Vrindavan, 2014.10.15 (Jai Siyaram blog): Yes, you read that correctly. We are going to open a restaurant. At the beginning of this year, on 15th February 2014 to be exact, we started the construction work for another building on the Ashram grounds, just at the front, at the gate, where everybody who drives by can see it. And a lot of people are driving by – because we have a new highway from Delhi to Agra, the Yamuna Expressway, which has an exit for Vrindavan. The way from that exit into town leads by just in front of our door! It has been a year-long idea and dream to open a restaurant and now it is becoming reality.
The building is nearly completed, the work on the interior has begun and on the photo below you can see the first piece of kitchen equipment: an oven which several of my friends gifted me together on my birthday! We hope that until the end of this year we can complete the work and start welcoming guests at the beginning of next year!
Our guests will find something unique: an organic, Ayurvedic restaurant in which they can choose in between regular food and organic food. In Europe, people now get more and more aware of what is in their food and it is more than a fashion that an increasing number of people choose organic food! In India, the situation is worse: there are again and again reports of the masses of chemicals that are used to grow food and how vegetables get oxytocin injections so that they grow overnight! That is the norm and we decided that our restaurant will give its guests the possibility to choose something different: food without any pesticides or hormones!
Apart from providing organic ingredients however, we also want to bring people closer to Ayurveda and show how you can take better care of your body and even prevent and heal certain health issues simply by eating the right food. At our restaurant, you will be able to eat Ayurvedic food and we will guide you to find out what exactly is good for your body type. You can eat Vata-, Pitta- or Kapha- pacifying dishes or you can get a completely balanced diet for your doshas. In our menu card, you will find tips and suggestions on what to choose and what can help you with your physical problems as well.
For many years now we have been working with Ayurveda, experimenting in the kitchen and experiencing the effects of different herbs, spices and ingredients. We have given Ayurveda cooking workshops all over the world and have hosted Ayurveda retreats and training here at the Ashram. Yashendu usually leads those trainings and in his absence or when he is too busy, I also take over. Every Saturday, you can read one of our recipes here in my blog. We thus have a lot of knowledge and experience and are looking forward to use it in our restaurant, for which we have done so much work already, with Purnendu, Yashendu and I overseeing the construction, all of us going in teams to Delhi for placing orders and such work and again and again consulting, brainstorming and collecting ideas together with Ramona, my father and friends.
Additionally, and now we get to my birthday present, we are not only restricting ourselves to Indian food. No, Ammaji’s Ayurvedic Restaurant will be a multi-cuisine restaurant with North and South Indian and Continental dishes as well as two extras: a German bakery and an Italian ice-cream parlour!
Finally, as we know that there is hardly anywhere in this area for kids to play safely except for in a house, no open playgrounds or parks, we have kept an area in the front filled with sand for making a kids zone – with a swing, a slide and some more items children will love to use while their parents are talking over lunch or dinner!
Today is the first day of publicly announcing the upcoming opening of our restaurant. Since the first day, we have been uploading photos of the building progress on the website www.ammajis.com We have created a Facebook page and are preparing for advertising with hoardings, posters and flyers in the next months.
It is a dream come true and as we have learned everything we know in the kitchen from our mother, whom we called Ammaji and who passed away two years ago, we have named the restaurant in her memory: Ammaji’s – food, just like your mother made it.