Pooja Baroosh is making take out Indian food.

A taste of India for those who enjoy ethnic food

New service provides take out food with a unique Indian flavour

Did you know that the greater Sooke region (from Port Renfrew to East Sooke) has about 30 restaurants and eateries? We’re a bit scarce on ethnic diversity though, and if you’ve had a craving for a nice Indian curry, you’re probably thinking that you’ll have to drive to The Big City for a bite.

Not any more.

There’s authentic Indian food to be had in Sooke, from a local business called Tastes of India. The reason why many don’t know about it is probably because there is no restaurant and no signage. So far, it’s been just word-of-mouth and social media.

The business is owned and managed by Pooja Barooah who hails originally from India. She received her MBA in the UK, and worked in Dubai as a realtor before she and her family landed here in Sooke. She is currently merging her passions (she’s an entrepreneurial soul with a foodie bent) and is slowly setting up culinary shop here in Sooke. Our palates will be the beneficiaries.

And having enjoyed a sampling of her offerings, this reporter can speak to the quality of the food. A look through her online menu speaks to the affordability. Because she has very little overhead (no building and no employees — and she cooks from a rented, certified kitchen), she passes those savings on to the consumer. For about $35, you can easily feed a family of four; $45 will satisfy four hungry adults.

For those who are unfamiliar with an Indian menu, or those who are more experimental, you can let Barooah build you a meal. Just let her know your dislikes (like, perhaps, coriander) and your heat tolerance, and she’ll quote you a price and prepare you something that should be to your liking.

According to her website Barooah is “a full-time mom who loves to cook.” She offers authentic Indian take-out in Sooke every Wednesday, and is currently in the process of setting up cooking classes.

“I’ve been cooking for as long as I can remember,” she said in conversation, “and I’m the biggest experimenter that there is.” The major influences in the development of her culinary skill were her mother and her maternal grandmother.

“My mother is a really good cook. She hates cooking, but she’s such a good cook. My grandmother, my mother’s mother, is an amazing cook. … She can cook any meat dish to the perfect amount of salt without tasting it,” said Barooah. “I suppose it’s in my genes.”

Barooah is also into sharing the experience, and will teach you how to cook your own Indian food. Her Facebook page also offers up recipes in her Notes (facebook.com/tastesofindiainsooke/).

Her primary taste testers are her Norwegian husband, Bjørn Lodding and her one- year-old son, Aryan. Lodding, according to Barooah, is a very finicky eater, “and if he doesn’t like it, there is a chance that there is a significant amount of people that will not like it.” Their one-year-old son, Aryan, has already developed a tolerance for spicy food. Probably acquired during invitro, laughs Barooah.

The family of three, along with their two rescue dogs, have taken up residence in Sooke, and are loving it. They are currently here on a work visa through her husband, who works as a corporate trainer in Victoria. Barooah is intending to stay.

Should their permanency become a reality, Barooah would eventually love to have a food truck.

“It makes Indian food accessible,” said Barooah.

For the time being, there is an online menu on her website (TastesOfIndiaInSooke.com) along with a gallery of photos of her meals and her contact information. Order by Tuesday at noon, and pick up on Wednesday after 5 p.m. (She will contact you when your food is ready.)

The meals come individually packed with reheating instructions on the label.

There is nothing left for you to do but reheat accordingly, set the table and eat. Leftovers can easily be frozen for another day.

Just Posted

Grassfire threatens Sooke home

Quick action by local firefighters quickly extinguished flames

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Victoria Police seek witnesses after cyclist tripped up by tow strap between vehicles

The collision happened on Aug. 18 at Oswego and Belleville streets

Police identify man found dead in Saanich, seek his backpack and shoes

Investigators seek shoes, backpack that Andrew Michael Sidor was seen wearing

House fire in Langford causes extensive damage

It took firefighters about four hours to douse the blaze

VIDEO: Canadian zoos’ captive breeding programs help preserve endangered species

Programs considered last-ditch effort to prevent local extinctions of turtles, butterflies and more

Sooke’s Old-Fashioned Country Picnic set for Saturday

The free event combines music, kids activities, food and fun

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read