“Eat Healthy and Live Longer!”
Eat healthy and live longer. That is a key phrase that owners Iqbal Hasan and Shikha Ahmad of Shikha’s Kitchen frequently use when describing the reasoning behind their business of creating homemade East Indian dishes. Devoted to serving up their customers with a variety of tasty and healthy meals, Chef Hasan and Shikha have entered their fifth year at the Thunder Bay Country Market, where they’ve experienced great success.
Born in Bangladesh, Chef Hasan first learned the art of cooking from his mother and grandmother. His skills have since become natural to him and he is passionate in sharing the rich flavours he was raised with. Though Shikha’s Kitchen has developed into a side business for both, it has also become a passion, and they have thoroughly enjoyed serving the community of Thunder Bay. They seem to have tapped into a niche market, specializing in East Indian cuisine. However, not only do they provide a large selection of international dishes, but they also pay very close attention in catering to specific allergies, all while keeping their foods preservative and additive free.
None of the dishes prepared in Shikha’s Kitchen are cooked in peanut oil, which is a
common oil that is used for frying Southeastern Asian foods. Rather, Chef Hasan uses sunflower oil for most of his dishes, and is very adamant in reassuring his customers that all dishes are peanut-free. Cleanliness is of high importance, and major allergies are taken into strict account. Dishes are prepared to the liking of people’s personal tastes, whether you prefer mild, spicy or hot. Examples include chicken curry or beef cooked with yellow beans or butter chicken served with rice pilau. They use no preservatives or additives, and many dishes are also lactose and/or gluten-free. Opting for a vegan option? Try their cauliflower and eggplant pakora or chana masala & zucchini, served hot with basmati rice. Nothing is pre-cooked; all food is prepared fresh in their own kitchen, using only the finest ingredients. They take pride in preparing healthy and homemade dishes at affordable prices, which many with allergies and intolerances can also enjoy. Experience the tastes of India when you have a bite of some of their tantalizing dishes, convenient and homemade meals for on the go, or ask about their takeout menu during the week. Call ahead and give Chef Hasan some time to whip up a very fine meal for yourself and your family, including an entree, main and dessert.
Shikha’s Kitchen always brings some ‘spice into your life’ with their high-end lineup of over 20 blends of spices, including many unique and hard-to-find varieties. Again, all spice blends created in Shikha’s Kitchen are made preservative and additive-free using no MSG. These spices are also at the heart of all of their freshly-prepared dishes, and many customers enjoy the opportunity to purchase their own spice blends to take home. Also available for purchase, a variety of their own chutneys.
Shikha’s Kitchen has become a popular and special vendor among our lineup here at the market, and we are pleased to have them with us every Wednesday evening from 3:30pm-6:30pm and again on Saturday morning from 8:00am-1:00pm. They are located on the main floor, or just follow your nose to the tantalizing scents of their East Indian dishes, prepared hot and fresh, awaiting your approval!