Uma Maheshwari is an Indian immigrant who has been living in the UK for more than 20 years. She trained in India, as a teacher and when she moved to the UK, she began to use this to tutor students for the 11+ exams. However, when lockdown was put in place students were unable to attend her classes. Like many self-employed people across the country, Uma had to shut down her tutoring business and start afresh. 

Noting the similar problems faced by restaurants and the growing success of businesses such as Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat, Uma Maheshwari formulated her new business model. ‘’Mere Ghar ka Khana’’, is a place where people can buy homemade Indian food.  

When I spoke to Uma about what prompted her to choose this business she told me, “I have always enjoyed cooking for me and my family, and now it feels as though my customers are family too! It just feels natural to spread the nutrition and comfort of homemade Indian food.” 

Recently, with the removal of lockdown restrictions, Uma decided to combine her teaching and cooking expertise to start short cooking classes for children aged 10 to 12 and 13 to 15 respectively. I attended one of these classes myself and thoroughly enjoyed it! The course covered a variety of Indian curries, breads and dals. As someone with very little cooking knowledge, I was shocked by my newfound ability to cook a quick, easy and healthy meal by myself! A fellow student who took the course, Maya Mathew (14) stated, “I love the classes! They really helped me learn a bunch of culinary techniques I can use in the future!” 

Uma Maheshwari's story is a testament to the resilience, adaptability, and creativity that individuals can exhibit in the face of challenges. Her ability to find joy in spreading the comfort of homemade Indian food and imparting culinary skills to others is admirable.