KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30 — Forget about making grocery runs that take double the time now with all the queues. Or juggling work with cooking and washing.
PichaEats wants you to save all that time wasted on those tasks by subscribing to their Ready-to-Heat meals. The meals were launched on October 28, where they hosted a cooking show on Facebook Live with MixFM radio announcer Aishah Sinclair and KL-based British fitness personality Jacob Weber.
PichaEats — the social enterprise founded by Kim Lim, Suzanne Ling and Lee Swee Lin — aims to empower refugees to support themselves through their food delivery and catering business.
With the pandemic, their business which previously relied on catering has been thrown askew. As this affects the refugees' livelihoods, they worked on this new business idea for about five months to introduce these healthy, hearty microwaveable Ready-to-Heat meals.
It's simple. Once you sign up for the subscription plan, they deliver (free for KL areas) the meals you ordered in one go, for that month.
The plans are automatically renewed each month and sent over, until you say stop.
“Think Netflix or Spotify. The unique idea behind the subscription plan is to help people save time without sacrificing the importance of having a good, wholesome meal. And the proceeds go towards maintaining the livelihood of our team of refugee Picha Chefs,” said PichaEats co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Kim.
There's a choice of three, six or nine meals for the month. Store the meals in the refrigerator up to three days or the freezer for up to three months. When you're ready to eat, heat it up in a microwave, oven or a steamer.
“We do the meal preparation for you and there’s no clean up to do after as well, which frees up your time for other things. You also know what goes into your food — including the calorie count — so you don’t have to worry if what you’re eating is bad for you,” added PichaEats co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Ling.
At the launch, Ling also stressed that meals at PichaEats have interesting twists, where they experiment with traditional recipes.
For instance, the Zaatar roast chicken, one of the the meals by Picha Chef Dalia, a Palestinian refugee uses zaatar spices that are usually paired with bread.
I was given two meals from their October menu to try. The green chilli chicken was paired with mini chapatis and mixed vegetables. Since I don't have a microwave, I steamed my meal straight from the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
I really enjoyed each bite of the fluffy chapatis with the not overly spicy chicken. It's a balanced meal with carbohydrates, protein and fibre. You can also check the calories of the meal from the sleeve that goes around the packaging.
It even has a QR code for you to scan to find out more about the chefs.
The other meal that had me incredibly impressed was their tempeh shepherd's pie. Usually shepherd's pie is filled with minced lamb but under the mashed potatoes topping was an unusual but tasty filling.
You have protein in the form of chickpeas and tempeh. The surprise was the use of crunchy yam bean. They offered texture to the dish which would have been just a mushy mess without it. Each piece of cut yam bean was perfectly cooked too with just the right crunch.
In November's menu, you have nine meals and three vegetarian meals to pick from. Start by deciding whether to go for Picha Starter or Picha Plus.
The difference is Picha Plus allows you to customise your meals. There is also a premium menu that includes their top selling chicken mandi, baked sea bass and a Mediterranean lamb stew. Prices start from RM50 for Picha Starter while Picha Plus is RM65. This gives you three meals a month.
There is also an option to add on kombucha, cold brew Arabic coffee, sodas, granola bites, sourdough and lettuce. The meals are delivered every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
In addition, you can join their month-long campaign, 'If Only I Had More Time' where there will be a social media challenge and giveaway. You can also join their cooking shows on Facebook, where comedian Douglas Lim, content creator Nandini Balakrishnan and television host and radio announcer Michelle Lee will prepare a dish from their November Ready-to-Heat menu.