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14.12.2016

Imagine a Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin who put healthy meals that tasted like trifle pudding and mince pies on your table. Such are the origins of Purple Basil, a new delivery service whose four mysterious founders are sending over smart health food curated by “industry specialists” who wish to remain anonymous. The twist: it’s supposed to taste like sin.

Our Daily Multigrain Bread 

With happy rumours of satay meals already buzzing around us, Purple Basil seems like a good way to make an early start on some New Year’s resolutions.  For a Friday preview, we order a pulled jack burger, a delicious veg substitute for chicken, and are buoyed for what’s next. 

The menu changes daily, and when we call on Tuesday night, we score a pesarattu non-vegetarian meal, shakshuka and avalaki salad. Service is good, with smooth online payments and regular, polite tracking updates sent via WhatsApp. 

Imagine a Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin who put healthy meals that tasted like trifle pudding and mince pies on your table. Such are the origins of Purple Basil.

On a cold rainy day, Purple Basil aces the comfort test with shakshuka, all warm tomato gravy and eggs perfectly poached sunny-side up, with wickedly runny golden yolks. An accompanying stack of multigrain pita for mop-up tastes as good as flour, lacking only some of the fluffiness. A side of roasted carrots is glazed with addictive date and candied ginger dressing: peppery and sweet, any vegetable could benefit from a lashing or two.  

Season’s Greek-ings

The best way to describe a Greek avalaki salad is poha trying to lose weight after a Mediterranean escapade, contenting itself with millets, peanuts, basil and tangy dressing vaguely reminiscent of tzatziki. The vegetables are a pleasant surprise, but fair warning: it is made with generous chunks of both pineapple and spring onions, and is best avoided if you hate fruit in your meal, or are on a date for which you don’t want onion breath. 

The Pesarattu meal, based on Andhra mung-bean dosa, is served with velvety chickpea and chicken gravy almost stew-like in consistency and really does feel more indulgent than it is. We’ll call in again the next time we’re too lazy too cook (and in fact have our eye on Wednesday's bahn mî and Thursday's black bean burger). If only each meal came with dessert instead of a drink full of good intentions, we’d sincerely believe that Purple Basil was run by wizards. 

Getting there: Order on purplebasil.in, delivery currently restricted to an 8 km radius around Indiranagar, a meal costs Rs 240. 

bpb reviews anonymously and pays for its own meals.

This review was conducted by Aysha Tanya, co-founder of the Goya Journal, a publication focussed on culinary storytelling.

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Food & Drink