FOODBEV MEDIA | 7 JULY 2023 | Dubai incubator brand Naksha has made its UK debut with the launch of its savoury and sweet meal kits that represent authentic cuisines from around the world.
Founded in Dubai, the meals prioritise recipes “beyond the mainstream realms of Indian, Thai and Mexican food”. Naksha became a mainstream brand in Dubai after its founders applied to – and won – UAE supermarket Spinneys’ local business incubator programme designed to accelerate the journey of creative homegrown food startups onto shelves.
Naksha co-founder Nisha said: “During the pandemic, [co-founder] Sam and I spent a lot of time cooking at home as we sought to travel the world through the medium of food. Ingredient authenticity sat at the very heart of our foodie vision, which meant we ended up spending a small fortune purchasing specialist ingredients that were usually only available in bulk. This was the moment we started to envisage a range of perfectly proportioned recipe kits with diligently measured portions of gourmet ingredients.”
The meal kits include Jamaican curried goat, lemak cili padi (a Malay-style curry from Singapore), ropa vieja (a Cuban national dish) and milk chocolate blondies made with Lebanese tahini.
She continued: “I knew that our proposition had legs when I began posting recipes on Instagram only to be inundated by messages from friends asking for the cooked recipes to be sent to them. Clearly, we had neither the time or the inclination to mass cook the dishes, but we were prepared to portion up the expensive leftover ingredients and distribute to friends and family so that they wouldn’t go to waste.”
Co-founder Sam added: “Many of the more enticing and adventurous cuisines are wrongly perceived to be either too complex, time-consuming, expensive or wasteful to cook at home. Naksha dismantles this dogma by curating accessible recipes and user-friendly kits which ordinary consumers can pick up at their convenience from supermarket shelves.”
Naksha works with chefs across the globe to help interpret and modernise the traditional recipes, “using the products as a canvas to express national identity through contemporary home-cooking”. For example, Naksha’s Singapore collection was a collaboration with Haikal Johari, head chef at Singapore’s Michelin- starred Alma restaurant.
Naksha manufacturing takes place in Derbyshire, UK, while the company is also part of the London School of Economics’s ‘LSE Generate’ accelerator programme, which backed Nisha’s innovator visa.
The meal kits are initially rolling out into Harrods, John Lewis and Whole Foods Market, with more listings “imminent”.
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