Fish curry in five minutes? This Kochi entrepreneur makes a ready-to-cook fish curry sauce


“I considered including value-added products. Why not a ready-to-make fish curry? It’s easy for people on the go; your fish curry is ready in about five minutes and you don’t even have to add any salt to the mix,” says entrepreneur Saneera VM

“I considered including value-added products. Why not a ready-to-make fish curry? It’s easy for people on the go; your fish curry is ready in about five minutes and you don’t even have to add any salt to the mix,” says entrepreneur Saneera VM

Cut the packaging, pour the sauce over the fish pieces, cook for five minutes and your fish curry is ready! Fresh Onlive’s ‘ready to talkativeFish curry mixes (mud pot) are the brainchild of Saneera VM from Fort Kochi.

The 48-year-old economics graduate ran a cut-and-clean fish delivery business in 2016. Less than a year later, family obligations caused her to close up shop. Later she sold pathiri, appam, idiyappam and chapati that she cooked herself but her efforts ended in the pandemic.

“Once things started to open up, I thought about getting back into the fish business; after all, it was my core business. Then I considered including value-added products. Why not a ready-to-make fish curry? It’s easy for people on the go; your fish curry is ready in about five minutes, you don’t even have to add any salt to the mix,” informs Saneera. Her experience in food-tech comes from the courses she took in food processing and packaging.

Three friends support her in the business, with investments and production – Jaiza Mujeeb, Merfath Shahjahan and Abeena Mansur. She also has a three-member team working with her, including the delivery man.

Packaged Curry Sauce

Packaged Curry Sauce | Photo credit: THULASI KAKKAT

Her working day starts at Fresh OnLive store in Thevara, Kochi at 4am. With an assistant, she begins the preparations – peeling and chopping the onions, grating and crushing the coconuts, roasting the spices – which will go into the five varieties of ready-to-cook curry pastes which will be ready at 8.30am. Fresh fish arrives from the port of Kochi and Munnambam and other fishing centers in the city.

The Fresh OnLive store can be accessed via app or phone. It delivers a variety of seafood – raw or cooked – to a radius of 10 km within the city limits.

The five “ready to chat” sauce mixes are typical Kerala preparations such as thenga aracha curry (made with coconut), pachamasala curry, meen mulagittathu, varutharacha curry and fish moire. These were the result of several rounds of trial and error before the recipes were finalized. She is now working on packaging using retort technology.

“We also prepare curry on order placed the day before, such as shellfish such as crab – roasted and fried or squid. The dishes we prepare are either delivered to customers or collected.” Curry paste has a shelf life of seven days if refrigerated; otherwise, it should be consumed the same day as no preservatives are added. Each 350g packet is priced at ₹80 and can be used for 250g of fish.

She added more items to the list such as meat, chicken and pickles made from meat, fish, mussels in addition to lime, dates, gooseberry, papaya, garlic, mango and carrot.

Fresh OnLive app is available on Google Playstore and App Store.

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