Aloo gobi. Mattar paneer. Dal tadka.
Akhil Shah grew up on dishes like these, Indian staples prepared by his mother. But he knows that meals like these are unfamiliar to many, and that busy people who enjoy home-cooked meals don’t have the time to seek out new ingredients and learn how to prepare them.
So Shah, a 24-year-old Rutgers Business School graduate who lives in Edison, created Chutney Chefs.
“It kind of fit my need,” said Shah, who began working on the business concept in July 2014 while employed as a claims specialist for Liberty Mutual. “I work a full-time job, and right now I have a mom who is able to make food for me. But I was thinking long term. I love Indian food, and also, there are a lot of first-generation, American-born Indians that can use this.”
He also realized that plenty of people are interested in Indian food but that making it at home can be “really complicated, with the spices and the prep,” he said. “It’s becoming more and more popular, more restaurants are popping up. If people can (have this at home) to fit a busy schedule, why not?”
Home cooks agreed: Chutney Chefs launched in January, and Shah receives between 70 and 80 orders a day from New Jersey and 10 other states.