“Coming from Bombay, I was drawn to the idea of cooking the food I grew up with, where I had the chance to learn from my mum and aunty, as well as other members of my family, to cook and most importantly — enjoy food,” says Vicky Shah of his new appointment as head chef at Home Spice, a meal subscription service that delivers exceptional, elevated South Asian cuisine to homes across Auckland in traditional dabba boxes.
“Our menus are inspired by the dishes my mother taught me at home and the meals we would share around the table. When conceptualising our weekly offering, I focus on highlighting the diverse culinary traditions of various regions in India and South Asia, ensuring that the dishes complement one another seamlessly.” continues Shah. And we can attest to the fact that Shah is doing a diversity of dishes an incredible justice, marrying his experience in the kitchens of Kol and Cassia with his upbringing spent surrounded by the South East’s rich culinary culture to create exceptional fare for Home Spice’s loyal legions.
The inspiration for Home Spice came from the legendary Dabbawalas of Mumbai, who have long provided a lunch delivery service to ravenous office workers in the populous Indian city, transporting reusable dabbas (stainless steel lunch boxes) filled to the brim with nourishing, home-cooked meals. With the Dabbawalas famed for their reliability and dedication to the job through the most treacherous conditions (from monsoons to riots), this innovative food delivery system inspired Aucklander Jaimee Croot to conceive a local version of her very own.
Dishing up authentic Indian cuisine inspired by the region’s vast and varied flavours, Home Spice’s meals are available for delivery to suburban Auckland doorsteps. Encased in dabbas, once emptied, the vessels can be exchanged for a fresh new set of delicious meals each week — a sustainable solution to the excess packaging often associated with home food boxes.
Each delivery consists of four stackable, oven-safe tins, the bottom filled with rice, the second curry, the third dal, and the fourth chutney. Essentially a full meal for two people (or two meals for one), recipients can conveniently heat the rice, curry and dal tins in the oven. There’s also an option to add on roti, which, if you ask us is an essential addition to any South Asian feast.
Shah and the team curate a new menu each week based on what’s in season, with delivery taking place on Tuesdays. All of the vibrant, flavourful meals are vegetarian and you can expect the likes of saffron and almond pulao rice paired with tandoori paneer and cauliflower tikka masala, white lentil dal, and cashew and coriander chutney.
Building on their already impressive offering, Home Spice have teamed up with the experts at Everyday Wine to offer the perfect natural wine pairing to compliment Shah’s weekly creations. The wine will be either white, rosé, orange, or red, based on what will complement best, and will come in a reusable bottle, which, when combined with the stainless steel dabba’s makes for an entirely packaging-free (and entirely delicious) meal.
Ultimately, whether you’re after a decision-free dinner, craving a new take on South Asian cuisine, or desire a wholesome meal with wine to match, Home Spice has you covered. Orders close on a Sunday evening the week before delivery, and the dabbas are delivered every Tuesday. You can opt for a one-off trial, a weekly subscription, or simply select your desired frequency. The more the merrier, we say. Sign up here.