The legendary Dabbawalas of Mumbai 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 remarkable food delivery system inspired Aucklander Jaimee Croot to conceive ‘Home Spice’, a subscription service with a local twist.
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.
Working alongside an accomplished Indian-born chef, Croot explains that the decision to deliver South-East Asian meals was deliberate for several reasons, including that the food tastes better over time as the flavours marinate and intensify.
The age-old dabba system is ingenious in many ways. Each container 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 rotis (unleavened flat bread). A daily Indian staple, they go perfectly with dals, curries, and chutneys, stay fresh in a cool place for a couple of days, and taste incredible when warmed for just a couple of minutes in the oven.
For now, Home Spice curates a new menu every week based on what’s in season. All meals are vegetarian (and sometimes vegan) — Croot proves you don’t miss meat when nutritious veggies and protein-rich pulses are packed with vibrant and flavourful spices.
Offering dishes like paneer and yam in fenugreek sauce, white lentil dal, and cashew and coriander chutney, Home Spice resonates with the Indian ethos that cooking is a labour of love. Intricate meals are designed to be shared and everyone eats a bit of everything, coming together and bonding over heart-warming food.
Ultimately, whether you’re after a decision-free dinner, craving a new take on plant-based cuisine, or desire a wholesome meal, Home Spice has you covered. Orders close on a Friday evening the week before delivery, and the dabbas are delivered every Tuesday. A worthy service we hope long continues, like the valiant Dabbawalas of Mumbai.