Flavor Temptations are Seductive
By Julie Andrews | Styled and Photographed by Sunny Frantz
First launched as Ethnic Spicery in 2012, husband and wife duo Sara Parthasarathy and Partha Sabniviss rebranded their Indian meal kits Flavor Temptations in 2014. “These are my mother’s recipes, and they’re very authentic,” shares Parthasarathy, so the second name better reflects how “you’re going to be tempted by all of the flavors and scents that go through your home when you’re cooking.”
Inspired by Parthasarathy’s mom’s cooking, Flavor Temptations meal kits contain an authentic Indian recipe, such as Chicken Tikka Masala, with the corresponding organic spices in perfect measurements. “We differ from popular meal kits because we don’t provide the fresh produce; this helps support our local community,” she explains, so individuals can shop their favorite farmers’ and grocery markets. Flavor Temptations is available in many upscale supermarkets, such as Whole Foods, Willy Street Co-op, Hy-Vee and Metcalfe’s, as well as supermarkets in Minnesota, Iowa and Michigan. “It’s hard to say which product is most popular,” says Parthasarathy, but she thinks the Chana Masala and Curried Potatoes are top contenders.
“We want to be sustainable, to not waste ingredients and spices. Our recipe packets don’t have any preservatives or salt and are gluten free. Plus [we have] many vegan dishes, and they are [USDA] organic,” she says. Not only are health and the environment important to them, but philanthropy and community involvement are big priorities. “We have donated approximately 25,000 meals to Feeding America. This is part of our support mission, as we believe no American should go hungry.” This stands true in their mission statement: Share. Support. Sustain. And since moving to Madison from India in 1995, Sara and Partha have also become involved in local business groups, such as FaB Wisconsin. “We are very grateful for all of the business resources in Madison,” says Parthasarathy.
When Sara and Partha’s son went off to college, he wanted to craft the family recipes on his own. “I told him Indian cooking is so much about layering spices and it can get pretty complex,” she recalls, “and I told him he needed a pinch of this and a pinch of that,” but he just couldn’t perfectly replicate it. Sara measured out all the spices and jotted down the cooking directions and sent them with her son in hopes his cooking would measure up to hers. This idea inspired the couple to create Flavor Temptations, thinking consumers could benefit from their meal kits as well. Parthasarathy proclaims, “Food bonds people, it brings them together to eat.”