I feel like it’s been ages since I put pen to paper to discuss my latest foodie thoughts! I think it’s time I answered the question that so many of you have asked. Why did you decide to do frozen curries??
Simplest answer “I like my bed too much!” Well, it is true!
Let’s go back to the beginning. When I was offered a place to work at Kuumba Imaani kitchens doing the cooking for LMOS was just the start. I realised I had a kitchen space to feed the masses but with no one to feed!
Technically this is called a dark kitchen which is increasingly coming on the rise. I also was determined not to work late nights; I liked the nine to five type hours and yes! I liked my bed so the idea of cooking late and running a restaurant was just not happening, not if I could help it.
I mulled about this for a while and thought why not serve cold food, the other extreme to piping hot food. It seemed logical to me as I wanted to get past the serving food hot. Then my research took me to the light bulb moment when I decided on frozen foods.
In all fairness the husband did a lot of research for me on what type of frozen foods were out there, whilst I researched the catering side. A lot of researching later we decided to go with what we knew best, the food we eat, okay maybe not daily but close! I noticed, or the husband pointed out that a lot of frozen Indian foods out there were all Indian restaurant-based foods, like the jalfrezis and baltis and bhunas. That is all well and good, and obviously there is a huge market for this type of product out there, but it’s not what we ate at home and it this home cooked experience that I wanted to bring to the general public, or you guys!
If you have read the ‘about me’ page you will know that my mum has influenced my cooking and passion for cooking, hence I wanted to bring mum’s pilau to you rather than the pilau you eat at the restaurant and the curries we ate as we grew up. My food I hope will be a completely different experience for you, mostly our favourite foods we eat at home made especially for you.
Now there is always the sceptic that will say oh I can just go to my local and choose a much wider variety of curries of the menu and have it delivered piping hot. But that is not what my food is about. Hopefully, we are trying to establish ourselves in the frozen food, convenience food, ready made meals in your freezer ready to grab when you can’t be bothered. And rather than having the cardboard type of curry powdered flavoured curries that are readily available at local supermarkets, there are ones you can enjoy, proper home cooked food straight out of the freezer.
What has actually happened is that you guys have realised how good the food is and so many are ordering not just to stock up, but for birthday meals especially, one of our first ever orders that went out was for a Christmas Day meal! This is completely what we had not planned, but the frozen meals are so good, so why not save it for special occasions.
Now addressing those who have said, let me know when you make it fresh, I don’t want it frozen! Let me take a few minutes to defend the frozen foods industry!!!! By freezing freshly cooked foods we are preserving foods for you to eat at your convenience. Freezing food is a centuries old method of food preservation to stop the growth of bacteria. Foods can remain fresh for months if not years using this method of preservation.
When the food defrosts, the amalgamation of flavours makes the food taste even better, like when you leave a lamb curry overnight and tastes better the next day. Basically, we are locking in the flavours making it more intense and tastier ready for you to enjoy.
By using the trays we have chosen, we have made it even simpler for you to re heat, they simply go directly in the microwave or oven. For those who want to slowly defrost and heat in the pan, that is also an option.
So, stock up your freezer and heat and eat in your own time.
Now, let’s back track and look at the journey of getting the food from just an idea to the shelves. When going to a restaurant or takeout the food is simply served hot or cold depending on what you order. You have a vague idea of what is in it, e.g. a chicken jalfrezi will have chicken and pepper, a cake will have butter, sugar, eggs and flour in most instances. When it comes to selling frozen foods, we come into a different ball game. The consumer has the right to know a lot more detail as to what they are buying, and rightly so!
Most of last summer was spent weighing out ingredients, measuring everything, tweaking recipes, and choosing our favourites. We then took our information to a nutritional specialist who worked hard, bless him, although he was very ill, to work out the calories of every curry against the portions we created. It was a lot more in depth than I ever thought it would be!
The husband then spent time creating and designing the packaging, a lot of time!! It took months to design the web page too. We even asked a professional photographer to come in and take photos of our foods which was fraught with difficulties due to the covid restrictions. But luckily everything fell into place, even down to the dishes we photographed our curries in, we were lucky shopping for some birthday presents and came across them.
For us this has been an amazing, interesting and very enjoyable journey, and is only the beginning of our frozen foods story. Please keep following us on our facebook pages, fozia’s kashmiri curry kitchen and keep browsing our web pages for our latest product updates and of course further foodie blogs!