The Road to Retail

Since we first started House of Kajaana, we have focused on two driving forces: perfecting delicious, plant-based Indian meals and making them available to all.

Our journey started with the idea to join the comfort and convenience of frozen meals with healthy and crave-worthy Indian flavors. Growing up, our founder, Sabah Ashraf, always had a freezer stocked with homemade Indian meals—a source of joy, comfort, and delicious flavors. Having carried that tradition throughout her life and wanting to share it with those around her, House of Kajaana was born. 

From the initial concept to building strong connections, beginning recipe development, sourcing ingredients and manufacturers…the list goes on…the goal has always been to share the joy and camaraderie that a House of Kajaana meal inspires. While we continued to iterate on what would become our First Collection of meals, our north star was crafting products that would find their way to freezers and hearts all over. 

Along this journey, we have been intentional about our ingredients and nutritional components to create meals everyone could enjoy—which meant crafting recipes free of major allergens like gluten, dairy, soy, and nuts. Once we were satisfied with our recipes and their high bar for quality and nutrition, we would have to learn how to scale them from a batch of 11 meals to 6,000 while staying true to our handcrafted touch.

When crafting meals at scale, we had the opportunity to push for better-for-you products with planet-conscious materials. We created meals you could feel good about by not compromising on our sustainable practices, like never-ending our search until we found the perfect paper trays (that are also recyclable!) and using plant-based ingredients. 

All the while, our to-do list to be retail-ready included creating our signature packaging design and labels, receiving our WBENC certification, and continuing to ensure the quality of every meal. 

As we finalized our product and set our sights on the next step—launching in a retailer—we knew the perfect first market to share House of Kajaana with. New York City. 

A community hungry for modern cuisines and international flavors, the House of Kajaana team has unique roots in this city we love deeply. From attending universities in New York, building careers surrounded by leaders and changemakers, and immersing ourselves in the rich cultures and traditions surrounding us here, New York City is the only place we could have dreamt of launching with our first retailers. We’re honored to welcome New Yorkers to our table and serve up plant-based Indian meals straight from their freezer. 

Who better to help us bring our delicious Indian meals to the people of New York than FreshDirect? FreshDirect’s commitment to innovation, fresh and high-quality food, and creating food experiences for their community, we were excited by the opportunity to work with a partner that naturally aligned with our vision. With so many shared values, it became clearer and clearer that New York’s dominant grocery delivery service was our perfect match. We are thrilled to announce that beginning June 22, 2023, your favorite House of Kajaana dishes await on

Discover our First Collection of meals that are perfect for a delightful solo meal, hosting a full feast, or stocking up your freezer:

Cauliflower Tikka Masala
A beloved Indian classic reimagined to elevate your day. Our tikka masala is made with creamy coconut milk, roasted cauliflower, and traditional spices. We serve it alongside our signature cumin and pea basmati rice, bejeweled with chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. 

Roasted Butternut Saag
A beloved Indian classic reimagined to elevate your day. Our saag is a blend of earthy, nutrient-rich greens topped with flavorful mango-roasted butternut squash. We serve it alongside our signature aromatic tomato basmati rice studded with chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. 

Coconut Malabar Curry
Our exquisite Malabar curry is made with roasted cauliflower, butternut squash, and chickpeas simmered in a blend of coconut milk, fresh ginger, lentils, and traditional spices that will brighten your day. We proudly serve it alongside our beloved spinach and pumpkin seed basmati rice.

To say that we are excited for you all to try our meals or stock up on the ones you love is an understatement. We are profoundly grateful for those who have been a part of our journey and supported our mission, and we look forward to all the other “firsts” that lie ahead.

Be sure to tag us in photos of your FreshDirect orders—we can’t wait to see House of Kajaana in your grocery bags and on your table!


Back to blog