INNO Concepts – An Innovation in South Indian Cooking
By Ranjani Saigal
The following article appeared in the Lokvani Newsletter on 11/7/02. Clickhere to see the article online.
Like many other Indian women, right after her wedding, Andal Balu came to the US with stars in her eyes and hopes of a lovely home, happy family and, of course, good food. After all, this was the land of milk and honey. Though she found her dream home, got a loving family, the good food did not quite come up to the mark. She found out that while she could cook up quite a storm, the taste of the dishes was not quite as good as what “grandma used to make.”
“Using an American blender and American pressure cooker the ‘idlis’ did not quite come out right. And it was so much work,” says Andal. “We saw the Ultra Grinder brought all the way from India at a friend’s house. We were impressed by its innovation and quality. My husband felt that the need for making this product available to all the other Indians who cannot bring it from India or who would like to get it here with great service and warranty. Thus INNO Concepts was born!”
INNO Concepts, Inc. was founded in 1992 to market high quality specialty kitchen appliances that are specifically designed to impart authentic taste and maintain the high nutritional value of food.
The company began with marketing the Sumeet mixie, and then added grinders to make idlis, a delicacy that is known for being extremely healthy. Now INNO Concepts is the sole authorized distributor for the #1 selling ULTRA Grind+ tabletop wet grinder. Later iNNO Concepts added other appliances to its list. They market the “Idleez multipurpose steamer” with the best quality non-stick coated Idli plates. You can pour your idli dough into the plates, plug in the steamer, set the timer, and go about watching TV or doing your other chores. The perfect idlis are done! No need to watch over them or turn off the pressure cooker at the right time. Also the steamer is handy when you have a party because it is like having an additional stove.
“Our goal is to make Indian cooking as easy as possible while consistently maintaining the authentic taste. Most of us are very busy but still want healthy home made food. We choose the products that help us spend more time enjoying the food instead of spending more time preparing the food,” says Andal.
They also sell the “Rotimakers” made by Chefmaster. How many times have we struggled to get the perfect Roti? Just take a ball of dough, put it in this Rotimaker and it comes out beautifully round and cooked just right. Other unique products that INNO Concepts offers include the MeenuMix Tribute mixies, the Portuguese Cookeez pressure cooker/pressure pan set, and the Chefmaster electric Tawa. For those who are new to South Indian cooking, Inno Concepts sells the cookbooks by Mallika Badrinath.
The cookbooks, in addition to including delicious recipes, effectively use INNO Concepts’ appliances.
“Our relationship with the customer begins with our quality products. We are committed to superior customer service. Warranty for parts and labor come with our products – the only Indian products available with US warranty,” says Andal. “We are continuously adding dealers to our distribution network across the country.
Most of the dealers provide not only top quality customer service but are also trained to perform minor repair services to meet service needs. We constantly update our web site with cooking tips and instructions.”
“Are you just catering to the appliance market for home use?” I ask. “We are now expanding to the commercial kitchens as well. We have added commercial kitchen appliances such as Wetgrinders, continuous feed Dry grinders, and Idli Chambers to our line of products. These products help the restaurateurs, the caterers, and the temple chefs to authentically prepare Indian food in bulk quantities faster and hygienically,” says Andal Balu.
To learn more about these products, please check out INNO Concepts’ web site at www.innoconcepts.com or call them at 770-594-1815.