'Not Just Curries' meal delivery service launches in Kelowna

Steve MacNaull | October 5, 2022 in Food & Drink

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Hyderabadi motta korma, vermicelli upma, Goan fried fish, Kurumulaka rasam, Nadan pork biryani, Vendakkai moru curry and Kerala Kadala curry.

They are just some of the small-batch, fresh, flavourful, authentic and delicious Southern India dishes 'Not Just Curries' is whipping up for delivery right to your doorstep in Kelowna.

"This is food that my husband (Rahul Jayan) and I grew up with and that we can't wait to share with our new community," said Deepa Pillay.

"When my husband and I moved from India to Canada, we noticed that most Indian restaurants only served Northern Indian cuisine. We missed the food we grew up with, food from Southern India. So, we took it upon ourselves to bring this food to our new community and that's how 'Not Just Curries' was born."

Husband-and-wife team Rahul Jayan and Deepa Pillay have started 'Not Just Curries' -- a food delivery featuring Southern Indian dishes.

Northern Indian cuisine tends to be big on the samosas and mild, chicken curries (tandorri and butter chicken) we are familiar with served with naan bread.

Southern India has more access to the sea and a tropical climate for growing fruits and vegetables that results in a spicier and more vegetarian cuisine using more fish, rice, lentils and coconut milk.

The website NotJustCurries.ca posts a month's worth of menus at a time that people can peruse and get their mouth watering.

Hyderabadi motta korma is one of 'Not Just Curries' specialties.

Each meal consists of three to four dishes.

For instance, the Goan fried fish meal not only features the fish in a to-die-for batter of yogurt, onion, curry leaves and traditional spices, but some Kurumulaka rasam (think Indian chicken soup with rice) and ribbon pakoda, a traditional fried snack of lentils and spices shaped like a ribbon.

Select the meals you'd like (for either lunch or dinner) and on the designated days the meals will be freshly prepared in 'Not Just Curries' kitchen and delivered right to your home.

Most meals are priced in the $18-to-$20-range.

Southern India has more access to seafood, thus the popularity of Goan fried fish.

By the way, deeper descriptions of some of those other dishes are Hyderbadi motta korma made with toasted nuts, fried onions, roasted egg and spices with a refreshing yogurt-cucumber sauce and the vermicelli upma with mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies is served with a coriander-coconut chutney. 

"The idea of small-batch cooking stems from ensuring freshness is always maintained. It's the best way to echo mama's home cooking," said Jayan.

"It helps us ensure the meal prepared is always fresh to maximize all the authentic flavour combinations. Through 'Not Just Curries' we're hoping to introduce our community to more than just Southern Indian food. We want to introduce them to Southern Indian culture."

Vermicelli pasta made its way from Italy to India to create vermicelli upma with mustard seeds, spices, curry leaves and red chillies.

While fresh food delivery is much more time-consuming and labour-intensive, 'Not Just Curries' decided on the notion because there are already a myriad of frozen food, mass-produced and pre-packaged options out there.

"Back home in India, the concept of frozen food and meal prepping for a whole week just doesn't exist," said Pillay.

"The focus is always on providing the family with fresh food. And that is exactly what 'Not Just Curries' emulates -- freshly prepared South Indian cuisine to homes in our community."

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