The home-cooked food has been around for some time, but the pandemic has made it more appealing due to the personal hygiene factor and the healthy options that can be further customised.

Shilpa, a resident in Oman for 25 years, who stays in the old town area of Muscat, is popular with the Gujarati snacks and theplas, she supplies regularly to her friends and extended family members. A Gujarati herself, Shilpa confirms that there is increased demand these days for her farsans. At 50, the slim and agile Shilpa does the kitchen work completely by herself, with just a little help from her son, who manages a supermarket nearby.

For the many die-hard restaurant hoppers, the sudden set of controls and safety measures brought in a paranoia that made them resist even take-away orders from restaurants. Aditya Govind who is a freelance web designer says,

“I used to be eating out daily. But now with the COVID-19 scene, I am afraid to check out outside food, as I do not know who is cooking the food and how hygienic the kitchen hands are. I have a friend who is a good cook and is currently laid off. She cooks for a group of us four friends – good nutritious food, and we know she is obsessed with cleanliness. She gets her pocket money for her service and we are super happy with her food.”

Manal Al Hassani works from home these days for an airline, but finds time on weekends to prepare her special cake orders.

“I am known among my family and friends for the variety of cake I make. Since I am working from home, I take only the weekend orders, as I cannot say no to my close friends and family members,” says Manal who has two daughters aged four and two.