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Jan 29, 2008 09:11 AM

Destination Dinners - recipe kits for exotic home-cooked meals

This is a bit of a plug for a semi-new product, and it's a great one. I love exotic, ethnic food, but cooking it at home can be intimidating. Where can I find authentic recipes, and where can I buy the spices and ingredients? I know my way around a Chinatown market, since I grew up going to Oakland and SF Chinatowns with my grandma and mom, but how do I find what I need for a good Indian meal? Or Thai?

Then I found Destination Dinners (, a recipe kit that provides you with all the spices, a recipe, a trivia card with information about the culture from which your meal originates, and tea. There's also a short shopping list of ingredients you need to buy, like the meat, for instance. And it's a recipe kit, not just premade food in a bag, so you actually get to make it yourself. I've made the Chicken Garam Masala, and it was excellent! Super easy directions to follow, and if you know a little about cooking, you could easily adapt the instructions and use different cuts of chicken. You could also measure out the spices, in hopes of finding these at a market near you, so that you could repeat the recipe on your own in the future. And the taste? Excellent. We really loved this, and all of the kits would make an excellent gift for coworkers, friends or family. Next one I'm going to try is the Green Chicken Curry With Puffy Cups - I have the kit at home, all I need to buy is a can of coconut milk and chicken!

Check it out and decide for yourself -
It's a startup based in SF, and they're just starting to get some local attention. I, for one, am a fan, and am happy to tell you all about it!

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  1. They link doesn't work. Can you repost it? I think the underlining is messing it up.

    1 Reply
    1. At first glance, the kits appear to be rather pricey. I'd be happier to be able to order a non-gift packed set, and save on some un-needed packaging.

      It looks well designed and it appears there is enough of the oils and spices to make the dishes several times.

      I'd be just as happy with recipes and list of ingredients, unless they are so exotic I'd be hard pressed to find them outside a large metro area. That sort of thing I'd sign up for if it was a monthly subscription.

      3 Replies
      1. re: toodie jane

        The ingredients in the kit are meant for 1 meal only. The spices and oils are measured out for the recipe. Yes, it's beautifully packaged, which makes it a great gift. I am quite an adventurous home cook, but I had a lot of trouble finding really good Indian recipes, but the garam masala was great, so I felt it was worth it. Now I feel comfortable going to an exotic food market and finding the spices to make the recipe again. But your idea of selling subscriptions for recipes and a list of ingredients is a good idea!

        1. re: capricornpig

          one meal? that is pricey then. seems a bit much. might do well in a catalog like W/S.

        2. re: toodie jane

          My first thought was what a cool idea, but a little pricey. But, then I was thinking how fun would that be to do yourself. You could buy your spices from Penzey's or wherever, package it nicely like they did, and give it out to friends for Christmas presents, etc. Even pair it with a nice dish, tray, etc. like they've done on the gift packages. I kind of think you get more for your money with the gift packages too. I would definitely get one of those for a present for somebody.

        3. i wonder why they wouldn't include the can of coconut milk? seems odd...

          1. Is this for adults or is the trivia information and such child friendly? With maps, social customs & history it could be a great interactive learning kit for kids to do with their family.
            I'd be more inclined to purchase it as a gift for this purpose.