World travel may not be for everyone – especially right now – but consumers can still enjoy foreign cultures without leaving their home. Indian food is a hot food trend. It’s a flavorful cuisine with a wealth of complex flavors and spices, and there are plenty of entrée options for consumers who want to settle down with a good Bollywood movie.
With restaurants either closed or operating at reduced capacity, more consumers are looking for ways to enjoy their favorite meals at home. Café Spice is an award-winning company that specializes in Indian meals, along with other Asian cuisines. The company, located in New Windsor, N.Y., was co-founded by CEO Sameer Malhotra, who ran a top-rated Indian restaurant in New York City. Café Spice recently won two Specialty Food Association sofi Awards, including a silver sofi for its Chicken Tikka Masala in the Entrees, Lunch & Dinner category. The company’s products are available at retail and through outlets like Amazon Fresh.
Cafe Spice’s Culinary Director Chef Hari Nayak has written multiple cookbooks on the subject. He notes that American consumers increasingly are tuned in to the media that surrounds the rise of ethnic trends.
“The average consumer is going through a culinary transformation right now and is learning to appreciate the ethnic and global dishes. Nowadays people are also discovering new cuisines online through outlets like Amazon Fresh,” he says.
Nayak says that good base for an Indian dish is the right balance of spice, sweetness, sour and salt. The perfect blend of spices is what gives each dish unique flavor characteristics. The primary spices that are common in Indian cuisine are cumin, turmeric, red chili and coriander.
Every dish has multiple layers of spice that come together in various forms and techniques during cooking,” he explains. “For example, cumin would be used whole to bloom into hot oil, while caramelizing the onions to ground cumin powder will be added at a later stage of cooking. Similarly, each spice has its own unique characteristic depending on the dish. Then there is garam masala, which is a blend of ground aromatic spices that is added as a finishing spice. That’s what makes Indian cuisine the most novel, complex and delicious.”
Indian Food has a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Chicken Tikka Masala, Butter Chicken Meatballs, Chicken Curry and Beef Massaman Curry are some of Café Spice’s most popular meat dishes. Nayak says that the company uses GAP-certified, humanely raised, antibiotic-free meats and poultry. IP