When Sanjha Chulha opened 20 years ago, it was the only dine-in serving dhaba-style comfort food on the EM Bypass.
It wasn’t long before it became a landmark and a go-to place for north Indian food and kebabs. Items like Tandoori Chicken, Paneer Tikka, Mutton Do Pyaza and Dal Makhani started moving off the counter as fast as one downed a Patiala Di Lassi.
The brand is known for its dhaba-style food
“What worked for us was choosing the right location. For the first six months, there was little footfall but as the area started developing, we started tasting success,” says owner Asif Ahmed, an IAM Kolkata graduate. Ahmed trained in Taj Bengal for a brief period before starting his own venture with business partner Anup Mehrotra in October, 2002.
Today, there are five Sanjha Chulha outlets in Kolkata including a dine-in on CIT Road, and takeaways in Behala and Jessore Road. The most recent one in Kaikhali opened in April.
Kebabs before check-in
The takeaway in Kaikhali is located one stop before the airport, another stretch (Baguiati-Kaikhali) that is seeing fast development. So before checking into the airport, one can “check-in to” Sanjha Chulha.
An added advantage is that the takeaway is located around 500m before the airport ramp begins, which is the stretch where many people usually park their cars to kill time before entering the airport.
“We will soon introduce special flight packaging for those who wish to parcel the food,” adds Asif.
On a roll
In January 2020, a new brand turned up the heat. The Roll Factory was added to the Sanjha Chulha kitty.
Apart from the classics, there are special rolls like Chicken 65 Roll, a spin on the fiery snack from the Sanjha Chulha kitchen. For vegetarians, a Soya Nugget Roll was added to the list.
The Roll Factory was added to the Sanjha Chulha kitty in 2020
“Cloud kitchens boomed during the pandemic and so did The Roll Factory, I didn’t expect to create another successful brand so it was a pleasant surprise!” says Asif, a self-confessed foodie who loves eating out.
Today, there are many competitors to Sanjha Chulha but Asif’s plans haven’t stopped simmering. “Our next outlet will be in south Kolkata,” he signs off.