Beauty of the unpolished
The market for unpolished pulses shows promise
HShekhar says OMEMAKER SAVITA she grew up eating unpolished pulses. The 60-year-old woman laughs when she says that unpolished pulses was one of the few things she introduced in her new house when she got married 38 years ago.“My paternal uncle was a doctor and he said consuming unpolished food was always healthy,”says the resident of Delhi’s Munirka area. But India’s pulses story changed after the 1970s when the market started getting flooded with polished pulses.The polished varieties became a hit because they looked cleaner and shinier. “It became impossible to get unpolished pulses in Delhi. So I used to bring my stock directly from my maternal home near Nashik every year,”she says.
The story is slowly changing again—and this time in Shekhar’s favour—as companies are entering the 18-million-tonne pulses market through unpolished pulses.They say their products are healthy and taste better than polished varieties.
In November 2010,Tata Chemicals became the first national-level player to launch unpolished pulses in the country.But the company’s unpolished pulses brand “i-Shakti” failed to make a dent in the first two years because retailers refused to stock and sell the product. The company,which till the end of 2013,had not even captured one per cent of the market share,then started an initiative called “Dal on Call”.A customer could buy directly from the company by calling on a toll-free number and the pulses were home delivered within 48
Delhi-based I Say Organic sells unpolished organic pulses through its website