A boxful of health


It’s almost impossible to scroll through Instagram without coming across food pictures. Though a lot of them have vibrant cupcakes and pretty desserts (#dessertporn), of late, the feed has also been showing up a number of delicious salads. Think bright red cherry tomatoes, warm brown pita, cubes of feta and smooth pecans gleaming under a light drizzle of olive oil. Salads are what people are turning to and salad subscriptions are now a growing trend in the city. Here are three of Chennai’s new crop of salad makers who deliver a boxful of health to you.

Lean On Me

Minal Kripalani’s idea of a morning workout is different from most others. Hers involves pacing around the kitchen, spiralising veggies and frantically tossing up large quantities of salad. These are then deftly packed into transparent boxes and her version of the marathon ends as they are dispatched to her clients by 12.30 in the afternoon. Even a late night of partying doesn’t deter her from this three-days-a-week routine that she’s gotten into ever since she started her salad company Lean On Me in March this year. On most nights she’s probably dreaming of broccoli, lettuce and a holy matrimony between various exotic ingredients! “I keep going through a lot of salads and altering ingredients based on what is available here,” she says, with a laugh.

Kripalani has been baking for 20 years now and wanted to try something different. She was eating healthy and experimenting with salads and noticed quite a few people asking her to make salads for them too. That’s how the idea came about.

“A lot of people want to eat right but don’t know how to put a meal together. I want to make salads something you can enjoy instead of feeling pressurised to eat healthy. Mine are no carb with just protein, green leaves, vegetables and a dressing.” There is the option of prawn, tuna, chicken and eggs for the non vegetarians and haloumi, legumes, paneer, tofu, sweet potato and a lot more for the vegetarians. Lean On Me doesn’t have a fixed menu because Kripalani does not want to restrict it to a certain number of options. In an attempt to offer exotic flavours so far she’s come up with Japanese, Indo-Mexican, Argentine and the 17-ingredient Khow Suey salad. The lettuce wrap is the most complex of the lot. It involves using fresh lettuce leaves in place of a paratha to create a roll that’s stuffed with veggies. The challenge is making sure the leaves don’t get soggy. This wrap has tangy flavours of chaat and is served with a green chutney. While zucchini, carrots, raw mangoes, spring onions, avocado, figs, olives and pomegranates are often used in her salads, she also has pickled ingredients, smoked meat and nori strips that are trending in the world of salads.


Written by Loknath Das