Lohri celebrations have become more intimate this year amid the coronavirus scare. Those catering food at parties share the demand for vegetarian food has also gone up amid bird flu.(Sonu Mehta/HT)
Lohri celebrations have become more intimate this year amid the coronavirus scare. Those catering food at parties share the demand for vegetarian food has also gone up amid bird flu.(Sonu Mehta/HT)

Lohri 2021: Intimate gatherings, home chefs book veg orders more

Caterers share the demand for home chefs has increased as denizens prefer intimate gatherings this year, and preference for vegetarian food has also gone up amid the bird flu.
UPDATED ON JAN 12, 2021 04:05 PM IST

Lohri is one festival that often called in for community celebration - be it at a banquet or in the neighbourhood. Caterers would take bulk orders to feed large gatherings. But that was the pre-Covid era. This year, there are more intimate gatherings planned, and catering to this demand are home chefs, who say that they have received more orders bookings for vegetarian orders due to the bird flue scare!

Bonfire, with smaller gathering

Babta Rajiv, Hot Lajwaab Caterers, says, “Darr toh sabke mann mein bana hua hai. People are planning Lohri parties, but with a limited gatherings this time around. Jaise pehle 200 ki gatherings ho jaati thi, ab 60-70 maximum hai. Logon ke ghar mein hi ho rahi hain parties. We’ve got many orders this Lohri from Delhi-NCR. Currently we have around six orders on the day. People are ordering for Punjabi special dishes such as Sarson K Saag, Makki Ki Roti.”

Home chefs to the rescue

“Number of catering orders are more for Lohri, this year. We are getting orders, and it is more towards pre-packed food. Yet, people are calling in home chefs or cooks for their house parties. They don’t want too much staff at home amid corona. Since they already have help at home, they ask for cooks, too,” says Chtra Shharma, who runs a catering service.

Yes to veg amid bird flu

“The fear of corona is still there. People are still maintaining social distancing. But, now the sone pe suhaga is bird flu. Earlier, it was non-veg orders, now parties have converted into veg only parties. This Lohri, we’ve got orders from people for a maximum of 10 people from Delhi-NCR. That’s it,” says Preety Khanna, from CnA Kitchen, based in Delhi and Gurugram.

Some caterers, share the orders have reduced, too. “ Since the news of bird flu has broken, we have a very few orders, and that too are for vegetarian dishes. Since people don’t want to consume chicken, they have also asked for fish or mutton dishes,” says Prateek Malik, from Sugandh-Dilli6 Ki, Phase-4, Gurugram.

Another caterer, Payel Sachdev from Payel’s Kitchen, based in Gurugram, adds, “I am getting around four orders per day. Because of bird flu, people are asking for veg food and my specialty, that is Mutton Roghan Josh. I am also doing a special menu for Lohri. Dishes which are mainly my speciality and are a must during Lohri - Makke ki Roti and Sarson ka Saag with white butter, Dal Makhni, Fried Aloo Gobhi, Gajar Ka Halwa, Moong Dal ka Halwa, Atta Goond Ladoos, and Till Khoya Ladoos or Till Bugga.

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