By Katie Royals
“Probably the best curry I have ever eaten,” is how one happy customer described their takeaway from Reubens.
The authentic Indian takeaway service was only launched by Raj at the beginning of May, but already she has established a loyal customer base and amassed a string of positive reviews on her website, including the following: “Having lived in India for 4 months, I have been looking for authentic Indian food ever since. Finding Reuben’s meant that my search finally came to an end. Delicately balanced flavours make for an absolutely authentic experience where you can taste the love.”
While a global pandemic may seem like a risky time to start a business, the lockdown has given Raj the time and space needed to kickstart Reubens. She explained the idea has always been at the back of her mind, but it actually all came together very quickly.
She admits it’s “going really well” so far, with the number of orders gradually increasing every week.
This has helped with the learning process as it stopped her becoming overwhelmed when she first started, and she can now confidently accept more orders.
While the business is new, Raj is certainly not new to cooking; she’s always enjoyed being in the kitchen, having started helping out in her family’s kitchen when she was around 10 years old. This means that on her busiest days (usually Saturdays) spending seven hours in the kitchen doesn’t feel like a chore, instead she really enjoys it.
This is helped by Raj’s strong belief that cooking has to come from love. She doesn’t rush any part of the process and slow cooks everything, which intensifies the flavours. All ingredients are freshly sourced for each individually prepared meal. In order to ensure this quality, Raj does ask for 24 hours’ notice on all orders.
The takeaway service is a real family affair for Raj, as she has “amazing support” from her two sons and husband. For starters, the business, Reubens, is named after her eldest son who also designed the artwork for the website. Meanwhile, her other son, Luca, has embraced the cooking process and actually makes the raita.
Both sons also help with packaging up the orders and sometimes even come out on deliveries with her or her husband. Not to be left out, her dad grows all of the herbs she uses, including coriander and mint, in his garden.
While a lot of her cooking derives from old family recipes or from friends, Raj also learnt from a world-renowned chef – Manjit Gill, who runs the Bukhara Restaurant in Delhi, India.
In 2012, she went to a pop-up he was running in Knightsbridge, where she says: “I had one of the best Indian meals I have ever eaten in my life.” In fact, Raj enjoyed it so much, she ended up going back for his Bukhara cookery course. Here she got plenty of time with Manjit and learnt a lot of recipes and techniques, which can now be found on Reubens’ menu including the popular Murgh Malai kebabs.
She recalls being surprised that it was his dal that particularly blew her away during the tasting, so during the course she pleaded with Manjit for the recipe and now it is the one she uses for her dal makhani.
Not seeing Reubens as simply a lockdown project, Raj has big plans for her new business once current restrictions are lifted. She has already been in talks with local venues about hosting pop-up events, ranging from brunches to curry nights. She is also considering partnering with local restaurants to offer a takeaway service.
The current menu offers a wide range of vegetarian, meat and poultry dishes, as well as four different ice cream flavours for a refreshing sweet treat.
Reubens will deliver (at a £5 charge) to Iver, Gerrards Cross, Beaconsfield, Farnham Common, Stoke Poges, Denham, the Chalfonts and Langley.
To place an order or find out more visit: https://sites.google.com/view/reubens-cuisine/