Reading Time: 5 minutes
We are all still reeling from the year’s lockdowns while we continue to find ways to make our lives more fulfilling within these four walls. It’s why when we first heard of Burgundy Box’s packaged meal trays and DIY meal kits, our first response was, “Why didn’t anyone tell us about this during the lockdown?” It may have saved us hours of toil in the kitchen that often resulted in barely edible, far from gourmet meals. If that wasn’t enough, a pile of dishes and a messy workstation was then demanding our attention.
Our Instagram feed was flush with newly-minted chefs conjuring up delicacies from around the world in their humble kitchens. There was the ubiquitous banana bread, the homemade pizza dough and the million versions of biryani. While we, on the other hand, struggled to find an ounce of baking powder amid depleting resources, to partake in these shenanigans. Well, we may just have saved ourselves the heartache. You can quite imagine the baking prowess a first-time cook could possess.
A Meal for One
Once we had made our peace with food deliveries, duly sanitising containers and transferring all food into new ones, we were facing another problem. Have you realised that restaurants seldom offer meals for one? You end up ordering a curry with rice and bread on the side, and then spend the rest of the week with leftovers? Almost always, it ensures we are sticking to one item to avoid wastage of any kind. It is no wonder then that combos and meal bowls are fast becoming the go-to option for single millennial diners. It’s also often what’s forcing a lot of us to stick to single-serve junk food.
So, when we chanced upon Mumbai-based Burgundy Box’s offerings, we were in for a surprise. Here was a delivery service that wanted you to have a full meal all unto yourself without having to worry about portion size, leftovers or the cost of ordering an entire dish that could serve more than one.
And if it’s a party, which let’s be honest, in pandemic times it rarely is, you get to choose from a party menu that offers you options that serve three. If your party includes more than three at the moment, then it’s possible the pandemic memo hasn’t reached you. Yes, we are rolling our eyes here.
Burgundy Box calls them meal trays and you have a wide variety of cuisines to choose from. There’s Veg Chettinad with Malabar Parathas, Honey Chili Chicken with Fried Rice, Grilled Chicken Steak on a bed of Herbed Rice with Ratatouile, Bhuna Rolls, Pasta Arrabbiata, Thai Curry and Rice, Tortiallas, Nasi Goreng and the winter favourite Sarson ka Saag and Makke di Roti, for good measure.
You can also order additional sides like Tawa Parathas, Rice, Fried Rice and Tawa Rotis at nominal costs. We love the flexibility Burgundy Box gives to plan your own meals.
DIY with Burgundy Box
So, while we were quite spoilt for choice with Burgundy Box’s meal tray menu and tempted to just order in a pre-cooked meal, we decided to give Burgundy Box’s DIY Meal Kits section a look. Little did we know that ordering a meal will turn into an exciting new activity? We say exciting because ordering from Burgundy Box comes without the procurement of ingredients, the prep and complicated techniques.
Here too, the offerings are across cuisines; from biryanis to Thai curry to Tacos and steaks. There is also a DIY version of the Sarson ka Saag and Makke di Roti and an Instant Pot Khao Suey. No prizes for guessing what we chose. The ‘instant’ prefix is an alluring one after a day of Zoom calls and hurried lunches.
The Instant Pot Chicken Khao Suey it was going to be.
The Burgundy Box DIY Meal Kits serve two, or in some cases three. While it brings us back to the problem we started with, some portioning ensures you can have two freshly prepared meals instead of a leftover pot.
The process of ordering is quite simple: put your order in your cart and head straight to payments. However, keep in mind that Burgundy Box operates with timings (8 am to 7 pm). So, if you are ordering closer to the cut-off time, your kit will likely arrive the next day, the way it did for us. You do get a call that informs you about the delivery time.
Our Burgundy Box kit arrived at 12 pm, well in time to be cooked up for lunch, in well, a burgundy box.
We weren’t expecting this to be as easy a ride as it turned out to be. The box comes with a pre-cooked broth, a portion of coconut milk powder, boiled noodles and a set of small pouches that make up the condiments to top your bowl with. There were fried onions, fried garlic, crushed peanuts and some crispy noodles. Everything in the box is neatly labelled even though there’s little chance of anything going wrong. Then again, we don’t want to presume.
From Kit to Meal
The only thing missing here are the instructions. Before panic strikes you about having to figure it out all on your own, let us assure you that the recipe arrives in a convenient WhatsApp attachment with a picture of what the finished product will look like. That’s quite enough to get started.
The process is simple. You begin with boiling and cooling water to make your coconut milk from the powder. You boil the broth in a deep-bottomed pan on the side. Pour the coconut milk into the broth, bring to a boil and turn it off. Squeeze some lemon for the tangy flavour (you’ll have to use your own). Wash the noodles so they separate and set them in a bowl of your choice. We decided to heat them in the microwave for a bit even though they were warm.
Once done, pour the broth over the noodles and top it with the array of condiments in the pouches as per your taste. You can also add some of your own, as we did. We were caught on a good day with some fresh coriander and basil that we chopped up. Remember to place the crispy noodles right on top, so they don’t turn soggy.
Voila! Your Burgundy Box meal is ready in less than 15 minutes. And what’s better? It looks like a gourmet meal!
Now, it was time for the taste test. If you are serving for two we suggest you lay the condiments out on a table and use them as required through the meal.
A bite into the warm, flavourful yet tangy broth was enough to confirm this was the kind of meal we will marvel over for days to come. The consistency is perfect with the right crunch of peanuts, fried onions and the piquant garlic. On a winter evening, it can be all kinds of comforting. The only thing we found a bit of out of place was the generous amounts of red and yellow bell-peppers in the broth. We don’t remember the last time we had Khao Suey with capsicum. Then again, when was the last time any of us had Khao Suey?