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07.05.2018

We’ll admit that the main reason we clicked on the WhatsApp forward was because it’s impossible not to open a picture of cutlets. Better yet, they were cast as superstars in the parody of a movie poster: Balls of Fury starring Kerala Beef Cutlets. Plot: a nice Mallu boy, using the recipe his father passed down to him, made these. We’re voting for a sequel.

The name AULI, short for As You Like It, may be inspired by Shakespeare, but its drama is all homegrown. Founders Soju Varghese and Sandeep Jayaraman come together to do this weekend meal service that delivers home cooked, comfort food laden with stories from friends and family: Soju cooks all of the meals himself, with spices that are all made in-house.

Every Thursday, they put out three poster menus through their WhatsApp network and Instagram page. “Because chicken is so easily available in the city we mostly stick to beef, mutton and pork,” Soju informs us. Look, it’s your meat cute.

Curry & Rice, Girl

“I’ve always enjoyed cooking,” Soju says: the highlight of his culinary training is all the trial and error that went into cooking meals for his own house guests over the years. “When we started talking about cooking for other people, I figured I’d master the art of slow-cooked pork first and take it from there.” Many test batches later (lucky guinea pigs), their revolving menu features four pork blockbusters, including one Soju original - “an experiment gone right,” he says - that’s a mustardy pork dish they call The French Connection. They’ve also just inaugurated their first fish meal, a “meen molee,” pronounced “Molly,” as in Soju’s mother’s name.

Auli only delivers their meat dishes, but they’re happy to tell you where to pick up soft sannas and fluffy appams close to where you are. This weekend, we made our own arrangements with a stack of warm pav while waiting for “John Wick,” a chilly pork whose muted spices didn’t quite live up to its delirious pre-release press; “Aunty Lizzie,” a sauced, spicy pork dish, full of potatoes and peas; and the aforementioned Balls of Fury, whose tender ground beef, potatoes and spices took us straight back to a very happy Christmas in Kochi.

Next week's releases celebrate Mardi Gras: Soju promises bacon and egg sliders coated with honey and mustard (“Homer Simpson”) pepper beef (“Breaking Bad”) and The Beach - sadly, no young Leo popping out of a cake; it’s mango sticky rice to remind you of the diners around Maya Bay. Roll, please.

Getting there: Pre order through WhatsApp on 9900796982 for delivery. Follow them on Instagram for regular updates. Each dish serves three and costs around Rs 350.

This story was contributed by Anjana Appanna, a city based voice over artist and writer.

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Food & Drink