Sanskar: A Maharashtrian cuisine hotspot

Local restaurateur celebrates culture of India

By Nitya Hosur, Editorial Intern
Posted 8/3/21

Sanskar, a Maharashtrian cuisine spot, was started by Megha Ozarker in 2015 at home, and professionally opened on April 6, 2019. Its purpose is to connect people with the culture of Maharastra, a …

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Sanskar: A Maharashtrian cuisine hotspot

Local restaurateur celebrates culture of India

Posted

Sanskar, a Maharashtrian cuisine spot, was started by Megha Ozarker in 2015 at home, and professionally opened on April 6, 2019. Its purpose is to connect people with the culture of Maharastra, a state in India, along with its traditions, Ozarker said.

Sanskar is the Sanskrit word for values. Ozarker said she chose this to represent her passion for passing the cultural values and traditions through food and festivities to the next generation. It also represents her drive to provide safe and healthy food to her customers.

“I tell everyone who comes to Sanskar that this food is eaten by my family every day,” Megha said. “Whatever I provide for my family is good, and my customers are my extended family.”

Megha said she prides herself on sanitation and has consistently received scores above 95 on Harris County food safety tests and inspections.

The concept of Sanskar started in 2015, Ozarker said. She was an IT worker and catered from home on the side. With customer encouragement and her own ambitions, she wished to expand Sanskar into a commercial setting. Her son and husband were also supportive of her dream. When she first suggested the idea to her husband, he told her it was her decision and to follow her passion. Both her son and husband help her when they can, she said.

Before the pandemic, Ozarker said the business was doing well. She had established a good customer base and although she didn’t actively advertise Sanskar, word of mouth brought her business. When the pandemic hit, most shops and areas closed down, and Sanskar was no exception. For a couple of months, she said she wondered if this was the end for Sanskar. However, Ozarker realized she could restart her original business idea of catering and takeout. She ran the idea by customers, who supported the change. In March 2020, Sanskar switched to catering and takeout only. Ozarker said her plan succeeded and she now serves hundreds of customers per week.

Ozarker said she ensures her restaurant is unique in multiple ways. She rotates the menu daily so her customers always have something new to try. Meals are prepared fresh every day. Often, she said, she puts in seven to eight hours per day, waking up between 5 and 6 a.m. and working until 6:30-7 p.m. She also caters to specialized diets. She offers vegetarian and vegan options and said she personally contacts each customer to ensure she accommodates food allergies.

Before the pandemic, Ozarker also hosted special events. She started Sanskar with two departments in mind: the cultural department and the food department. First, she said that she would choose a traditional Indian play with cultural importance. She and her family would then make sets for the plays by hand. Ozarker would also hire actors from India to take part in the play. After the play, Ozarker would serve them food associated with the performance. In this way, she said, she connected the food aspect of Maharashtra with its cultural vibrance, creating a rich performance.

Sanskar displays a variety of traditional Maharashtrian options and ensures that its food is handled and prepared properly. Ozarker connects the cultural aspects of India with food and celebrates each festival with new dishes.

“I’m not thinking about the business,” Megha said. “I just want to give good quality food.”

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