Although I had the privilege of enjoying my mom’s home cooking growing up, her cooking skills haven’t completely transferred to me. Let’s face it, everyone is busy and sometimes preparing food can feel particularly overwhelming. But despite the hurdles of cooking, there are days when I crave something cozy and comforting and neither Uber Eats nor Seamless can satisfy those hunger pangs fast enough. There is, in fact, a happy medium: I am surprised to report that I have found an instant product that really tastes like home.
I grew up eating Indian food. No, that’s not to say my diet consisted of samosas and naan (although those items popped up at almost every wedding reception). Like all cuisines, Indian cuisine varies according to the geographical location from which it originates. As a person from the state of Gujarat, located in the western part of the subcontinent, I have most often experienced vegetarian dishes consisting of different curries, rices and rotis. In other parts of the country like Punjab, other sourdough breads, lentil preparations and seasonal vegetables are the signature dishes.
When I found out The cumin club, I thought I was eating a dish prepared by my own mom. Even better, the meal was technically the fruit of my work, i.e. throw the contents of the package into boiling water. Affordably priced, these packets are becoming my pantry stocker, especially since I don’t always want to pay $20 for a paneer tikka masala entree. As a bonus, the products show how a plant-based lifestyle could manifest in the Western world, especially as we move towards an increasingly meatless future.
What is the Cumin Club?
Ragoth Bala, co-founder of the Cumin Club, tells The takeaway that the company was born out of her desire to eat healthy, plant-based meals that could fit into her busy schedule, which included balancing a career and MBA classes. The company has worked with a research and development center in India to perfect more than 30 popular Indian recipes, including South Indian dishes like idli sambar., street food like pav bhaji, and even crunchy appetizers like papad.
The contents of the packets go through dry roasting and freeze-drying processes, extracting moisture from the dishes to extend shelf life without the aid of artificial or natural preservatives.
“Sun-drying food is a common preservation technique that dates back to our ancestors and inspired our processes,” says Bala. The takeaway. “The recipes we have chosen encompass the ‘cuisines of India’. Food habits are as diverse as the population and offer a wealth of recipes to draw from, and at the moment our menu features favorites from 6 different regions of India: Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Punjab and Gujarat .
Bala notes that Cumin Club chefs are constantly researching regional Indian dishes across the country that can be packaged without preservatives and easily translated into five-minute prep format.
Why Cumin Club meals are worth it
5-Minute Meal Kits are a game changer, with ingredients and instructions clearly marked on the package. Most recipes call for boiling water on the stove and then adding the contents of the package, although some dishes can be microwaved – these are particularly popular among students and working parents who are looking for even more convenience. There is also growing interest in the product among non-South Asian consumers, especially flexitarians, who want to enjoy a nutritious, plant-based meal and enjoy global cuisine.
If you order 20 meals, the unit cost is $4.99 per pack, a price intended to make the meals accessible to consumers considering a plant-based existence. The Cumin Club can be seen as part of this transition; it’s a way to adhere to a meatless diet without being overwhelmed with the daily meal prep often associated with this lifestyle. A five-meal pack is $7.49/meal and 10 meals is $5.99/meal, which is still cheaper than delivery, and delivery is free. (Since the meals are dehydrated, they don’t require ice or gel packs for delivery, a nice bonus for anyone concerned about packaging waste.)
Some popular options are paneer butter masala, dal makhani, and palak paneer. Desserts are also available; you can see all the options on the Cumin Club app. I order rava kichadi Next.