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The Cumin Club: Spreading Indian Heritage in the US

Staying abroad for studies or work is as challenging as it is thrilling. Missing a home-cooked meal can make you homesick at times. This led Ragoth Bala to start The Cumin Club that delivers easy-to-make Indian food meal kits across the US, in June 2019.

Staying abroad for studies or work is as challenging as it is thrilling. Staying away from everything familiar is not as easy as it is often perceived. Missing a home-cooked meal can also make you homesick at times. Even if you try to cook it, it just doesn’t taste the same. This led Ragoth Bala to start The Cumin Club that delivers easy-to-make Indian food meal kits across the US, in June 2019.

Beginning of the end of meals problem

Ragoth Bala moved to the US in his early 20s. Being a vegetarian, he found it difficult to eat healthy meals. Also, he found that it is not uncommon for restaurants and office lunches to ‘feature’ vegetarian options such as a sandwich with just cheese, tomatoes, and a potato-patty burger.

Also, it wasn’t easy for him to make all his meals as he worked full-time and attending schools in the evening and also on weekends. To him, time was the most precious commodity, and preparing a full meal from scratch was next to impossible. Eventually, his parents came to rescue and they started sending him curated ingredients. It used to take him just 5-10 minutes

He soon realized these home recommended meal kits were not just healthier, but also cheaper than the other available options. He also realized that what benefitted him could also help other Indian students, working professionals, and dual-income households who struggle for healthy meals that can satisfy their souls. Hence, they would overcome the hurdle of a busy schedule which often hinders healthy meals.

Assembling of the amazing team which offers these amazing kits

Ragoth floated the idea among friends, classmates, and ex-colleagues. Soon, his friend from India – Anand R liked the idea. He joined as the Co-founder of The Cumin Club. This strong team currently has 5 members.

This US-based bootstrapped is both a product and a service. It offers meal kits to the customers with an assortment of over 25 vegetarian dishes from five different regional cuisines of India. The main ingredients are lentils, millets, vegetables, wheat, and rice. They also have recipes for popular Indian dishes such as poha, pongal, kichdi, pav bhaji, bisibelebath, and dal makhni.

Customers can fully customize their meal plan according to their liking. They can do so by picking a cuisine and adding their favorite dishes to the plan. With just 5-10 minutes of effort, customers can turn these meal kits into authentic dishes. This requires just some appliances and utensils that are commonly available in Indian households.

USP of The Cumin Club

The meal kits offered by The Cumin Club are different from frozen foods or instant foods commonly available in the market. The business model is direct-to-consumer, with a turnaround as short as 10 days. This means that it takes 10 days from meal kits being curated in their kitchens to meals being served at dinner tables, around the world.

They have also achieved a shelf life of 4-6 weeks for their ingredients. This is achieved by using advancements in food science (such as cryogenic freezing), instead of relying on harmful preservatives. They aim to provide an easy and healthy alternative to restaurant food and packaged instant meals.

Read more: Cumin Club: RTE Meal Kits


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