Sharmi on the Trot

Travelling, Exploring, Eating…

Review: Cooking Up A Storm With ‘Chef In A Box’

How many of you, in the confines of your kitchen, have wanted to create restaurant style dishes. I personally believe that plating, even for dinner for one on a cold weekday night, elevates the food just that much. You want to eat something pretty. And trust me, it’s not tough. If I can, so can you.

I’ve been reading a lot about these new ventures whereby one can order restaurant dishes and eat them at the confines of their home. What’s impressed me about Chef In A Box is that you get to create restaurant style dishes in your kitchen in a matter of minutes (ok, not minutes but easily enough) and then eat them till your tummy fills up. At least, that’s what I did!

Well-packed ingredients

Well-packed ingredients

Gayatri Iyer is passionate about food and she decided to pursue this venture giving up her job. As a customer, I fully support her decision. Not only do you get variety to choose from the menu but I tried two dishes on the opposite ends of the spectrum — they were both delicious.

As a Bengali, the more I miss home, the more I want to eat food from my region. Hence, I chose the Potoler Dolma which for a layman is Pointed Gourd with a meat filling cooked in succulent tomato-based gravy. Then, I also ordered for Rich Dark Chocolate Pots for desert. I was not disappointed. Not only did they turn out exactly as the pictures on the recipe leaflets but tasted so delicious that I’ve decided to order other items from the menu when I’m in the mood to create dishes usually cooked by professionals.

Fresh stuff for the Potoler Dolma

Fresh stuff for the Potoler Dolma

Easy Ordering Process

Ordering is simple. Just log onto and sign up. Once you do, the options are plenty. You have food items based on the time needed to cook, non-vegetarian and vegetarian options and cuisines. One gets a variety to choose from – Thai Green Curry to Burmese Khao Suey to Bengali delicacies. Choose what you want to order and pay online, the boxes with the freshest ingredients get delivered to your doorstep the next day from the restaurants associated with this venture.

Potoler Dolma turned out exactly like the picture on the leaflet!

Potoler Dolma turned out exactly like the picture on the leaflet!

The Cooking Bit

I love cooking and I find my time in the kitchen therapeutic. But if you don’t and yet want to create something restaurant quality, don’t worry, it’s easy. Every ingredient is boxed carefully so as to avoid spillage. Then, a recipe card with a step-by-step process tells you how to achieve the desired results. All you need to do is follow one step after another and voila, you have your dish on your plate.

What I Made

I tried the Potoler Dolma and Rich Dark Chocolate Pots. Both came in cardboard boxes with instructions. Every ingredient was fresh and what I liked about was it was a no fuss affair. The potol was cleaned ands scooped out, the mutton came in individual portions for each potol while the gravy which was so tasty was already made. All I needed was to put in a bit of effort to create something delicious. It barely took me time, maybe a maximum of half an hour. The chocolate shots were even easier. The chocolate, cream, liqueur and chopped nuts came in individual containers. I just had to melt the chocolate, add the cream and liqueur, freeze and then eat with a layer of chopped nuts as decoration!

I've had to fill two glass up to the brim because I broke the two! But it's perfect for 4, a lot for 2!

I’ve had to fill two glass up to the brim because I broke the two! But it’s perfect for 4, a lot for 2!

Value For Money

I feel what you spend on these recipes is full value for money. For example, the dolma was Rs 280 while the desert was Rs 455. The dolma, though for one person, can easily be had by two with a plate of steaming rice. The desert is decadent and serves four. The other items on the menu range from Rs 250 – Rs 1400 approx. The portions are perfect and I feel that you’d end up playing a lot more if you eat out than if you order in and make it yourself with just a tiny bit of effort.

Book and chocolate, the perfect way to indulge an evening

Book and chocolate, the perfect way to indulge an evening

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2 thoughts on “Review: Cooking Up A Storm With ‘Chef In A Box’

  1. This is very satisfying. Making something delicious and exotic can be immensely therapeutic.


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