Pre-mixed spices for dhansak and keema masala, for when you want to 'add taste to your busy life'
The kala of a cook, the measure of a recipe and the heart of a dish is its masala. Get that right, and you get the meal right. And a few Parsi-owned masala businesses are offering pre-mixed masala recipes, for Parsi dishes and others, so you never go wrong. From spice farms in Kerala to the handy APMC in Navi Mumbai, they have cracked the recipe for the perfect dhansak. With their help, so can you.
An ex-teacher and full-time mom-turned-entrepreneur, the beginning of Jienazz Mistry's "masala journey" was an interesting one. "It began when I realised that off-the-shelf pre-packaged masalas were not yielding the desired taste in our food, which is why we were ordering takeaways from restaurants more regularly. During that time, I met a friend who has the best whole spices plantations in Kerala. She gave me some of her samples, and they were fabulous. I experimented by making masalas with them. After a lot of trial and error, I came upon my final recipes. It took me about six months to get them right. That is how Jinaz's Masalas was born about a year-and-a-half ago. It has all original recipes and nothing has been copy-pasted from anywhere."
Aatash Foods is available at leading stores. Pic/Ashish Raje
Jinaz's Spices' masalas are versatile and can be used in various dishes. For instance, while the tandoori masala can be used for tandoori dishes, a marinade of the tandoori and Parsi masalas make a delicious biryani. The brand's most popular products are dhansak masala, Parsi masala, and tandoori masala. All the pre-mixes are homemade and prepared by Mistry herself: no helpers, no assistants, nothing. The other masalas she makes include Parsi curry masala, pure turmeric powder (also sourced from the Kerala plantations) and pure red chilli powder. In addition to the pre-mixes, there's also a range of more than 100 products, including chocolates, health bars and green teas.
For her, quality is king. She insists that she would not sell something that she wouldn't feed her own family. That's the kind of unadulterated commitment that she has towards her masalas, brand and customers.
While most of us love different kinds of foods and flavours, few can convert this passion into something special. More than 25 years ago, Khurshid and Dinshaw Variava did just that. This led to the birth of Aatash Foods to manufacture processed foods. Back then, the concept of pre-mixed pastes and masalas was rather new, but the Variavas decided to take the leap. Their tagline is 'adding taste to busy lives,' and they want to make it simpler with their ready-to-cook boxes.
Dinshaw says, "We started our journey with a first-of-its-kind Aatash SuperChef ginger garlic paste, which until then was not being manufactured by any other company across western India. Our ginger-garlic paste was accepted very well in Mumbai. We had a market share of more than 80 per cent, thanks to the first-mover advantage." Today, the brand is led by three directors, along with Noshirwan J Tata.
Khurshid and Dinshaw Variava
Over the years, new mixes, sauces and preparations were added to the range, and today the brand boasts of a varied menu. The dhansak dal masala, kheema masala, curry masala and mutton masala are a dream come true for any foodie. These pre-mixed masalas eliminate the many steps that one goes through while preparing these otherwise elaborate dishes. They are quick and convenient, and still give the same taste and flavour that one would experience when they cook with a concoction of individual spices. red chilli garlic paste, green chilli garlic paste, English mustard, schezwan sauce and pizza sauce are some of the other popular products. They source their raw spices from the APMC Market in Navi Mumbai, and ground them in-house at their factory.
To place an order, call Jienazz Mistry on 9869554773
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