Restaurant in my kitchen
Homemade creations made with DIY food kits from restaurants are proving to be game-changers. Did we mention that bragging rights are included?
Love it or hate it, we are all cooking a lot these days. Since every meal is a production—it is easy to lose interest in our own culinary repertoire. Thankfully, restaurants across the globe are coming up with novel ideas such as DIY cooking and baking kits that let you whip up their most-loved dishes in your own kitchen.
"These kits are foolproof and make preparing everything from pizza and pastas to tacos and burgers, a breeze. The lockdown hasn't been easy on any of us, so sometimes, you just need to cut yourself some slack and make a restaurant-style gourmet meal for you and your family," says Anka Sharma, co-founder, Uno Más Tapas Bar Kitchen, BKC's speciality Spanish eatery.
As much as these kits help satiate cravings, they also help the struggling restaurant businesses survive the pandemic. In fact, the concept of food kits isn't new. About eight years ago, startups such as New York-based Blue Apron started sending chef-designed meals with ingredients to its users. "In India, though the concept of DIY food kits is relatively new and probably more of an ad-hoc response to the lockdown, we will certainly be seeing a lot more of them before people actually start walking into restaurants again," says chef Aabhas Mehrotra, Sorrentina by Foodhall.
With your favourite restaurants offering to do the painstaking preparation, all you do is the final toss or bake and take a bow and the accolades. Bookmark this list of DIY meal kits to try and go bring out your best cutlery for a fine-dine experience.
Uno Más's limited menu aims at making your meal an experience. Their tacos are available in a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. We tried the buttermilk chicken (with fried chicken, red chilli, and sriracha mayo) and the Baja fish (cajun fried snapper, along with pickled cucumber and chipotle mayo). Individually packaged, you need to construct them yourself. Though fried meat can seem a tad-bit dry, the accompaniments to put in the taco is what add to the real crunch and colour. And, if you are missing post-work drinks, then there are cocktail mixes (raw mango, mangolicious and guava picante) on the menu that come along with garnishes and recommended alcohol suggestions for the best flavour combinations. Teetotallers can mix it with soda or ice to sip on for that perfect afternoon drink.
Price: Rs 375 onwards
Order: Scootsy and Swiggy
When chef Aabhas Mehrotra is personally involved in making fresh, hand-rolled pasta, sauces and dough, you know it's going to be a good meal. The Sicilian Carretiera sauce we had was bursting with flavours of tomato, basil, garlic and olive oil and it gave both-the hand-rolled spaghetti and fettuccine and silicon style pizza dough-a southern Italian punch. Their signature house-made spice blend of the Sorrentina spice mix took the experience a few notches up. The pizza kit comprises a pre-baked Sicilian style pizza dough, shredded mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. All you need for a classico margherita. In the coming weeks, the chef is going to add more items and we can't wait to try those as well.
Price: Rs 500 onwards
Order: Swiggy, Zomato and Scootsy
If there is one way to fall in love with baking, it is by making this sincerely decadent Persian love loaf. A soft crumbed almond and rosewater cake with intense green cardamom and candied lemons. Give it 20 minutes to prepare and about 45-50 minutes to bake and serve it with your afternoon tea. We bet, you wouldn't have had anything so epicurean all of lockdown. The deep, rich texture of almonds, spiked with an interplay of flavours between cardamom and rosewater-jewelled with green pistachios and fuchsia dried rose petals makes a simple loaf, most intensely aromatic and elegant. In the Bake Along box series, there is also blueberry cornmeal pancakes, and chocolate fudge and peanut butter layer cake that we can't wait to try. And did we mention how we loved chef Bakhtiani's witty style of recipe writing?
Price: Rs 1,500 per kit
Order on Zomato, Scootsy and Swiggy
Known for their authentic Italian woodfired pizza, the guys at 1441 Pizzeria are now delivering Make your Own Gourmet Pizza in five variants-margherita, paneer tikka pizza, fiama pizza, meat craver pizza and spicy chicken Mexicana pizza. We tried their margherita and fiama version in eight inches and got the kids involved in its construction. They had fun squeezing out the sauce from the piping bags, which was slightly watery and somewhat bland, and spreading cheese on the pizza. The cheese was limited but the toppings were generous, so we added our own cheese to the pizza and followed their instructions for tava cooking-which turned out just fine. It seemed like a nice way to spice up our quarantine dinner routine.
Price: Rs 145 onwards
Order: Swiggy and Zomato
Smoke House Deli, Pali Hill, Bandra
One of the first restaurants to start the trend in the city, Smoke House Deli's DIY kits are date-night perfect and come in neatly packaged boxes. We tried their chicken oregano burger and it came with fresh ingredients including two patties, vegetables, cheeses and sauces along with a detailed recipe. Although the bun was slightly flaky; we give them full marks for the juiciest, tastiest patty ever. For kids, the selection of cookie dough was simple to make—just cut and place in a greased tray an into the oven. It tasted divine and the kids loved dunking it in their evening glass of milk.
Currently servicing food from just their Pali Hill outlet in a 6 km radius, the menu ranges across a selection of their best mains and desserts and each kit serves two. You can even involve kids with their simpler, kid-friendly junior DIY deli kits.
Price: Rs 345 onwards
Order: Swiggy and Zomato
These home chefs are offering kits that can be picked up via WeFast or similar couriers
Gourmet pizza kits
The kits come with pizza dough that you need to roll out yourself, along with a vodka-infused sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil or rosemary infused olive oil to top off your pizza.
Pickups from Malabar Hill
Artisanal pasta boxes
Cacio e Pepe-Pasta & Pies
We've already mentioned in one of our previous editions how much we love chef Apeksha Agarwal's fresh artisanal pasta and pies and she is continuing to roll them out even in lockdown. A pure labour of love, she has some amazing variations that you can simply toss in butter and sage and go straight to food heaven.
Pickups from Bandra
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