Woman on mission to show Kiwis there’s more to Indian cuisine than butter chicken

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Nothing like confinement to make us appreciate the efforts of our local producers who work tirelessly to provide us with incredible things to eat and drink. Some, like Dolly Mumma, Perzen Patel’s Indian spice paste company, operate by delivery below level 4.

When Perzen Patel returned to New Zealand from India in 2019, she was surprised at the diversity of the food scene.

However, she was disappointed in the conversations she still had around Indian food, with people still only talking about their love of butter chicken or tikka masala.

Around the same time, with her husband, they brought their first home and had children, and Patel said she found cooking difficult after returning from work, so she started making pasta. short.

After she started creating the pasta, she thought about it more and realized that if she wanted people to taste and explore Indian flavors, it had to be easy for them – and that’s when Dolly Mumma was born.

Dolly Mumma, Perzen Patel's company, can still operate at Alert Level 4 and also offers online cooking classes.

PROVIDED

Dolly Mumma, Perzen Patel’s company, can still operate at Alert Level 4 and also offers online cooking classes.

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“I wanted to take people on this journey beyond butter chicken.”

Patel launched its line of ready-to-cook pasta and spices in August 2020, just after a lockdown, and said they had been in operation for just under a year.

When she moved to New Zealand at the age of 15, she said she had the same conversations most Indian kids in school have about the curry in her lunchbox.

But through her products, she tried to encourage people to incorporate Indian flavors into all of their meals.

Dolly Mumma has a carrot chutney, which is a sweet and sour and spicy blend of carrots, raisins, and dates.

PROVIDED

Dolly Mumma has a carrot chutney, which is a sweet and sour and spicy blend of carrots, raisins, and dates.

An example of this was that you could put tandoori dough with your roasted potatoes, she said, as well as using one of their products on pizza or pita bases, or as marinades and in your stir-fries.

Their first product was Coastal Curry, which Patel said was her grandmother’s curry recipe and the one she grew up with.

“Being able to recreate that and bring it into other people’s homes is so special to me.”

For those who are just starting to move away from butter chicken, Patel recommended starting with their Korma Cashew Blend.

“It’s great for the kids.”

Before the lockdown, Patel said they mainly sold their products at farmers’ markets, and also online.

Their cashew korma is a creamy vegan paste that has all the flavor and no spices.

PROVIDED

Their cashew korma is a creamy vegan paste that has all the flavor and no spices.

Her husband had just joined the business full time, and as their orders slowed down, she said they could continue to deliver up to Alert Level 4.

Having two children of her own, Patel said the amount of meals she had to prepare right now was “insane,” and said their products could help relieve stress for families deciding what to eat.

“I cook very quick meals, and I’m not just saying that, but I rely on our pasta because I want to cook something very quickly, so we use our own pots.”

During the lockdown, they were also offering free online cooking classes.

Their first was on Saturday and Patel said they showed people how to make an Indian breakfast.

This Saturday they were hosting one on the basics of spices, with all their class information posted on their Instagram, dollymummanz and also on their website shortly.



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