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In Conversation With Ragoth Bala, Co-founder, The Cumin Club

In Conversation With Ragoth Bala, Co-founder, The Cumin Club

Feature Fridays: Ragoth Bala, Co-founder, The Cumin Club

With a full-time job and grad school to juggle, eating right as a vegetarian in Chicago was quite difficult for Ragoth Bala. Most restaurants stopped at lentil soups and Caprese sandwiches, but that did not cut it for him. His craving for home-style Indian food drove him to create The Cumin Club, which brings you the flavors of home by offering authentic Indian meals made for real life. Their 30+ dishes from across India are all-natural, made with whole ingredients, and preservative-free, so you can feel good about what you’re eating.

We sat down with Ragoth Bala to know all about The Cumin Club and more:

DissDash: What drove you to start Cumin Club? What were some of the challenges you faced?

Ragoth Bala: My mom came to the rescue by sending me pre-curated meals all the way from India – just add water and cook it for 5 minutes. It was healthier and cheaper than any meal I have ever had in the US. These were the circumstances in which the idea for The Cumin Club originated. I graduated from Chicago Booth with an MBA in December 2018, moved to India in March 2019, and started building the foundations for The Cumin Club. My co-founders, Kiru Rajagopal and Harish Visweswaran saw the vision for what The Cumin Club could be and jumped on board in 2019. Together, we researched, experimented, and developed 35+ recipes, rooted in authentic regional cuisines of India and have served 600,000 meals to date.

In Conversation With Ragoth Bala, Co-founder, The Cumin Club
3 co-founders Kiru, Harish, Ragoth from left to right.
Photo Credit: Zenab Kashif

DissDash: Why did you feel that Indian meal plans would succeed in the US?

Bala: The world is going vegetarian, slowly but steadily, and the cuisines of India have plenty to offer to this new world of plant-based nutrition – a country of 1.5 billion people eat plant-based on a daily basis (and meat on special occasions), and 1/3rd of them are 100% vegetarian. Taking the time-tested daily nutrition habits to Indians around the world and vegetarians/flexitarians around the world made a lot of sense to us from day 1. Three years later, we are happy to see that Indians and non-Indians alike are able to easily fix breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with The Cumin Club, eating our nutritious plant-based meals while on a busy lifestyle.

We still have a long way to go though. Convincing the world that Indian food is the sustainable and healthy way to gain everyday nutrition is not going to be easy – we have to get the word out and change the perceptions around Indian food and get a lot of Americans to try Indian food for the first time or for the first time in a non-buffet setting.

In Conversation With Ragoth Bala, Co-founder, The Cumin Club
Photo Credit: Studio BunxPav Studio

DissDash: You say, “the next best thing to having breakfast in your hometown is having breakfast from your hometown.” Which Indian cities does The Cumin Club cover?

Bala: The Cumin Club curates hyper-local recipes from different regions of India – so far, we have recipes from Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Punjab, Gujarat, and Hyderabad. The best part? We use spices from the region in the cooking of those recipes – something that helps us gain the approval of the locals from that region and the interest of everyone else.

DissDash: What are your favorite meals from The Cumin Club?

Bala: Dal Chawal is my new favorite. Such a comfort food that hits home after a long day at work.

DissDash: Share with us some of your favorite reactions from your customers.

Bala: Most customers have the same reaction – can food that comes in a pack be this good? We are hardwired to think otherwise. Our response is the same – our packs are different because we follow the age-old technique of drying the food to preserve it, with some technological advancements and a lot of attention to the details.

In Conversation With Ragoth Bala, Co-founder, The Cumin Club
Image Source: Screengrab from

(Visit for more information and to check out their menu, starting at $4.99/meal. Ghar ka khana on the table in minutes, delivered straight to your door. Get a special discount of 20% on your first order – use code DISSDASH20)

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