Shef's Artisanal Granola from Chennai is healthy and loaded with deliciousness
A box of Shefalii Dadabhoy’s artisanal chewy or her bag of granola mix immediately makes you feel extra special. It’s literally gift wrapped — in a handmade paper bag, that has a gloriously fresh green leaf with its stem threaded across as a clasp. The box of chewy (a version of energy bars) has a delicate tuft of a bouquet with sprigs and blooms. And in fact, we’re told, they are from Shefalii’s (better known as Shef) own garden. Those who know her will recognise the signature aesthetic, where every cord, every tag has been thoughtfully placed and meticulously designed — right down to the adorable origami hearts in pink and purple, made by her two kids.
It started when Shef had sent out her Gratitude Granola to friends and family, earlier this year as a gesture of thanks. And “too pretty to be opened” has been the unanimous verdict of the exquisite packaging that worked well for Raksha Bandhan orders recently, and events like baby announcements. Once the recipients had dipped into the contents and had a bite — Shef was flooded with repeat orders. Shef is already well-known among discerning gourmands for her extravagant and mighty sought-after gourmet dining concept at her home, called Eat at Shef’s, that she started about two years ago. Now, with the pandemic, she finds that there is a burgeoning demand for homemade and healthy food — the gourmet twist is all Shef.
“I am very particular about my ingredients. For instance, the organic palm jaggery I have used is specially sourced from Erode — for the right colour and the level of sweetness. For me, nutrition is as important as taste,” she tells us. As we take a scoop of the crunchy and smokey granola, we are not surprised that in the past two months she has sent out 100 kilograms of the addictive cereal that we notice has oats, bits of dates, nuts, chia seeds, flax seeds and all things healthy. “It’s a labour of love,” she says, adding that her research has shown that the carefully-picked mix of nearly 12 ingredients is more elaborate than any granola option on a store shelf.
Raising the bar
Anyone who tastes it will agree that Shef’s Artisanal Chewy takes the term energy bar to a whole new level. Once you have had a bite from that slab, your palate will be singing with curiosity. Just as you identify the dots of puffed amaranth, a delightful sweetness from the Wayanad wild honey comes through. Also to savour in the mix, is a decadent dark chocolate with a surprise hint of orange. “I have always loved amaranth as a child — but I realised that it is an acquired taste. To include this superfood into the chewy I experimented with many ingredients till I got the right texture and taste.” This gourmet slab of goodness can be cut into small bite-sized pieces, so you don’t feel tempted to make a meal of it!
Available on Instagram on pre-order only. Granola mix at INR 750 for 500 grams and chewy at INR 700 for 250 grams.