Buy yourself Good Karma at The Market
June 25, 2010
Fewer people are eating out during the down economy, so Houman and Blanca Gohary have decided to take advantage of the fact to introduce more Persian food to Park City.
They created Instant Karma ready-to-eat dishes from their restaurant’s kitchen available in a local grocery store.
For four years the Goharys have been serving Indian and Persian cuisine at Good Karma Restaurant on Prospector Avenue. The majority of their menu and their most popular items tend to be the Indian ones because they are what people know and are used to. Persian food is lesser known in Utah, Blanca explained.
Ironically, because the spice-trade routes through Central Asia lasted centuries, many spices enjoyed in Indian food are actually Persian in origin, she said.
Like many restaurants, Good Karma has seen fewer customers during the recession. The food is no less popular, people are just scaling back, Blanca said.
So the Goharys want to bring their food to the people. Starting Monday, 16-ounce containers or trays of vegetarian Good Karma dishes mostly Persian can be purchased in the service deli at The Park City Market.
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Blanca said she was inspired by the Rico’s brand of Mexican food. That business began as caterers and now its rice, beans and frozen burritos can be found in many Utah grocery stores.
While there are a few varieties of frozen Indian food, Blanca said the meals lose something in the freezing, in her opinion. No one is offering food from the Middle Eastern, frozen or fresh, she said.
They expect it to become a popular alternative to eating out.
"You don’t need to worry about babysitters and you don’t have to worry about buying alcohol or tipping," she said.
The items are vegetarian packaging meat requires a special license and a separate kitchen and most are gluten free. Local and organic ingredients are used when available, Blanca added.
"It’s healthy, fresh, flavorful food people can feel good about eating," she said.
The packaging was conceived with customers in mind, she said. The tubs are microwavable, reusable and recyclable. The trays have rice on one side and curry on the other.
The idea is for people at work or students on lunch break to pick it up from the deli and warm it in a microwave, or for families to purchase it as an alternative to pizza or macaroni and cheese on a night they don’t want to cook.
Houman Gohary said an entire pantry full of ingredients and spices are required to make many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. For more Italian or Mexican dishes people buy two or three items at the store and combine them at home. Food from his part of the world is more labor intensive and few are brave enough to try it.
With Instant Karma people can have it in the same or less time it takes to eat their other favorite ethnic food, he said.
"People don’t want to compromise healthy eating and good food just because money is tight and they’re extra busy," Blanca added.
Partly what encouraged them is the fact that their children’s friends love eating Persian food at their house. It’s a part of their heritage and is an easy way to share culture with friends.
Blanca said she’s confident of their success because of the demand for tasty, gluten-free foods and the fact that it’s something a little different and very healthy. She will be at The Market Monday offering samples.
What: Instant Karma
Why: Vegetarian, gluten-free food made by Good Karma Restaurant
Where: The Market
When: Starting June 28
View Instant Karma in a larger map