If you have ever asked your mother or grandmother precise instructions for a recipe, it is likely the answer has left you more confused. Indian cooking is a challenging task for most people and to excel in the same you need more than time on your hands. And that’s where Bengaluru-based startup Up hopes it can make a difference with its DelishUp device, which resembles a giant mixer, but can do a range of operations from chopping and blending to actually cooking dishes as per a recipe. The machine can even tell you exactly how much water to add with the help of the inbuilt weighing scale and a smart tablet attached to it. DelishUp can conjure up vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes as long as you follow the instructions and that is why the target audience is clearly those who cannot cook at all. As someone who is good at cooking, I’m not the ideal target audience for a contraption like this. But after using it for a few weeks, here’s why I am tempted to buy the DelishUp.
First, what exactly does DelishUp do?
DelishUp is like a mixer combined with a one-pot cooker, an element of smartness thrown in. There’s the main mixer jar container where you keep adding ingredients. It will slice up all items as per the dish’s requirements, and also cook them thanks to the induction plate at the bottom. Do note this container gets very hot during the process of cooking.
The device is connected to a tablet, where each instruction is played out. Before you begin cooking, DelishUp displays all the ingredients required, as well as the exact proportions. There’s also a weighing scale as part of the setup to help one take exact measurements and follow the recipe precisely. The recipes even tell you how much water to add to a dish, which will come as a relief to many folks.
How much does DelishUp cost and who makes it?
When I started reviewing this, I didn’t bother looking at the price. I was convinced this machine cost close to a lakh, given it was doing so much. But this one has a price tag of Rs 21,999. The price alone actually makes me want to buy this, and I will explain why in my review. It is already being delivered to folks in Bengaluru, and deliveries in Mumbai and Pune start in April. For Delhi citizens, the deliveries begin in May.
The company’s co-founder Mohit Sharma came over to give me a demo of the device when it was being dropped off. Sharma– who previously worked at Chaayos– started this company with co-founder Mahek Mody, who earlier worked at Ather Energy.
So how was my experience of cooking with DelishUp?
The first dish Sharma showed me was an oriental stir fry for paneer (cottage cheese), and it gave me a sense of how things work with the device. The final dish itself wasn’t bad. Yes, I tweaked the ingredients a bit while cooking it, adding my own preferred sauces. After the demo, I was confident that I knew everything about how to make this work perfectly. But I was wrong because the first time I cooked pasta on this thing was a disaster. And I’m partly to blame.
The mixer attachment has blades at the bottom, which can be removed. Before one puts the mixer, you must ensure the blade is locked with a locker attachment. This attachment, which is placed outside the jar, ensures the blade is locked and the container is sealed. Except when I started cooking the pasta dish, I forgot about the lock at the bottom. Mid-way through the cooking, I felt, didn’t I add more tomatoes, why is the proportion so less? Soon, I realised the container was leaking, as I had forgotten the lock at the bottom.
Most of DelishUp’s target audience (aka people who can’t cook) would have panicked. But I stopped cooking the dish mid-way — you can pause while cooking — and transferred the ingredients to another bowl. I then quickly put the lock attachment at the bottom, which took a few attempts. Once it was done, I once again added the ingredients. I had lost some water and a fair amount of tomatoes. I just added one or two tomatoes more, a little more water, and started the cooking process again. I have to admit I was worried about the sauce now, and how it would turn out in the end. But I continued and added the pasta.
The tablet indicated it would cook for another 18 or so minutes. This is where my instinct as a cook again kicked in. No pasta should linger in any sauce for that long. I stopped the cooking process with around 8 minutes left to spare because in my view the pasta would get too mushy. In the end, it was a little mushy, but acceptable. Not authentic Italian, but good enough, and considering I had almost lost half the dish, it didn’t taste bad.
The second dish I tried was a ‘Hariyali’ (green) chicken, which is a recipe on the DelishUp tablet. This time, I was careful that the lock was in place before I poured the ingredients inside. I especially liked the fact that when adding the coriander and mint, I didn’t have to chop it. Or the onion just had to be quartered, and the machine did the rest. With the garlic too, I just had to peel. I followed this recipe exactly as the machine said, though I added salt based on my tastes because I could not find the exact measuring spoons that accompanied this machine.
The final result was a nice dish, and everyone had it for lunch. More importantly, cooking in this machine meant I didn’t have to stir or chop, which was critical because I had no help at home that day. Nor was the chicken overcooked, which was another plus point. But when I emptied out the chicken, I noticed the main container was burnt at the bottom. So yes, cleaning it took some effort on my part.
This same thing happened when I made masala oats using the DelishUp device. The masala oats actually tasted good, though I’m not a fan of instant oats, and typically cook with rolled oats.
Who should consider the DelishUp device? Is it worth it?
If you can’t make head or tail of how much water or salt to add to a dish, this device is a perfect solution to your woes. It is meant for those living on their own, who aren’t great at cooking with limited time but want home-cooked meals with minimal effort. It can ensure that you’ll get at least a basic home-cooked meal on days your cook disappears. For someone such as myself, this device is great when my cook goes on leave because at least one meal can be cooked in one pot.
But there is a learning curve involved here, so keep that in mind. And yes, some minimal prep is required when using this. For example, most dishes will ask you to quarter tomatoes or onions before you add them to the main jar.
My only hesitation with this is that this is a first-generation device, so there are doubts about how long it will work. The company claims they have built with durability in mind, and fixing it will not be a problem if something goes wrong. The company is also pushing out constant software updates to add more recipes, etc. Right now, the price and promise of the DelishUp device are what make this very enticing for someone like me. Still, make sure you have ample kitchen space before you decide to buy this because it occupies a fair amount of countertop space.