New Delhi, Dec. 2 -- Arjun Punj is an entrepreneur on a mission. He has devised a "conscious" alternative fuel for tandoors and barbecues-hardwood charcoal briquettes derived from waste products like sawdust and rice husk. They fire the tandoor in the gas-less kitchen of the stylish multilevel restaurant and bar Arth, renowned for its gas-free kitchen, in Mumbai. About a kilometre away, the Japanese eatery Izumi also procures these briquettes from Punj.

Two weeks ago, Punj was at the first edition of Mumbai's Isuzu X Food Festival, a curation of unique regional Indian dishes, from Ladakh to the Garo hills and Kerala to the Konkan coast. The tandoor stalls at the festival used the briquettes to grill and barbecue while Punj stood unobtrus...