Introducing Bini’s Fine Foods
Bini is certainly no stranger to hard work. Starting her curry empire on a shoestring, she worked up from making meals for friends who were looking to enjoy her classic home cooked curries in their home to selling them all across the country.
She now runs a booming business, creating a wide range of incredibly delicious ready-curries full of quality ingredients, plenty of spice, and a dynamic range of flavour. She’s also earned 12 Great Taste Awards along the way.
It was love at first taste for Thyme when Bini came to visit with her entire product range of curries for us to try. We are quite positive you will love them too.
Bini managed to take a few moments away from her stove, cooking classes, and hectic schedule to answer a few questions for us:
How did your business get started?
I started Bini Fine Foods with a budget of £200 7 years ago. A friend of mine who had recently retired wanted some home cooked traditional Indian food which she could enjoy at her pleasure. I was a given a budget per meal and I would create a range of vegetarian dishes for her. It was a great way of creating my recipes. We would meet up half way, enjoy a coffee and a catch up and then later we would exchange money for curry. This allowed me to see that there are customers who enjoy a ready meal curry in their home, happy to share with friends and understand the importance of provenance.
How do you see your company fitting into the model of responsible, ethical, and environmentally conscious practices?
I believe in using local where possible and searching for the best quality ingredients. I like to meet my suppliers and understand their ethos and ensure we are on the same level. I ensure all the waste is at a minimum, all vegetable peelings are composted, all boxes recycled and reused. The packing of the ready meals are recyclable and reusable and I am always keen to hear how customers reuse their tubs.
Why do you think meat-free products are important to offer?
The regional varieties of Indian vegetarian and vegan food is plentiful. It’s the vibrant colours, spiced flavours and variety of dishes on offer that make meat-free option a great way to explore delicious vegetables, pulses and dal. Meat-free Mondays are very popular and ideal way to give the customer a varied diet.
When creating/developing a product which is more important-Flavour, Creativity, or Authenticity?
For me all of them. Authenticity is essential to what I do. All the food and recipes I have learned and cooked originate to the Gujarat region of India. It is well known for its vegetarian and vegan cuisine as well as street food dishes. As a British born Indian, retaining the skills which I was taught as a child from my mum and my aunties is fundamental to what I know and use on a daily basis. They taught me how to create flavours using of spices and creating delicious meals which have given me wonderful memories.
How do you think the world will be eating in 2050?
I think with Global warming and a push to reduce the carbon footprint, in 2050 we will be eating more plant-based foods, less in the sense of volume but a different dining experience. A tablet? A drink? A scent? A sensory culinary experience?
If you were making dinner for your favourite person or people in the world, who and what would it be?
I would love to cook for Michelle and Barack Obama, I would serve a traditional thali, I would cook my delicious Black Chickpea Curry, Dehli Matar Paneer, Gujarati Vegetable Rice, A crunchy warm salad served with a freshly cook chapatti or two. It’s the food my mum would cook for me as a child and I loved every mouthful. I still do.
What is your favourite ingredient?
Fresh coriander. It's fragrant and when it is chopped, a beautiful citrus scent is released. It also adds a wonderful depth of colour and flavour.
What are 3 things always in your fridge?
Proper butter, plenty of vegetables and delicious cheese from the West Country.
What are you doing when you aren’t making food?
I love to run and cycle along the country lanes where I live in Somerset and enjoy reading a good book (I’m a traditionalist and still I like to hold a proper hardback book).
Find Bini's curries on our website Marketplace here.