On my way to a shop I met a very interesting micro entrepreneurial family in one of the small secondary streets in the center of Coimbatore, South India.
A lady sitting in front of a door is looking friendly at me when I pass by while cutting onions. I’m interested in finding out why she is cutting so many onions and so we start to talk.
“I’m cutting the onions for Biriyani my sister and mother prepare every day “, she tells me. “Many onions.”
Biriyani is a a world-renowned Indian dish, consisting of long-grained rice (like basmati) flavored with exotic spices such as saffron, and with layers of lamb, chicken, fish, or vegetables, and a thick gravy.
“My family, my Mom, my brother and myself started to prepare small portions some years back and to sell it to neighbors and business people who came here for some snacks. People like what we do. With the time we have grown our business and we could rent some rooms to prepare.”
And then she takes me to a one room shop near by where her brother is cutting banana leaves.
“That’s for packaging. We avoid plastics and go for organic materials. Banana leaves are really good for food packaging,” she explains. “My Mother has a room near by where she is preparing the Biriyani.”
When I ask her if I can take a photo, she asks me to wait. In a few seconds all the family members are gathered and proudly put themselves in front of the banana leaves cutting machine. Also her mother joins.
They smile. And the way on how they smile and look into the camera tells so much.
These are the small, but nice situations which I like so much in India!