Now that we’ve been at it for a while, we can no more fool ourselves into thinking the work-from-home arrangement means fresh, home-cooked meals each time. In between keeping up with what’s happening at work, regular household chores and if you have school-going children, their virtual learning schedule, there’s not much time to be spent slaving in front of a hot stove.
Ready-to-heat meals are a great idea for days you absolutely can’t bring yourself to cook a whole meal but are craving something wholesome. Unfortunately, Malaysian supermarkets don’t stock those a lot. The TV dinners that we often see on American television shows are notoriously unhealthy with its excessive amount of sodium and other preservatives, but as a busy adult, we can definitely appreciate the appeal of its convenience.
PichaEats has come up with a viable solution that both fills your stomach and satiates your soul – delicious healthy ready-to-heat meals made by refugee chefs, whose entire families benefit from PichaEats food business.
Available in bundles of three, six or nine meals, the ready-to-heat meals can be ordered on a subscription basis, where the same number of meals will be automatically re-ordered and delivered to customers each month in one go. The menu changes every month, so you get a new selection quite regularly.
Founded in 2016, PichaEats’ mainstay business is catering and group melas, both of which reduced drastically over the course of the year as Covid-19 and the resulting movement control order took its toll. The team pivoted and started to experiment with frozen meals, which were a huge success – people were always on the lookout for novel food choices.
PichaEats’ menu of wholesome fare by kitchens from Syria, Palestine, Pakistan and Afghanistan were undoubtedly appealing, and now, were available in an easily accessible form.
“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,” says PichaEats co-founder and CEO, Kim Lim.
“We do the meal prep 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,” adds Suzanne Ling, PichaEats’ co-founder and chief marketing officer.
Diners get to choose from the pre-determined standard meals package, or from the build-your-own plus package. The latter allows customers to choose their preferred dishes, including from a specially curated premium selection. Add-ons are also available, as PichaEats have partnered with the likes of Amazin’ Graze, Tapping Tapir, Wonderbrew and more to offer their products. Available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, each meal is prepared with a balanced ratio of protein, carbs and greens, and contains no MSG.
The two meals I tried, Tempeh Shepherd’s Pie and Tofu Quennelle, were great go-to options on busy days I had just enough energy to get dinner going for my daughter, but would have settled with nothing more than a sandwich for my husband and I. Our Picha meals felt nutritious and wholesome (although we felt this dish would have been even more exquisite if freshly made), bearing in mind it had been in our freezer 10 minutes prior.
If you’d like to know how some of the meals are prepared, check out the brand's Facebook video where Ling, KL-based British fitness personality Jacob Weber, as well as actress, television host and MixFM radio announcer Aishah Sinclair prepares Za’atar Roast Chicken.
There will also be three additional cooking shows on Facebook, featuring actor and comedian Douglas Lim; content creator Nandini Balakrishnan; and TV host and radio announcer Michelle Lee, each preparing a new dish from the November’s ready-to-heat menu.
The meals are delivered on every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. To order, whatsapp +60 18-289 4353 or click here.