India's most popular snack 'samosa' has now brought great cheer to Saudi-returned Keralites.
45-year-old Naushad, who was forced to leave Saudi Arabia in 2011 after the 'Nitaqat' rules came into force, has now made samosas a source of livelihood during Ramzan.
There is huge demand for 'samosas' in Kerala with even the traditional snacks being edged out. And this popularity is only growing, says Naushad.
Though he was crestfallen after the new rules came into force in Saudi Arabia, as per which foreign workforce is being replaced by Saudi nationals, he now has no regrets on having to return, he says.
"Now the humble samosas in my unit is a source of livelihood for at least 40 others in Iravipuram in Kollam district," he Naushad.
The snack is very popular during Ramzan and Keralites prefer to break their fast with it, he says.
There are presently nine women and seven men to help him in the unit, where work starts in the wee hours at 1 AM.
During Ramzan, at least 10,000 vegetarian samosas are sold daily in his unit, he said, adding, he has sold over two lakh samosas during this period.
Naushad said the huge demand is due to the quality he maintains. Potato, onion, carrots, beans, beetroot and green peas go into the filling with a special masala he prepares.
After dates, everyone prefers samosas to break their fast, says Naushad, who had worked in hotels in Riyadh and Damam in Saudi Arabia, besides a Turkish restaurant.
"There are people who buy from us and sell it elsewhere and earn their livelihood. Nearly 40 persons are dependent on my samosas for their living," he said.
After Ramzan, it will be sweet samosas with filling of beaten rice, sauf and cashew powder, he would be concentrating as there is quite a good demand.
Enquiries from Male have come for sweet samosas and mixture, he said.
People from Thalassery in Kannur district come all the way to Kochi and other southern districts to prepare various delicacies of their region for those breaking their fast.
In Vengara in Malappuram, Naushar, who also returned due to 'Nitaqat', has started samosa business and is laughing all the way to the bank.