A Peterborough-based food truck owner who lost most of his catering business due to lockdown is now offering online cookery classes – teaching people how to make authentic Indian dishes.
Ajay Sabharwal, 47, whose company trades as Banjaraa, is on a mission to help busy households to make and repurpose Indian-inspired cuisine. In addition, Ajay is running ‘free from’-style cooking courses for people seeking to avoid certain allergens.
“When my outdoor catering business became unviable due to Covid restrictions, I was in survival mode and launched a Crowdfunding campaign – offering prepaid gift vouchers in addition to other rewards to people who backed me. One of these rewards was a two-hour online cookery lesson.
The response was amazing, with many people wanting to learn how to make authentic Indian curry base masala and more,” said Ajay. “This gave me the confidence to get my online cookery classes off the ground. In these unprecedented times, pivoting my business in a new, exciting direction is helping me to stay afloat and is opening a whole new online teaching world.
‘I am already looking into other formats of one-to-one and group Zoom sessions, as well as launching a website with pre-recorded cooking lessons led by me. I never knew I had this talent too, which I would enjoy so much!”
For more info on our online indian cooking course, please contact Ajay Sabharwal on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: Banjaraa Online Indian Cooking Course
As a passionate foodie, I see it as my duty to keep my friends and followers informed of the exciting developments here at Banjaraa. This week, we are sharing news of the imminent launch of our signature Coriander & Mint Relish. This incredibly versatile product can be used as a dip, a marinade, or even a curry base ingredient. But first, let’s talk a bit about the history of coriander and mint in the scope of authentic Indian cooking.
The History of Coriander and Mint in Indian Cooking
When it comes to rich culinary history, India is one of the first on the list. With its unmistakable and intense flavours travelling across the globe, Indian food is immediately recognisable anywhere you go. Home of the chutney, India is a country obsessed with delivering an eating experience that is enhanced by flavours that toy with the senses. The coriander and mint relish created at Banjaraa is a twisted edition based on a traditional Punjabi homemade recipe, and it too is made with love.
It is said that the original coriander and mint chutney recipe derives from the Northern regions of the Indian subcontinent. It has become world-famous as a non-negotiable accompaniment to Indian snacks (such as pakoras, popadoms and bhajis), and as the perfect attribute to curries. In all honesty, coriander and mint as a relish or chutney is one of the most versatilse and delicious condiments to have available.
Yoghurt and Coriander & Mint Relish
Traditionally, yogurt is not part of the recipe – but it is recommended as an ingredient for dip or marinade recipes alongside coriander and mint relish. Yogurt adds a whole new dimension of flavour to meals that is complimented by a good quality coriander and mint relish – from tikka masalas to sandwiches!
A major bonus of the Banjaraa Coriander & Mint Relish is how well it combines with yogurt to add the final touch to marinades, dips and sauces alike. While the relish alone can keep up to a year in the fridge, yogurt doesn’t hold a similar lifespan. As such, it’s more convenient to have the relish available for ad hoc use with yogurt – as and when the situation calls for it. Just make sure you add a pinch of salt before you serve it.
Using the Banjaraa Coriander & Mint Relish
The heartwarming, mouthwatering flavours of the Banjaraa Coriander & Mint Relish makes it the perfect attribute to dips, marinades or as a game-changing ingredient in a masala curry base.
Coriander & Mit Dip
Incorporate a a tablespoon (or 2) of relish with 5 – 6 tablespoons of natural yogurt to enjoy with your favourite Indian snacks.
Coriander & Mit Marinade
Combine a couple of tablespoons of relish with yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, and ground traditional Indian spices (such as cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cumin, nutmeg and mustard seeds). Marinade the meat or alternative for a few hours before BBQ’ing, grilling or oven-cooking.
Use the Relish in a Masala Curry Base
There are plenty of masala curry base recipes on the we, but the difference between a good one and a great one is the addition of Banjaraa’s Coriander & Mint Relish. Add a spoon or two at the same time as the garlic and ginger for an enhanced flavour.
In fact, if you would like tuition into the authentic techniques and methodologies involved in Indian cooking, why not book on to a Banjaraa Cooking Course with your host, Ajay?
Keep an Eye out for the Banjarra Coriander & Mint Relish
Banjaraa manufactures it’s relish in small batches in the UK, making every jar totally unique but always packed with a punch. Soon, we will be creating a video to show you how to use this versatile relish. It also gives you a chance to get to know us!
Keep an eye on our website, our social, and in your emails (subscribe today!) for the launch of the Banjaraa Coriander & Mint Relish in the next few weeks – we hope you are as excited as we are.
Here’s something to salivate on – one jar of relish will cost £4.60, and as a launch offer, we will be offering three jars of relish for £12 with FREE delivery in the Peterborough area. It will make a fantastic Christmas stocking filler for the foodie(s) in your life.
If you are a stockist, an online or local deli, garden centre or butcher, drop us a line! We would love to talk to you about distribution of our delicious coriander and mint relish.
We asked the Little Marketing Company to plan and support the marketing of our crowdfunding campaign during the lockdown. From which we have received incredible coverage and increased our brand awareness as a result of the six-week campaign.
We offer Awesome Indian Inspired wraps for Corporate & Event Catering from a Converted Horsebox. The business was created from a desire to share authentic Indian food that I always cooked for my family and friends—using simple with bold flavours, an awesome home-made taste and with no colouring.
In 3 years, I have grown Banjaraa from limited home delivery to a quirky horsebox. In 2019 through just sheer hard work and serving one awesome wrap at a time, I landed many key events from Burghley House Fine Food market to Oundle market. 2020 was due to be our best year with event bookings every weekend throughout the summer. With the lockdown, we were forced to close the business. As a result, we had no income for the unforeseeable future while in lockdown.
