Looking For Authentic South Indian Food In California? This Woman’s “Feast” Is What You Need!

by Shreya Shriyan
Looking For Authentic South Indian Food In California? This Woman’s “Feast” Is What You Need!

South Indian food may have many variations and styles owing to the multiple regions it originates from. But South Indian food is not just limited to India. The cuisine has now found its recognition in USA’s California, thanks to Suggi Oota. Suggi Oota is the brainchild of this Karnataka woman who now serves authentic South Indian fare to the people of California!

Suggi Oota Brings The Flavour Of South India To California

Shivranjini, the founder of Suggi Oota, is no stranger to the world of creating culinary magic. Before she started her own venture, Shivranjini observed how the magic happens in the kitchen at her family’s restaurant.

Hotel Sharabheshwara in Karnataka’s Davanagere region has been a well-recognised restaurant in Davanagere since the late 90’s. Shivaranjini is a part of this culinary legacy as it’s her family that has been serving tasty South Indian treats through this restaurant.

Also Read: 5 Authentic South Indian Dishes You Must Try

As per Shivranjini’s story covered by The Better India, the dream to professionally cook was never on her cards. The idea didn’t come to her until she moved to California with her husband in 2013.

The lack of South Indian culinary representation in the Bay of California is what finally fueled Shivranjini’s urge to make homemade South Indian Food. Moreover, she wanted her six-month-old baby to enjoy the same delicious homemade food she loved and cherished.

Shivranjini also made it clear that this wasn’t her first stint. The culinary genius has been cooking for larger crowds since 2011. She mentions how she had a sustainable tiffin and catering service in Bangalore after her husband’s job demanded their time there.

Cooking For 30 Is More Relaxing Than For 2, Says Shivranjini

While most of us would find cooking for more than 2-3 people scary, for Shivranjini, it’s quite the opposite. She finds it easier to cook for 30 people rather than two. The chef says that it’s the only way she knows how.

Ranjini grew up observing her mother running a restaurant, witnessing the constant influx of customers. Inspired by a deep desire to return to the kitchen, she embarked on a unique journey to kick-start this endeavour.

She organized a party to celebrate her son’s first birthday at their home in the Bay Area. And this was when she prepared traditional South Indian cuisine for more than 20 guests in attendance.

The adoration and compliments she received that day pushed her to finally start Suggi Oota in 2015. Suggi Oota translates to “feast” in Kannada and that’s exactly what she aims to serve.

In her conversation with Better India, she also says that she never saw this as a business. Rather, just her dreams coming to reality. She went on to recall the journey of Suggi Oota from a home kitchen to a commercial one.

At first, she accepted party orders or registered with online platforms for catering requests. However, now Ranjini oversees her own business. The authenticity of her food quickly gained recognition through word-of-mouth. People started sharing her contact information.

Also Read: 8 Lesser Known South Indian Cuisines You Absolutely Must Try!  

Over time, Ranjini became the top choice for families in the Bay Area seeking South Indian cuisine.

After cooking at home for three years, Ranjini not only gained confidence but also obtained the necessary permits to expand. Today, her commercial kitchen, which she established in 2020, serves as her sanctuary where she prepares delightful North Indian and South Indian thalis.

The Suggi Oota Kitchen is a team of 3 that helps Shivranjini cook for close to 100 people each day.

Do you know of any such inspirational individuals who’ve made their mark in the world? Let us know in the comments.

Cover Image Courtesy: Suggi Oota’s Instagram