The search for creative menu additions has become essential as restaurateurs and food service operators search for that spark for their menus. A number of local chefs have looked into the proverbial crystal ball and found that Indian street food and the increasingly popular Indian Pizza are at the top of the list of significant menu trends according to research released by Datassential.
The Three Sisters, an all-woman led company based in the United Kingdom, has made adding those key spices to restaurant and foodservice menus simple. The company’s spice box and spice blends range make creating on-trend menu items a breeze by offering essential spices used in Indian cookery, housed in traditional, easy-to-use tins.
Spokesperson and creator of the joint sisters’ company, Sereena Walker, said their custom spice tin – Masala Dabba, comes with a specific 13 spices that takes the guesswork out of menu planning, making it easier to reproduce authentic Indian flavors, and these are flying off the shelves like hot cakes. “The masala is the spice,” Walker explained. “The dabba is the box it comes in. This is a staple item in many Indian homes. One is usually gifted or handed down through generations. I myself was given one once I was married. This makes it more of a symbol, than a simple cooking aid. A symbol of togetherness, family cooking, and community. It is these values we hope to share with people through our company and crafted products.”
The Three Sisters’ Masala Dabba includes several spices that are most often used in Indian cuisine – Chili powder, turmeric, cumin, bay leaf, mustard seed, and ginger. The spice tins are also uniquely designed to allow for ease of selection even for those with limited knowledge around the kitchen. “We decided to label each individual canister with lasers,” Walker continued. “This way people can learn as they go. We also created a cookery book that complimented the spice tins, with over 100 family recipes, using just the spices provided in your set. This served as a guide for the professional, and new chef alike. We’re just giving you the tools to make cooking and experimenting with spice easier.”
According to Walker, to arrive at the requisite 13 spices, “we went through hundreds and hundreds of recipes, and the key combinations were always around these 13 spices.” Of course, the arrangement of spices housed in masala dabbas for everyday cooking differs across South Asia. As Sereena says, “We felt our combination of spices displays the true hybridity of modern Indian cookery, embracing the variety of regional spices, and styles
Originally from the Kashmir region of the Himalayas in India, Walker said her family migrated to the UK in the 1970s. “We moved to the UK when I was quite young and in the UK at the time Indian food was rarely around. My Mom and Dad had to go miles looking for various vegetables and spices,” she explained. But their creation of the Masala Dabba makes it easier for people anywhere around the globe to access these spices. “I had the idea that I should try and market our product in the USA. I did the market research and found that there were pockets of America that adore Indian food, and spicy food, but lacked an understanding around the blending of spices. So, we set about creating our website, and we sell from the UK directly to our customers.”
Recently, The Three Sisters have been venturing into Spice Blends, enabling the culinary professional to simply create signature dishes. “We understand how busy chefs are and the challenges that the labor pool present,” Sereena noted. With that in mind, Three Sisters offers a lineup of 4 specially designed pure spice blends to provide a quick curry making experience. Professional chefs love how easy it is to create delectable menu fare with an easy-to-follow recipe, and only a small list of ingredients to buy!
The blends can be used on an assortment of vegetable and meat dishes, the recipes are just a starting point. Fan and family favorites include, “Makhami Murgh” (Butter Chicken). The mild, aromatic, creamy sauce, with succulent chicken pieces is a staple crowd-pleaser. Or, as demand for healthier fare has grown, “Aloo Gobi” (Potato & Cauliflower) is the perfect accompanying dish for any Indian meal. The Turmeric infused, and gently spiced aloo gobi has multiple health benefits. Plus, the added depth and flavor of the blend is also a great way to introduce young restaurant guests to vegetables.
At the top of Walker’s agenda for 2023 is for The Three Sisters to establish partnerships ideally with a rice company. The relationship would be symbiotic, she said, and the items would be sold as a package with the iconic line of spices. Walker also hopes that The Three Sisters spice blend will be attractive to chefs offering fusion style menu items. “Whether it’s Mexican, Thai, Malaysian fusion with other countries, our spice box and future blends will allow chefs to create signature dishes that enable them to stay ahead of their competition, become inspired, whilst respecting the style and cooking practices of different cultures. It’s this blending and sharing of cuisines that creates something unique and powerful,” Walker
Restaurants looking to add The Three Sisters spices to their menu can visit their website to learn more.