BENGALURU: The temptation of eating out versus the fear of catching COVID-19. As Bengalureans are still trying to figure what to do, restaurateurs have come up with Do It Yourself (DIY) food kits, which allow people to prepare gourmet food in the comfort of their kitchens. Comprising the exact proportion of ingredients, the kits come with cooking directions to make restaurant style food at home.
Crowd favourites, pizzas and pastas, are what European restaurant Little Italy is giving this a try. “We also have mexican kits and a burrito bowl kit to serve as the perfect tex mex platter for drinks night with your friends. We have also introduced DIY Indian kits which give you a street food experience at home,” says Amrut Mehta, managing director for the Little Italy group.
While the pastas comes with two sauce–arrabiata and mixed sauce– along with the spices and the pasta of a person’s choice, the pizzas comprise three eight-inch bases, 250 gm of mozzarella, and olives (black and green). Since it’s a DIY dish, it’s upto the person to add vegetables of their choice. But there’s also the option to order in the vegetables along with the kit which comes with an additional charge.
Ask any chef the secret behind creating a perfect dish, and the answer is bound to be the right ingredients. Agrees Utkarsh Bhalla, brand executive chef, Sly Granny, who points out that ingredients have been planned in a way to make diners cook gourmet style food at home, all in the matter of 10 minutes. “The amount of ingredients is in the exact ratio of what one would need to prepare that recipe, with the help of the instruction card,” says Bhalla, adding that European and Mediterranean dishes are most popular.
Going by the demand, FoodHall, a gourmet food superstore, is coming up with their range of DIY food kits soon. Mezze platter, Taco, Laksha, Fondu are some of the dishes that are in the making. Swasti Aggarwal, culinary strategist, says “Our Home Chef recipe kits span various cuisines because we wanted to help people cook the food they were missing, in the comfort of their kitchen. Since many of us are not too familiar with complex techniques, or have fancy equipment, our kits simplify the process and allow anyone with even the most basic tools to put together a delightful meal.”
While India may be catching up with this DIY trend now, owing to the outbreak of the pandemic, according to Mohit Mittal, co-founder of ChefKraft, a cloud kitchen, he experimented with this idea five years ago. “I was inspired by a popular meal kit brand in the USA. But at that time it didn’t work out. But today, it’s a different story,” says Mittal, adding that pizzas and Thai green curry are the most preferred options. “Our Thai Green Curry comes with the paste, which means all one has to do is add the coconut milk, chicken or vegetables,” says Nimita Mittal, co-founder. Their salads come in a semi DIY style where the drizzles and sauces are sent separately. Apart from that they also have Thai Basil Chicken noodles, pastas, and margherita pizza etc on the menu.