He is the chef who brought closely guarded recipes home through a TV show Khana Khazana - a one of its kind shows in the early days of cable TV in India. From demystifying complex recipes on one show, to hosting an array of culinary shows on Food Food, TV channel he co-owns to building a business empire that includes a chain of restaurants, a range of cookware and appliances, Sanjeev Kapoor is the probably the first celebrity chef of India, who understood the Indian pulse on cooking and eating.
Today, as he launched KitFresh meal kits, another unique offering on Amazon India, we caught up with him for a quick Q&A. Excerpts below:
Where did this idea of Kit Fresh meal kits stem from?
We have been following food trends world-wide, including Amazon meal kits in other parts of the world and we noticed that "meal kits" as a concept was gaining rapid traction across many parts. Further, with the onset of COVID19, a sharp decline in out of home consumption and people working from home, we knew customers will value meal kits.
For us Indians, there is nothing like a freshly cooked meal at home and thus we conceived of the idea of "We do the Prep, You be the Chef", thereby taking away all the jhanjhat (problems) of buying multiple ingredients in small quantities, the right vegetables and meat, cut appropriately and ensuring that you get the same consistent taste each and every time you prepare a special dish. This was how the idea of "KitFresh" was born! Here I chose few of my most popular signature dishes, converted them into the KitFresh format, and am offering the same taste to our customers.
This seems like a boon for many who just know to cook Maggi...just how simple is it? Is it like a dummy's guide?
We have presented to our customers KitFresh Fresh Meal Kits in as simple a manner as possible. It is literally as simple as 1-2-3 and at the end of the simple illustrated cooking process, you get one of my favourite dishes with the same predictable taste just as I would have made it.
All the ingredients including fresh vegetables/marinated meats are carefully chosen, processed in an advanced state of art hygienic facility and carefully measured and put together in the form of a kit.
“Thanks to putting together the kit in pre-measured quantities, there is zero wastage and no mess. That is the secret behind- we do the prep, you be the Chef!”
Also the secret sauce that gives the dish the delicious taste has been carefully processed fresh and the right quantity packed with very clear cooking instructions such that even a person entering the kitchen for the first time is able to cook a delicious meal for 2-3 people. Thanks to putting together the kit in pre-measured quantities, there is zero wastage and no mess. That is the secret behind- we do the prep, you be the Chef!
With so many different ingredients, how do you ensure the nutritive value is not lost?
As you can see in any KitFresh meal kit, customers will always have a generous portion of freshly cut vegetables and or freshly marinated meat/ tofu etc as the case may be. Also the secret sauce is freshly prepared from ingredients in the most hygienic conditions and packed. Fresh spices and ingredients have been used in all the recipes.
There is no addition of artificial colour, preservatives, flavour, MSG whatsoever. All the goodness is sealed in. As a result you can see that each meal kit preparation is next only to freshly preparing at home and thus almost all the nutritive value is well and truly captured.
Just like the lockdown has made many people take up different hobbies, do you think these meal kits will inspire people to cook more often?
The lockdowns have changed customer behaviours in many ways and certainly cooking and eating at home with family is one big shift we have seen. This is likely to continue for some time at a heightened level, as out of home consumption will take time to stabilise. This is really the time for families to experiment and cook the favourite dishes for the family. That is the reason for launching KitFresh meal kits is such that customers can enjoy the same dishes tasting as good as what would have been made by me in my kitchen!
“This is really the time for families to experiment and cook the favourite dishes for the family. That is the reason for launching KitFresh Meal kits.”
Finally, though it’s a meal in a box - what is that one tip you would give to those using the box meal so they can add a personal touch to the meal?
We have included a detailed recipe card with clear step-by-step instructions to ensure that you get the predictable end result. However cooking is a great combination of art, craft and science. There are still a million ways which the customers can use their creativity and add some fresh ingredients from the house / kitchen shelves to give it that extra twist. It is possible to make it extra spicy, add a dash of garlic/ginger for those who prefer it that way.