In a casual conversation between Bharat Kaushik and his parents and aunt — M S Ravindran, Nagarathna Ravindran, and Malathi Sharma, the idea of a food brand brewed.

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Now a leading Bengaluru-based brand called Adukale, it sells Ready-To-Cook (RTC) and Ready-To-Eat (RTE) food that reflects the rich heritage of Sankethi cuisine while making Rs 16 crore a year.

“As fate would have it, my aunt (Malathi) and parents (Ravindra and Nagaratna) came up with the idea of using my grandmother’s traditional rasam powder recipe to make small batches in a 10×10 square feet room and distribute it to family and friends. This was their ‘aha’ moment, and the rest, as they say, is history,” says Bharat Kaushik, director and CEO of Adukale.

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“We gained significant popularity through word-of-mouth, owing to the immense popularity and demand for homegrown recipes. We moved on to making chutney powders and gojjavalakki (prepared using thick beaten rice, rasam powder, jaggery, tamarind, salt and coconut), and subsequently opened our flagship store in Malleshwaram in 2018,” adds Bharat.

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But before it became a leader in RTC and RTE foods, it was an idea that was brewed in a 10×10 sq ft room.

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Today, the brand works on principles stated by Nagarathna’s mother-in-law — going with intuition and trusting her experience. Nagarathna says, “She used to eyeball spices like dhaniya (coriander) and measure it by a fistful. Spices like cinnamon were measured by the length of her fingers.”

To ensure a long shelf life, Adukale claims to “meticulously roast” all the products at the ideal temperature. “Additionally, we incorporate natural preservatives, such as salt, tamarind, and lemon, into our recipes,” says Bharat.

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Currently, the brand sells a selection of 56 products such as ready-to-eat dishes like poha, gojjavalakki and bisi bele bath, available across 20 stores throughout Bengaluru and Mysuru.

“As Adukale continues to grow and expand its reach, it remains rooted in its core mission of showcasing the rich heritage of Karnataka cuisine to the world, one delicious product at a time,” he says.