"There is a joy in bringing traditional delicacies to hundreds of households, and knowing they cherish my dishes. It makes my feel very grateful."
The taste of a chilled Gulabs Sharbat that you get handed as you come back from school on a hot summer day, the smell of spicy Gulabs Rasam cooking in the kitchen as you come back from work, and crunchy Gulabs khakhras eaten while sitting with family and watching a movie on Doordarshan. All these memories bring back a feeling of home because that is exactly what each Gulabs product was made to do- bring a little bit of home to everyone who tastes them.
Started in 1999, the brand aims to bring alive traditional Indian flavours with the finesse of gourmet cooking, something which most of us living away from home pine for. It offers products across an array of categories like:
Now, one might wonder, how did Gulabs begin?
The brand has humble beginnings that goes long back: a young cook with secret recipes, an entrepreneurial family member determined to bring those recipes to the world, and foodies such as us.
The origins of this brand can be traced back to a 15-year-old girl who would fondly craft syrups, khakhras, and pickles for her family to help them keep their food heritage with them wherever they went. Her nephew was determined to take her delicacies beyond the boundaries of their household and introduce them to the world. He believed in the combination of uniqueness and familiarity that these homemade recipes brought with them and put his efforts into building a brand name that customers swear by.
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Gulab Maa, as she is affectionately referred to today, used to have requests pouring in from her family and relatives for her delicacies. What began as providing crafted syrups, khakhras, and pickles to family and relatives, soon turned into a passion for satisfying the tastes of many other families. What she did not know was that there was a bigger audience waiting to enjoy her delectable creations.
For years, she single-handedly ran a home-based business, spreading happiness from the magic in her hands. With her nephew’s business skills and her knowledge of the kitchen and its secrets, she is an example for finding magic and unleashing your creativity in daily life and that too in the often overlooked kitchen.
From their formative years, they instilled the value of keeping the tradition and quality intact, even as they grew with the love of their customers. The brand is built around Gulab Maa's basic ideals of quality, consistency, and a connection to home flavours. From the quality of the raw materials sourced, to the consistency of the end product, Gulab Maa personally checks every batch of syrup, khakhra, masala, or pickle that leaves the Gulabs factory. They leave no stone unturned to make sure all their products are pure, wholesome, and have a homely feel to them.
Over the course of 20 years, there has been much change at Gulabs: they have undergone expansion, added new product segments to their offerings, set up a whole new manufacturing unit, and embraced online markets. However, what remains constant is that they are still a tightly-knit family offering food delicious enough to transport you back to your childhood and reminisce in those memories.
Gulabs is currently a closely-knit family of 30+ people working relentlessly under the guidance of Gulab Maa, and Mr. Naveen Bhandari as the MD, who continues to experiment for creating snacks and syrups, along the lines of recipes that are almost 40 years old, with minimal or no artificial colours or synthetic essence. At Gulabs, caring for every customer’s well-being is taken as seriously by Gulab Maa as it is by your own mother. Providing healthy and home-like food is the motto of the brand to date.
Caring for both people and the planet is important at Gulabs. It is a conscious effort to keep the use of plastic at bay and provide their unique tasting offerings in an earthy and eco-friendly packaging. Each item is packed in strong cardboard boxes and biodegradable and reusable bottles. As with their motto of providing natural products, it is important at Gulabs to respect nature as well and reduce the burden that plastic packaging puts on our ecosystem.
Sharbats: If there is an elixir on Earth, it is definitely Sharbats by Gulabs. Introduced in India by the Mughals and popularised by Babur, Sharbats are the age-old remedy to the scorching heat of India. While the fragrance and flavour in every ounce of them will leave you wanting more, the sweet and earthy flavour is sure to bring back memories of the good old days. They make a perfect drink for a hot summer day, with a lasting tingling effect on your taste buds.
Instant Drinks: Ranging from traditional flavours like Thandai, Jaljeera to modern and distinct flavours like Guava and Pineapple, Gulabs offers to quench your thirst in every possible flavours, these are a great on-the-go option to beat the heat and get you that instant energy.
Masalas: Indian cooking without Indian spices is like baking a cake without sugar! Time-honoured recipes, which are a blend of the perfect amounts of spices, lentils, and aromatic herbs, Masalas by Gulabs are sure to remind you of all the exotic flavours of your mom’s kitchen. In fact, they make you understand why spices have always been an integral part of India’s history.
Instant Food Mixes: Prepare to be transported back to the days of your childhood, when your mom used to make Upma for your breakfast with the Instant Food Mixes by Gulabs. True to their classic South-Indian origin, these are easy to cook, delicious to eat, and can be prepared anytime, anywhere.
Khakhras and Snacks: A traditional favourite, Gulabs offers Khakhras too good to resist. This roasted whole wheat delight tastes best with pickles, curd, chutneys, jam, chaat masala, butter, or other condiments basis individual liking. Or, it can be the perfect tea-time snack.
What lies ahead?
Gulabs is about more than just food. It is about joy and togetherness, as well as a greater goal and devotion, to bring delicacies that represent the flavour of home to people across the country. At the age of 65, Gulab Maa carries with herself the same love, dedication, and endearing smile, and along with it, the ancestral wealth of traditional Indian recipes.
So if you’re looking for tasty food that you can get online and bring home to recreate the magic of your mom’s kitchen, head on to our website The State Plate and try some of Gulab Maa’s secret recipes.
Buy Gulabs Collection: https://thestateplate.com/collections/gulabs
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