At a time when even successful restaurants had to shut shop for want of customers, Radhakrishna Sweets, an unobtrusive little outlet which opened during the worst of Covid times, reaped profits. All because of its signature dish, the “biscuit chaya’’ (tea). It might sound like tea and biscuits but it’s actually tea served in an edible cup which has the same ingredients as a wheat biscuit. Sip the tea, which is infused with aromatic cardamom, and when you’re done, bite into the crunchy cup and finish it off. The concept might sound simple but it caught the fancy of the youngsters sitting bored inside homes and soon, news spread. The proprietors never had to advertise the dish; videos made by the first few who found it appealing went viral online, and soon a selfie with Biscuit Chaya became the rage. People started coming in from across Thrissur and even other districts for a sip and a bite, and the police had to come in to disperse the crowd on more than one occasion, being Covid times.
While tea in a biscuit cup is not completely new, the founder owner and the brains behind the idea, Prasanth Menon, has brought in his own variations, to ensure the dish is healthy. “We use only wheat, no maida. The inspiration is from Turkey and I researched and experimented with the process for a few weeks before coming up with the right texture. We bake the cups thinner than a usual biscuit, and don’t use sugar. If you add sugar, the cup will melt faster on contact with liquid.” The outlet has a handful of other interesting dishes as well like Jathikka Kattan (nutmeg coffee), Chakka (jackfruit) shake and varieties of dosa, but it was Biscuit Chaya which hit the jackpot.
Interestingly, Prasanth started the outlet quite by chance, since he had to return home from Qatar where he was employed. Two of his breakfast outlets in Thrissur had closed down due to Covid, but he is quite nonchalant about the success of Radhakrishna Sweets. “My only wish is that more restaurateurs take up the concept since it’s eco-friendly and suited to the Covid times. There is no need of a plastic or paper cup since the biscuit cup is eaten. I have already started distributing the cups within Kerala, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and more,” he says.
Chocolate Biscuit Chaya is the new entrant at the outlet, and Prasanth says more innovations are on the way. Unfortunately, there is no delivery available for the biscuit tea, since the cup melts in around 15 minutes.
— By Asha Prakash.