To see through these uncertain times, we launched a crowdfunding campaign called ‘Pay It Forward’ where people can buy services to use in the future. There were ten different rewards from donations, to corporate events, to private events, to vouchers to spend at public events, to virtual cooking lessons, with rewards at various prices from £5 up to £1000 something available for everyone.
I asked the Little Marketing Company to run a marketing campaign which included creating and running the campaign over the six weeks. This included: Social media plan and scheduling of posts, created social media ecards/tiles for each reward and thank you’s for supporters, Blog, Press release, PDF brochure and flyer, Emails to customers and leads, weekly update emails and update the website.
Raising over £2000 and increasing brand awareness throughout the six weeks, with 35 rewards purchased. I now feel more confident in pushing the business forward and raising my profile. We received some great local PR coverage, and social media stats increased massively over the six weeks. With an 82% increase in page views, a 164% increase in post reach, 106% increase in post engagement and 800% increase in actions.
“I loved working with Ajay and supporting him with his ‘Pay it Forward’ marketing campaign over the six weeks. Coming up with the plans, to preparing the marketing materials to implement and seeing it through. It’s to receive feedback from a client saying ‘we knew we chose the right company to support us with our campaign’ it just makes it all worthwhile. Thank you, Ajay, and look forward to continuing to work together going forward.” Natalie Brannigan – The Little Marketing Company
The first thought that came to my mind when I was viewing the horsebox, when buying, was ‘it is a perfect fit for Burghley House events’. Once we bought it, we executed the whole branding to provide something different, a genuine story so far and with an aim to provide aWeSoMe food!
Once we were ready, it literally took us a couple of emails to convince the Burghley House events team to invite us to their fine food markets (9 days in total spread throughout the year!) It was just like the universe kept opening the doors we had wished for.
Having done the spring and summer fine food markets, we can proudly say it was a great initial thought to work on! The 3 summer trade days were a total sell out! We we then followed up by attending their Christmas fine food market end of November and everyone loved the food!
Burghley House is where our new product ‘Twisted Indian Quiche’ was launched!
Of course, it was first tested on our prime Banjaraa local Hampton tribe – my family and friends. My kids eat the standard Quiche at least once a week and (me being me) trying to twist and make ‘something different’ all the time – we made about 20 Quiche. We sold 14 and had tasters out of the rest.
I think there is a huge market for this… maybe one day!
We will be bringing our quiche to the Christmas markets around the area, for people to enjoy during the holiday season with their friends and family.
Thank you Kara & The Burghley House team! U R aWeSoMe!
Mike from Cambridge contacted us for a summer event for his family & friends in early 2019. After some initial consultation, we invited him to do some mystery shopping at one of our festival events. Him and his wife did visit our stall at Raunds festival, ordered a wrap each and came back after 15 mins and confirmed their booking there and then.
For the party, we provided large 12 inch tortillas with a choice of the following fillings:
This is what Mike had to say about us:
Birthday Party in Glebe Way, Histon, Cambridge CB24 9HJ
"Great food, everyone loved it! 5*
Thanks to Ajay and his daughter for the great food and service at our party. He communicated well, was punctual, served delicious food including vegan. Everyone was complimentary about the food and he helped make this such a memorable event. Highly recommended."
Thanks Mike for having us!
Banjaraa is the Indian street food we grew up eating. It’s simple with bold flavours, an awesome homemade taste and no colouring. The kind of food I would feed my children! We serve our food from a converted horsebox. We are available for events, festivals, corporate gigs, weddings and private parties!
Just like any other new start-up, this year has had its ‘first’ in a lot of ways for our corporate and event catering business. Here are some of the firsts we would like to share with you:
Our first ever large-scale event was ‘Belton International Horse Trials’ at Belton house, Grantham. We met some fantastic people and served up plenty of our tasty Indian inspired wraps on a great day enjoyed by everyone.
We also served up some Banjaraa awesomeness at four different festivals around the Peterborough area. These were:
• St Botolph’s Festival on the Green
• Baston Car Show
• Baston in the Blitz
• Langtoft Music Festival
Thanks to the Baston and Langtoft teams for believing in us and booking us for their events!
We are already taking bookings for 2020, so please get in touch ASAP to ensure that we’ll be able to cater at your event.
We also took the horsebox to events around Peterborough, Sawtry, Wittering, and Raunds with the aim of reaching out to as many local small market towns and villages to spread some food love!
We catered for our first private party in Cambridge in the summer of 2019. Mike and his family truly enjoyed the food the Banjaraa way!
We served our first pop-up food with two awesome local micropubs; the Bumble Inn and the Wonky Donkey and it was an absolute hit at both venues.
Out first corporate event was with an awesome local Peterborough company – Coloplast for their family and friends fun day. We look forward to many more corporate gigs in the future. Contact us to receive our corporate leaflet!
Our first wedding catering was for Reshma and Justin at a beautiful location – Langar Hall. We catered a brunch menu with delicious fillings for them and their 70 guests. A new niche for us!
Our first wedding fayre was at ‘Hinwick Hall – Wellingborough’. We did something totally different with our mini taster bowls for the potential clients and wedding suppliers. What a location and great owners! Thanks Lavinia from ‘Events in a box’. Our next wedding fayre is at Grendon Lakes, Wellingborough!
We catered at our first fireworks night, Baston Fireworks, and there are a few other seasonal events coming soon, which we will share in due course!
Oh! And our first finalist entrance to a local award! We are honoured to have been shortlisted for an award at the Peterborough Small Business Awards.
It has been a good learning year, loving the process, building the brand ‘1 wrap at a time’! We shall do another ‘story so far’ end of this year…
Thank you for playing your part in our journey! It’s greatly appreciated!
Keeping our tribe informed. Served up stories of our Indian inspired food.