithais,” Raveena says.
The menu adjustments based on the provision of sure substances. She provides, “It is sort of a reflection of the atmosphere in your plate. It’s all about consuming nearer to nature, with seasonal, native and natural produce. The thought is to have what is accessible in nature at current and with out a lot processing.”
“Each merchandise on the menu is natural, vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free,” says Raveena.
“Within the preliminary days, my clients have been puzzled. They didn’t perceive why I used to be selecting to make meals with out dairy. I’d clarify to them why some widespread substances will not be utilized in sure dishes. However the most effective half is that now increasingly more individuals who actually care about and practise veganism are coming in. However you don’t must be a vegan to attempt our dishes. We guarantee we offer meals that won’t make you miss meat or animal-based merchandise,” says the chef.
Prospects of Yogisattva embody company job holders, homemakers and dealing school college students. There are 20 workers within the outlet and Raveena hopes to open a central kitchen near the cafe and a supply kitchen in South Mumbai quickly.
“Since launching Yogisattva, I haven’t stopped studying. Within the interval between working a cloud kitchen and launching the cafe, I did a number of programs particularly in plant-based cuisines from Bali, America and England. This quest for data within the discipline will proceed within the upcoming years and I hope the concept of plant based mostly meals reaches extra individuals by then,” she notes.
“The rooftop cafe, positioned on the seventh Ground of Pinnacle Home in Bandra can also be a wonderful co-working house. They provide free WiFi and a few nice vegan espresso,” says Ritu Shah, an everyday buyer of Yogisattva.
Other than the cuisines, the staff additionally offers on-line cooking courses to anybody throughout the globe. “We conduct licensed culinary programs, shorter cooking courses and personal cooking classes based mostly on buyer preferences,” says Raveena.
She continues, “In an effort to decrease the carbon footprints of a person, avoiding animal merchandise is a giant step. A plant-based food regimen requires solely one-third of the land wanted to assist a meat and dairy food regimen.”
“I feel it’s excessive time that we undertake a sustainable way of life given the rising world meals and water safety points across the globe. I’m not somebody who would power individuals into veganism however I imagine everybody, particularly enterprise organisations, can observe eco-friendly practices. Taking small however constant steps in recycling and composting could be a good way to start with.”
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Edited by Divya Sethu; Photograph credit: Raveena Taurani