Cooking is enjoying its moment in the sun, or should we say—kitchen—like never before. As eating out became a big no-no, home chefs dished out everything from pasta Aglio e olio to sourdough breads. Even first-timers were motivated. Instagram was flooded with delicious images of lemon tarts and Sri Lankan curries. But there came a time when the craving for green curry in the quaint Thai restaurant or the drool-worthy chocolate dessert in the tucked-away bakery took over. Restaurateurs were quick to gauge the mood. Out came the DIY (do-it-yourself) meal kits with step-by-step instructions of how to make your favourites at home with help from the pros.
Jaydeep Mukherjee, Brand Head, Smoke House Deli, says, “Smoke House Deli is delivering DIY Deli, a range of packages filled with fresh ingredients and recipes which our patrons can use to cook their favourite dishes at home. Each DIY Deli includes a selection of our best mains and desserts. The kits allow people to cook without going through the trouble of procuring the ingredients.” Impresario Handmade Restaurants—to which the Smoke House Deli and Social belong—is the first in the hospitality space to introduce a new tech-enabled platform through which customers can order seamlessly and easily.
Also, they have opened the doors for patrons with fewer tables, digital menus, temperature checks at entry, and a mandatory status check on the Aarogya Setu app. As part of the DIY kit, Social is delivering ready-made mixers for cocktails. To provide patrons with the best, Azure Hospitality that runs Dhaba Estd. 1986 and Sly Granny has also come up with the best of Indian gravies, marinades and of course, DIY kits. Co-founders Rahul Khanna and Kabir Sure says, “The idea has always been to provide our consumers the best and create a hassle-free cooking experience at home.” Like many of their counterparts, both the eateries are now open for dining.
Pune-based Malaka Spice Restaurant of the brand Chiranjeev Restaurant & Foods Pvt Ltd is delivering its legendary curry boxes such as Green Thai curry, Red Thai curry, Kari Capitan and Penang curry. The DIY box includes fresh curry paste made in-house using organic ingredients. The box also contains basic ingredients such as Thai basil leaves, lemongrass, Thai brinjal, galangal and the recipe to make the curry. Founder and Managing Director Praful Chandawarkar says, “We’re still working on ensuring better packaging. Besides, we launched The Malaka Market where guests can order fresh fruits and vegetables from our Cherish Farm along with curry pastes, sauces, marinated meats, cold-pressed oils, etc.”
Likewise, Grand Mercure Bangalore has come up with Easy Chef DIY boxes comprising Grilled Salmon with Orange Glaze, Thai curry, Chettinad Chicken, Choco dip cookies, Chef’s special brownie trifle and more. Executive Chef Vibhav Verma is in plans of adding healthy options such as baked vegetarian nachos, eggs with avocado and rajma ki galouti in the coming days.
“We curated the menu keeping in mind the ease of preparing dishes,” he says. Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road is offering DIY boxes under the brand name of Tossed. These comprise ‘KooXTails’, which are cocktail pre-mixes. Besides, there are other options such as pizza burgers, pasta and even steaks. “We also wanted to have something for our guests who were looking for a healthy option; hence, we came up with the Tossed Lite,” says General Manager Supreet Roy. Patrons are loving Indian and fusion food too. Avijit Deb Sharma, Executive Chef, Novotel and Ibis Bengaluru Outer Ring Road, says, “Our Foreach Chef at Home DIY meal kit has a curated menu featuring chevre and ratatouille, butternut squash ravioli, and Marwadi tomato cheese toast, to name a few. Free-range eggs, spinach, basil, millet, and more has been used.” As fine dining preens, it’s time to put on your chef’s hat and travel the world through its many flavours.