Pickles and passion fruit farming

A daughter who grew her mother's home business to a Rs2-crore pickle enterprise, a self-taught passion fruit farmer earning Rs9 lakh an acre, Odisha's new-age tribal dance, and what stands in place of Bengaluru's 43 dead lakes are part of this newsletter

Rashmi Pratap
New Update

Pickles and passion fruit farming

Dear Reader,

Did you know that the world history of pickles has an Indian connection? New York Food Museums’ Pickle History timeline says cucumbers from India, helped begin pickling in the Tigris Valley (Iraq) in 2030 BC. I am not surprised, given the rich heritage of pickles across our country.

The Hindi Achar is Pachadi in Telugu, Oorugai in Tamil, Uppinakaayi in Kannada, Athanu in Gujarati, Loncha in Marathi and Acharya in Odia. I am sure other states have their names and varieties much loved by foodies.

There’s always a market for pickles. That’s why B Renuka Devi began preparing them for sale when her husband’s business did not take off in Bengaluru. Her family, including her six-year-old daughter, would help chop, roast and bottle the products for sale. The business continued as a little-known brand until the little girl grew up, took the venture online and began exporting pickles to 12 countries.

This is the story of Renuka and Vasudha Bhogaraju. Their Bhogaraju Foods clocked revenues of Rs2 crore in FY24 and Vasudha is looking to grow it to Rs 4 crore in FY25. Do look up the story, which traces the journey of this hardworking mother-daughter duo.

My colleague Riya spoke to an enterprising farmer from Indapur in Maharashtra, who cultivates exotic passion fruit in the drought-prone region. Pandurang Baral saw a YouTube video on passion fruit farming in 2021, visited that farmer in Rajasthan, brought some fruits from him, prepared the saplings and planted them on a small part of his farm.

Today, he earns Rs 9 lakh per acre with organic farming of passion fruit and also sells saplings to other farmers at nominal rates to help them transition to this profitable farming. 

From Odisha, my colleague Niroj wrote about Singari Nacha, a fusion of five folk dance forms of Western Odisha. With its roots in the Kalahandi district, Singari Nacha was created in 2007 and not only reflects the aesthetics and culture of the tribal people but also the cultural diversity of India. 

Our Sunday story is on Bengaluru’s 43 dead lakes and what stands on them today! Yes, the IT city once had a thousand lakes of which only around 200 remain now. The others were drained to create bus depots, stadiums, residential and official complexes, flour mills etc. Do read this article to know which lake lies beneath which structure!

In the Money section, my colleague Karan has written that the 15-20% decline in small and midcap stocks from the recent highs offers a good buying opportunity for investors. He has listed five small and midcap stocks trading at a deep discount to their valuations right now. 

Happy Reading!





How this daughter turned her mother's pickle home business into a Rs 2 crore enterprise


Farmer pioneers passion fruit farming in Maharashtra; earns Rs 9 lakh per acre


Odisha’s folk dance Singari Nacha carves a niche among global audience


Bengaluru’s 43 lost lakes and what stands on them today