Monday, June 29, 2015

Fresh North Indian Homemade Meals by Preeti

I recently got invited to a tasting for a new meal delivery service in the San Francisco area: Fresh North Indian Homemade Meals by Preeti.

Preeti makes, you guessed it, fresh north indian meals.  She delivers to the SF area on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  You order via e-mail or phone by 10am the day before.  Since I've still yet to find an Indian restaurant in San Francisco that I really like, for dine-in or delivery, I was really excited to try Preeti's offerings.

The menu changes weekly, but always includes a dal and a vegetable dish.  She also offers a chicken dish.  Each dish comes with either roti or white rice, your choice.  Additionally, you can add in her homemade yogurt or kulfi.

Ojan and I got to try both the yogurt and the kulfi, along with two main dishes.  Everything was really quite good, probably the best Indian food I've had in the SF area, including all restaurants.  It was fresh and flavorful, clearly homemade, so different from Indian food at restaurants.  I've never had Indian home cooking, but, I imagine this is what it is like.  Far less oily and heavy than restaurant food.

We'll definitely order again, so we eagerly await her launching the service more widespread.

Homemade Yogurt.
We were given a large container of yogurt on the side.

The yogurt was clearly homemade, as it was lumpy and not the creamy consistency I'm used to from commercial yogurts.  It was a bit thin and watery, but again, I'm used to thick Greek yogurt.  The flavor was quite tart, it clearly wasn't loaded with sugar.

This wasn't my style of yogurt, as I go for very creamy, very rich, very smooth style yogurts, and I only have yogurt with fruit and granola for breakfast, not alongside savory dinner food.  It isn't something I've learned to like, even though I've had a lot of exposure to it from eating Persian food with Ojan and his family.

Ojan gladly dug into the yogurt along side our meal, and really liked the yogurt.  He said it was perfect with his tahdig (crispy rice).  He also commented that his parents would really like it.

So, the yogurt was not my thing, but, I'm not the target audience for it.
Chana Masala.
Next, chana masala.  A dish I literally never, ever order.  I don't like beans, and I certainly don't like chickpeas.  But ... I had to try it.  Plus, the color of the dish looked quite different from any other chana masala I've seen before.

As expected, I didn't care for the chickpeas, but, the spicing of the sauce was good, and it really tasted fresh and healthy.  Not that chana masala is generally an unhealthy tasting dish, but there really seemed to be far less oil than I'm used to.  I appreciated having some of the sauce on my tahdig, but again, this wasn't really a dish I'd ever want.

Ojan enjoyed it and said he'd get it again.  I was going to offer some to a friend, and he asked that I save it for him instead, always a good sign.
Paneer with Bell Peppers.
Next, paneer!  Now we were getting somewhere.  I love paneer, although, I'll admit, I normally have it smothered in a creamy sauce, rather than just stir fried with vegetables.

The paneer was fairly large chunks, and plenty of it.  The rest of the dish was bell peppers of assorted colors, plus plenty of other spicing.  There was sooo much flavor in this dish!  It was a bit spicy, but certainly not too spicy, even for Ojan who doesn't have a lot of spice tolerance.

We both really liked it.  Ojan was shocked by how much he liked it, since he doesn't normally adore paneer the way I do, and whenever we order Indian food, I always force us to get paneer.

I still can't get over how awesomely flavorful this was.  I would certainly love to try more of her paneer dishes, and, although I normally go for paneer tikka masala, butter paneer, paneer makhani, or cream laden palak paneer, I did appreciate having something that didn't leave me feeling quite so awful.

Thank you Preeti for teaching me about more healthy indian cuisine.
Homemade Kulfi.
And, the best part: homemade kulfi!

I have a freezer full of ice cream at all times, and thought I was sick of frozen dairy goods ... and then I tried Preeti's homemade kulfi.

It was delicious.  I loved it.  The texture was great.  The flavors incredible.  I detected so many flavors: Pistachio. Cardamom. Rosewater.  It was sweet, there was texture, there was so much going on.  It melted beautifully.

Hit of the meal for me, and really quite remarkable.  It didn't last long in my freezer!
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