Ritu Vasudev cooks homemade Indian food to take away – The Scarlet and Black

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By Mira Diamond-Berman
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Ritu Vasudev moved to Grinnell about four years ago to work at the Comfort Inn & Suites on Highway 146, in which she owns partial shares, and now, just a few weeks ago, she started a small business selling Indian takeaway food. food.

Vasudev prepares the food at her home in Grinnell, and the menu is vegetarian, having been a vegetarian all her life, she said. She loves to cook, she added, and she wants to cook for others who share her love for Indian cuisine.

“Cooking is my passion,” Vasudeva said. “I don’t do it on a large scale. It’s for the kids, you know, because they’re here and they probably miss their home.

Access to traditional Indian spices and ingredients is limited to Grinnell, so Vasudeva travels to Des Moines or Cedar Rapids to purchase the ingredients.

Although Vasudeva does not yet have any Indian customers, she believes the news of her takeaways came from the word of an Indian Grinnell student she met. She didn’t make her menu public, instead it spread by word of mouth.

“I didn’t advertise… There’s a girl, [an] Indian girl. I met her. She said yes, she would love to try and she probably told a few of our friends,” Vasudeva said.

Emmy Potter ’22 said she found out about Vasudeva’s Indian release during a group chat. She loves Indian food and she ordered from Vasudeva the week before spring break.

Since Vasudeva sells on a very small scale, customers should call ahead, usually a day or two in advance. Potter was able to get the food the day she ordered.

“I called a few hours ahead. I think I called around 3 p.m.,” Potter said.

The menu was limited at the time, so Potter ordered Chana Masala, which she found restaurant quality.

“It was so good because it was very homemade. The spices were amazing,” she said. “Certainly similar to some of my favorite restaurants. Better than some of them, like non-authentic Indian restaurants I’ve been to.

When she first went to Vasudeva’s house to collect the food, she wasn’t sure if she should go in, but Vasudeva welcomed her inside and even gave her some food samples.

It was so good because it was very homemade. The spices were amazing. – Emmy Potter `24

“They were really lovely. They invited me to… They’re like. try this. Try this, have more food, let me feed you,” Potter said. .”

Until now, most of Vasudeva’s customers have been students, and since many of them don’t have cars, Vasudeva also offers food drop-off.

Vasudeva’s Indian restaurant is open every day of the week, but she still has little work. “I barely sell… no one orders [from] me. Maybe the last two weeks, nobody [has] ordered.” she said.

Customers can call or text Vasudeva at 641-481-5770 to see the full menu. She currently only takes cash.

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