26-year-old Pritisha Borthakur is a regular girl from Nagaon. From the age of five, she wrote letters to her grandfather and by the time she was seven, she started to write poems. From that time, she had wanted to be a writer and although her mother encouraged her passion, it wasn’t until much later that she tasted success. After numerous rejections from media houses, she was able to get her poem published in an Assamese newspaper while studying in Christ Jyoti School.
She shifted to Delhi post her higher secondary examinations and studied English Literature in Gargi College. She started writing actively and released two poetry books under Krantikal Publishers. When she was in college, she used to work for a lifestyle magazine called ‘The Expressions’. She was also a national level table tennis player.
After getting a post-graduate degree in Journalism in print media, she got hired by The Pioneer Media group. But she had to leave her job and come back to Assam because her father passed away. Eventually she returned to Delhi, and joined Fairfest Media. Since then, she has worked with several reputed organizations such as The Times of India, Fairfest Media, Iris Meida [Ministry of New & Renewable Energy, Ministry of Earth Sciences, New Delhi Municipal Council], Mindworks [Gulf News], etc.
At present, she is heading the content and strategy division of the start-up GoYaNo. Being a food writer, she has always promoted regional cuisine, especially Assamese food through her writings. She is currently working on a recipe book on Assamese cuisine.
She also has her own start-up – Twisted Foods, which she co-founded with some of her childhood friends. Twisted Foods promotes Assamese cuisine and hosts pop-ups across Delhi. The whole idea behind this concept came together when they saw people who stay away from home crave home-cooked meals. There is nothing better than sitting with like-minded people, sharing a meal, and making new friends.
The team of Twisted Foods includes Pritisha (Journalist), Nasir Yusuf Rahman (Lawyer), Arshad Arif Hazarika & Sahil Huda (Engineers), and Noshin Kausar (Activist), all from Assam but based in Delhi. Pritisha handles the Marketing and PR, Arshad and Sahil look after the technological side of things. Noshin is a fantastic photographer, and Nasir handles the most important part, i.e. cooking the meals.
Most of their meals are very reasonably priced, to suit everyone’s pocket. One of their signature items is the traditional Assamese thali, which consists 18 to 23 items and is priced at Rs 600. Apart from traditional Assamese items like masor tenga, jalukdiya mangso, kukura di haah, omitar khar, they have also started serving Assamese items with a Mughlai twist like murgh-e-kush, murgh white korma, to name a few.
When they decided to start Twisted Foods, they had to face a lot of challenges. Since they are all working professionals, time was a big constraint. They also faced a lot of discouragement, but in the end the emotional support of their families helped them realize their dream.
Another hurdle was the lack of ingredients in Delhi. However, now they have tied-up with vendors from Assam for regular supply. They also promote enterprising villagers in Assam by showcasing quality home-made products through their pop-ups — be it pickles, jams, snacks etc.
In the future, Twisted Foods plans to venture into corporate and individual catering. They are in talks with investors to expand their operations. They are also working on a big project to be implemented in Assam.
By Payel Bhattacharjee