In The Name Of Karigars Crafting Anand’s Delicacies
by Ankush Dadu on May 16, 2023
As one of South India’s leading sweets brands, the sweets and savouries made by Anand are recognized and loved by customers everywhere. Our specialties have sweetened up occasions and celebrations of every hue, and our customized packaging is a talking point— that’s a story for another day. But as is the case with most arts and crafts in the country, what tends to get overlooked or not talked about as much in the larger scheme of things is the work of karigars, the craftsmen or better, the skilled experts, who churn out Anand sweets and savouries every day— by their own hands with exceptional care and attention to detail.
This blog is going to take you into our kitchens and give you a peek into the nurturing ecosystem in which our karigars work and enable us to serve our customers—you—with products that are traditionally authentic and high on quality and taste. Here are a few guidelines or principles that have powered our journey:
Going to the source to find our master karigars or expert chefs: One of Anand’s abiding visions has been to bring the best of India to Bangalore. The ability to be able to replicate regional specialties that are as authentic to the place of origin has been a constant search. Down the years, we have succeeded in bringing the best of the country to our customers in the city. What’s enabled us to achieve this USP is our belief and practice of going all the way to the source to find our karigars (expert chefs). Let me explain this better with a couple of examples.
The best laddu in India, we believe, is made in Kanpur. What’s interesting to note, however, is that the Kanpur laddus are actually made by people from Madhubani, a small town in Bihar! And so, when we decided to build a team of karigars to make our range of laddus, we hired them from Madhubani. These are skilled hands who have grown up learning the craft and who have been practicing it for years, and so, you find that they are sticklers to the original recipes. Often times, we end up sourcing special ingredients based on the requirements placed by these karigars. Similarly, the head chef who oversees the making of our murukkus comes from Usilampatti, which is the birthplace of the murukku. The story of how our much-loved Dharwad Peda is made equally interesting. For years, the base for the peda would be transported from Dharwad. Today, it is made here in Bangalore because we have employed a karigar from Dharwad who has the expertise required to make the sweet.
If you were to decode the success stories of legendary brands that are associated with particular sweets, you’d find that it really boiled down to the owner finding the right chef who was able to make the sweet using the right recipe. That’s what we are doing at Anand to create our signature range of sweets and savouries.
Empowering our karigars with the right platform, the right set of tools and team: Getting expert talent to make your products is only the first step to crafting a brand. It’s just as important to empower them by giving them the right platform, equipping them with the right tools and a team. At Anand, we first hire specialized karigars as head chefs based on our product categories. The head chef is assigned a range of Anand products to make based on his expertise. Following this, he given a set of tools, a heat source and his own space where he gets to craft limited batches of our treats and, once in a while, experiment with new recipes too.
Encouraging a cross-pollination of ideas between teams: Specialisation is important, sure, but it is a cross-pollination of ideas that enables creativity and innovation. You see this in our modern kitchens, which are a bevy of activity through the day. A good example of how this cross-pollination of ideas works was when a chef from the baking team was planning to create a mava cake. While he was well-versant in baking, he realised that he needed guidance on how to work with khoa. The baking team invited a karigar from the khoa team to learn techniques and knowhow, and that’s how our mava cake was created. Another time, our murukku specialist, who was experimenting with making butter murukku, consulted a chef from the baking team on how he could use butter to make the savoury. At Anand, we encourage knowledge sharing because of the possibilities it holds.
Having experts enables us to pursue creative experiments: When it comes to ideating for new products, it’s the core team at Anand that’s responsible for it. We also have our customers giving new ideas and suggestions. What makes our job easier, however, is knowing that we have teams of expert karigars whom we can rely on to cook up new recipes and experiment till we get it right.Visit any of our stores or our website: www.anandsweets.in to view our entire range of sweets and savouries and learn how they are made.