2019 has been a year of experiments, mistakes and failures, but also a lot of delicious food and fun. Our goal, with Julia and otherwise, is to make it easier for everyone to eat healthy, home-cooked and fresh meals every single day. And with all the progress we’ve made this year, we are steadily moving ahead to get there.
P.S. We’ve come a long way from the old rusty machine that you might have seen on some of our old videos. If you’re curious to know how it looks now, drop us a note or let us know in the comments below!
This year, we learned about how eating and cooking together may have made us human. We’d like to begin the new year with a bit of good ol’ nostalgia, with a round-up of our team’s favourite food memories from 2019- the best, most memorable dishes they ate, and why each stuck with them.
Nimit Kumar Sar (Head- HR)
This year, when I was visiting Bhubhaneshwar, Odisha, I tasted Chhena Poda, a popular sweet of the region. Chhena Poda literally translates to “roasted cheese” and is generally made with fresh, home-made cheese and sugar. The mixture is baked for several hours until the surface becomes a beautiful golden-brown. It’s not commonly available anymore, and can be found only in select sweet shops in Odisha
A K Bhuvanesh (Industrial Design Intern)
“I had the Karimeen Polichathu when I was in Kochi, Kerala. The fish was extremely fresh, accompanied with a mindblowing blend of flavours from locally grown spices. It was the sea on a plate.”
The karimeen or pearl spot fish is commonly found in the backwaters of Kerala and is a local delicacy there. The fish is often fried or cooked with a spicy curry. The karimeen polichathu is a traditional preparation in which the fish is marinated in spices, wrapped in a banana leaf and grilled for a smoked flavour.
Sijo K Saju
This August, when I was visiting home in Kerala, I had some spicy koonthal (squid) fry and pidiyum kozhiyum. The flavours of both dishes have really stayed with me. The former is a traditional seafood delicacy of the coastal region, while the former is commonly eaten among Christians in Kerala. “Pidi” stands for a white, semi-liquid dish made with small balls of finely powdered rice and “kozhi” is the classic Kerala-style spicy chicken curry. Nothing beats a home-cooked meal like this one.
Tony Philip (Lead Hardware Design Engineer)
I recently took a break from work to visit home and spend some much-needed time with family. When I was there, my Aunt made the most beautiful Shepherd’s pie. Although I’ve had Shepherd’s pie before, the flavour of this one really stayed with me. It was baked to melt-in-the-mouth perfection and was pure meat goodness.”
“My sister bought me some spirulina powder all the way from New York this summer. I had been wanting to try it for a while, since it has become such a hip thing on instagram among my favourite food bloggers. I couldn’t wait to try it. Since I had waited for it to arrive so eagerly, I knew I had to make sure the first dish I make with it had to be done right. Else it would sit on our kitchen shelf with all the other impulsive purchases. So, I sourced some super fresh locally grown berries & fruits, added my favourite nuts and blended the most perfect smoothie with the powder. It looked magical, smelled amazing and tasted like heaven.”
Raghav Parwal (Engineering Manager)
In September, I took the initiative to actually cook something other than a hurriedly made omelette and tried my hand at a lemon chicken recipe I had found. Apart from the fact that I cooked it myself, the dish stays memorable to me because it actually turned out really well. I did end up adding in double the required amount of lemons, which may have hampered with the taste, but hey I tried. The experience gave me some hands-on insight into the cooking process and how even the smallest things can completely alter the final meal.
Arundhati Ail (Content Writing Intern)
This past summer I spent some time in Alleppey. It was the last leg of a 10-day trip to Kerala with my sister. We spent our days in hostels, travelling for hours in local buses and struggling to communicate with locals because of the language barrier. That night in Alleppey, the hostel manager organised a dinner at a restaurant nearby. It was a small place, with basic seating arrangements, but packed to the rafters. I had the most delicious iddiyappam (rice noodles) and chicken curry there. It was so good I don’t think I looked up from my meal even once! After we were done eating, we were all served a steaming cup of black tea with lemon and mint. It was the perfect end to a great meal.
Mandeep Singh Kapoor (COO China)
During my last trip to China in November, I was visiting a company in Shenzhen and they took me out to lunch to try Coconut Chicken, a local delicacy. I imagined it to be a regular chicken dish, cooked in coconut oil or garnished with grated coconut. But when we reached the restaurant, I was surprised to discover that it was actually a raw chicken that was brought to the table and placed into boiling water before us. The water had some pieces of coconut, so the meat would absorb the subtle flavour. It was a first for me, as someone who was used to the spice, complex flavours and well-done meat in Indian food.
Anusha Murthy (Marketing)
“In April this year, I was in Lower Parel, Mumbai, rushing to catch a monorail at the station (for the uninitiated, monorails have a frequency of 25 mins, and the later it gets the more crowded it becomes). I dodged past a lot of people to make it in time with just 5 mins to spare, when I spotted this one street vendor doling out freshly buttered hot pavs stuffed with spicy boiled eggs. I wasn’t hungry, but I was definitely intrigued to see what it tasted like. Ignoring my well meaning inner voice which told me it was a stupid idea to miss a train for food, I stopped, and watched him make my custom Anda Pav. I savored every bite with a hot cuppa chai. I did reach home an hour late, but best decision ever!”
Karthic Rathinam (Industrial Design Intern)
Every Monday morning in Bangalore, I would treat myself to some biryani from Shareif Bhai Biryani, a local restaurant. I planned my day around this meal. I would skip breakfast and wait until mid-day. As soon as it was time, I would order it in to the office and wait outside even before the delivery guy calls me. It became a ritual- I would finish all my work, get a clean plate and 2 bowls for the raita and the curry and sit down to eat and savour every bite. It would take me an entire hour to finish my meal, but every minute was worth it!”
Raghav Gupta (Co-founder and CEO)
“I have grown up eating Kachori in Delhi. The area my family belongs to — Bhogal — is known for its multiple vendors, who compete with each-other in the local market to prepare the best Kachoris, and to attract the most customers from all parts of city. Each vendor adds his/her own touch to the dish, some making the dumpling flat and crunchy, and others making them hollow, so you can punch a hole in and fill them up with some spicy potatoes and chutneys.
This year, however, Kachoris are memorable to me for 2 reasons. The first is that this is the year my niece was born. I visited my cousin to meet her for the first time, and made sure I had a box of kachoris for them to celebrate the occasion. All us cousins have grown up with those flavours and treasure the experience of eating it together.
The second is that this year I tasted Matar (peas) Kachoris cooked by my girlfriend at home for the first time. I never could have imagined that she could cook such a sophisticated snack herself at home, but she did, and for all the people in my family. We ate, laughed, and licked our fingers clean at the end of it.”
Rohin Malhotra (Co-founder and CTO)
“Just a couple of weeks ago, early in December, I ate some Kadhai Paneer in office. Now, this isn’t an especially fancy or unusual dish. But it meant just a little more to me that day because it was cooked by the current prototype of Julia- the cooking robot we are working on. I was so happy to see that the paneer had soaked in the flavours of the slowly roasted spices. It was a special experience to eat something cooked by the appliance that we are building here at Nymble.”