Very rarely do I get the time to cook at home. But when I do, we plan an evening with food, friends and full on fundoo evenings. Plans were made, menu was drawn and shopping was about to begin. Just then I get a call from a PR and requested me to try out their yet-to-launch meal boxes. This is from the house of Faasos and its been christened Cheflery and is made available to the junta through their easy to browse through app. (Read more here: Phoned my friends, changed the menu and the plan. By now this had become a working party, if you can imagine. But that’s fairly fine with all food loving party animals.

We planned some cocktails, starters and desserts and left the mains to the kindness of Cheflery. The trial menu entailed a combination of a few classics put together in a very beautiful ‘soon-to-go-viral’ way of cooking. I think meals prepped up and packed in a box is the best way of getting ingredients in your kitchens as it saves you many hassles- shopping, overstocking, scaling recipes. The concept is simple yet futuristic. Why would someone buy a quarter kilo pack of mascarpone cheese when you could get just 15 grams, that too pre weighed and packed.

Coming back. The selection was great to start with. Though a few misses. But nothing that can’t be reworked or requested to change. Let’s read each in details.

Pan seared chicken with stuffed tomato and mozzarella. 20151029_195415_resized

Firstly, the name. I would wish it is renamed to Tomato, mozzarella stuffed chicken with buttered vegetables. Because the name must suggest everything it contains, atleast 90% of the main ingredients. The name written does not suggest the same. Also, grammatically is incorrect. Moving on. It took exact 30 minutes to cook and serves two. However, this being the first dish that got ready, finished even before we could click. Tasted very basic, simple yet very comforting. Just that we all thought unanimously, some kind of sauce would have taken this another level. May be a dehydrated form of brown sauce that could serve as a premix?

Vegetable risotto with parmesan and mascarpone cheese.IMG-20151030-WA0020-1

Serves 2 brilliantly and the best of the lot. Contains Arborio rice, diced zucchini and green peas in a pouch. A packet of peeled garlic, peeled onions, thyme sprigs and parsley curls. Also, scaled portions of fresh cream, mascarpone cheese, parmesan cheese, olive oil and butter. Just one thing here, Wish the butter was the tastier one, if you know what I mean. Follow the recipe perfectly and you will get a perfect al dente rice grain. Another 100 ml of water and we get perfect grains, for the ones who are not the ‘al dente’ types. What I like best is the generosity in both the quantities of parmesan cheese and parsley.

Mexican beans casserole with herbed riceIMG-20151030-WA0029-1

The second best of the lot. And this coming from hardcore meat eaters is quite a testimony. The spice sachets look more when emptied in the initial masala. But when mixed with the beans, they taste just perfect. Some looking for a little more spice, could help themselves off their own shelves. But otherwise perfect. The recipe must be followed to the T, to get the perfect tastes out. However, I would suggest adding a little salt while cooking the rice. Again butter could be the tastier one 😉 It will make herbed rice taste nice and buttery, just as liked by all. We had it in our fridge, hence used. But the purpose of the box was defeated.

BBQ Grilled chicken, with ratatouille and roast potatoes.IMG-20151030-WA0026-1-1

A great composition put together. Roast potatoes is a pan seared version of Classic potato Lyonnaise. We took liberties and cut of the chicken into thin slices instead of keeping it whole. The proprietary BBQ sauce provided could be much better. The one provided in the box  is very synthetic. Ratatouille does not read addition of basil. Not that I personally think it tastes beautiful but also traditionally calls for it. Also a tablespoon of vinegar and a pinch of sugar could make it taste closer to the original recipe. Aubergine is an integral part of a ratatouille. In packaged portions, the diced one would turn black. May be that’s the reason it is not included. But then calling it ‘pepper ratatouille’ would do no harm. Plus, addition of water to the ratatouille is like challenging the creator. Best avoided.

All in all, a great #justcookit box, albeit a few misses. Which like I said before are all workable. Just one more thing, it would be nice if sachets of salt and pepper could be provided, too, as we are looking at opening a box in a kitchen which does not have any cooking ingredient. May be bachelors and spinsters who would wish to cook for a living too. Just do not target working men and women with these bare kitchen essentials in place.

IMG-20151030-WA0023Also, if water to be used for cooking risotto rice can be measured, bottled and placed. Because, risotto-cooking could be a challenge if water quantity is goofed up. Or, suggest a few ways or cheats for weighing those perfect 100 ml and 40 ml portions? Food photography could be much better. Preparatory stage as well as the final product. It doesn’t look palatable at all, forget appetizing.

Put your thinking caps on Team Cheflery. You have a busy city to cater to, which has a mind of its own. Also, think of it, many are venturing with the similar concepts.

Wish you luck. V

About Faaso’s

Incorporated in 2011, Faasos is India’s first and largest food technology business. The company’s forte lies in speedy and seamless delivery of quality food, high in taste. As the only vertically integrated food business in the country, Faasos technologically operates all the three important aspects of a ‘Food on Demand’ business, viz. Ordering (the most convenient ordering app in the country), Distribution (availability of food across different cities) and Fulfillment (Delivery through the company’s own logistics or delivery boys). Series A from Sequoia Capital in FY2012 and Series B by Lightbox Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Innoven Capital in FY2015, has assisted Faasos in its expansion plans significantly. With its wide assortment of sumptuous meals from breakfast to dinner, delivered to customers at any time of the day; Faasos aims to become the best-in-class ‘Food on Demand’ business in the country, with the apropos tagline ‘We Got Your Food’.