Bring down long hours in the kitchen for restaurant-style stellar meals with DIY food kits
Not being able to enjoy the experience of eating out due to pandemic fears can be very stressful for food lovers, especially if cooking experiments at home have not succeeded. To provide the joy of dishes that are either exotic or less cumbersome, foodpreneurs in Hyderabad have introduced Do-it-Yourself (DIY) meal kits that make cooking restaurant-style meals at home a simple affair. Imagine making pepper Chettinad chicken within just 20 minutes, with no grinding spices, no chopping and no cleaning meat involved.
For those working from home for long hours and with little kitchen experience, these kits with pre-portioned ingredients, prepped vegetables and meat, and semi-made sauces make meal planning a breeze. With these kits in hand, a range of gourmet fare can be quickly rustled up at home. Often, all one needs is a cooktop and a dish or pan. The kits come with fresh ingredients step-by-step instructions. Also, unlike the ready to eat food packs stoked on store shelves, these kits are preservative-free and need some real cooking, not just heating.
A quick survey of a few options that foodpreneurs bring to the counter.
Open, cut the seal, cook over a low flame: Akshay Puljal’s Quickish, a no-prep, just cook, food pack business is all about fresh marinated food that only requires a pan. These food packs are a dream come true for those who have absolutely no knowledge of cooking. Akshay’s simple, almost ready to eat packs come in a range of nearly 17 dishes (vegetarian and non-vegetarian). Each packet serves two and has a shelf life of 3 days under refrigeration.
Costs ₹ 250 per packet, serves 2. One can place an order by calling 8179408771
Khow suey love
Lovers of Asian food can never say no to the khow suey from Mekong by Marigold. Even though dine-in has started, the restaurant still does a lot of orders for Khow suey DIY kits. The kit comes neatly packed in portioned boxes. The gravy needs to be heated for a little over five minutes. After that, it is all about assembling and slurping away.
Serves 2, need a deep pan or microwave. Priced at ₹ 450. Available for takeaway.
Those old favourites
Miss the spicy chicken wings at your favourite eatery?Foozyy meal kits that were launched last month by college students Sawan Dasari, Santhosh Reddy, Hemalatha Dasari, Sai Teja , Saharsh and Vivek Vemula, come in an exhaustive range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Their kits to make BBQ wings and Chicken handi biryani are their pride points. The chicken wings come with a pre-made sauce and dip, easy to follow instructions, all geared to save time and ensure its a stress buster. The biryani comes pre-assembled and just needs to be put on the stove. Also on the menu are butter chicken, achari paneer tikka, malai chicken curry, schezwan chicken and chilli baby corn. Cooking time is under 30 minutes for most dishes.
Serves 2, Priced from ₹159. Order on www.foozyy.in or call 8639417430.
The frozen options from Kuchipudi Venkat’s DIY food kit are all about making Andhra pulaos and curries. The base for the gravy comes frozen and has to be completed following simple instructions like the addition of water, rice and meat or veggies. The gravy box container comes with water marking as specified in the menu. All gravies and pulaos are vegetarian, but chicken or mutton can be added as one prefers. Cooking time is under 30 minutes for most dishes.
Serves 2. Requires a pressure cooker. Price starts are ₹ 99. Food is packed in boxes with dry ice, that can last upto 18 hours. Delivers across the city and outstation as well (please visit their website for details). Delivery charges applied for outstation.
Organic meat straight from the farm
Chicken roast in your mind? Telangana Fresh Meat introduced a @home box that comes with a whole dressed chicken, two ready marinades and dips. All one needs to do is pop it in the oven, set the temperature and wait to hear the ‘ding’. The chicken comes from their farm at Moinabad. The easy to follow instructions need a basic knowledge of cooking. Needs over 1 hour.
Requires an oven. Price starts at ₹650. Order at www.telanganafreshmeat.com or call 9347974835 and 7799077962.
CIY – Cook It Yourself offers Hyderabadi cuisine in meal kits that have pre-portioned ingredients and simple instructions to cook. The most ordered dishes on their menu are Shaadi Ka Red Chicken, Double Ka Meetha, Bagara Baigan and Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani.
Serves 3, requires a kadhai or non-stick pan. Price starts at ₹ 250. Order at 6304017855.
A five-step DIY kit to dish out a stellar meal is what ITC Kohenur claims of their food packs. Master chefs at the hotel have designed the kits make dining at home a luxury experience. One can choose to order from a selection of six boxes in vegetarian and non-vegetarian varieties, including dishes of Asian, Continental and Indian cuisine. Each dish specifies what pan to use.
Serves 2, packs start at ₹ 1700. Orders can be placed at email@example.com
Kitchen Stories Hyderabad run by Manju Dugar, Rekha Bhandari, Pallak Sancheti has launched a wide range of cooking kits that come with semi-finished mixes, pastes, accompaniments and easy to follow instruction cards. Kits include Burmese khow suey, pav bhaji fondue, Thai curries and biryani. A menu of gourmet sauces like pesto, BBQ, Sriracha, and chilli garlic schezwan are also available. Everything is homemade, free of preservatives, and can be stored up to a month. Most of the vegetables used in pastes and mixes are from their kitchen garden. Currently, they deliver only in Hyderabad but having delivered large gifting orders, they are expanding deliveries to other cities as well.
One portion serves 4. Can be cooked in any cookware. Price ranges from ₹ 400 to ₹ 1200. Details on their social media pages. To order, call 9000881705.
(Input by Neeraja Murthy)