Review: Taste of India Gift Box from the World of Hyatt

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Did you catch the offer from World of Hyatt called Try The World? Hyatt wants to “connect us to the people, places and experiences at the heart of our world.” Their Try The World concept involves a “box of the month” filled with foods and ingredients from all across a specific country. I decided to give this Try The World a go, and ordered the first three boxes. The total cost was $105, so that’s $35 a box. I’ve never subscribed to a box of the month club before!

For the first month, the country Hyatt chose was France (read the gift box review here). The second country Hyatt chose was Turkey (read the gift box review here). When I opened this month’s box featuring India, I realized I still really loved the box the goodies arrived in. I love the colors, the creative artwork, and the packaging. All very stylish and classy. The box came with a large fold-out card that talked about the chef that put these items together and the card also explained each product.

This India sampling was created by Chef Alex Moser, he’s the chef at the Andaz Delhi. I noticed a few changes in the gift box. The box still came with the fold-out card, and in this box, the photos on the card of the products did match what came in the box. One change I really liked, is that now on the back of the fold-out card, there are three different recipes that include the gift box ingredients. And now there is even more information about how best to use each product and where they came from. This make sense and seems to me like a good addition.

There were eight items in this box, so that seems to be the norm for these gift boxes. This gift box had a great combo of snacks, spices, and sweets. If you enjoy Indian cuisine and cooking, you’ll enjoy this box! I’ll admit that the first thing I noticed in this gift box was the beverage they included. This Indian box came with Masala Chai. No surprise there! I used to make my own chai from scratch, so I was curious as to how this chai would taste. It was pretty good for a mix. If you follow the instructions on the package though, it won’t be strong enough, so use more than they suggest. The two snack items were bags of roasted Chana, which are chickpeas. One bag is spicy and the other is the original blend of spices. I tried the original blend and rather liked them. They definitely tasted like roasted chickpeas and had a kick to them. Though I ate them as a snack, I could see adding them in rice.

The sweet item is called Soan Papdi. It’s labeled as a traditional flaky sweet with almonds and pistachios. This was a little too good :) It’s very flaky and sorta melts in your mouth the way cotton candy does. I think if you put this out at a party, it would be gone pretty quickly! The seasoning selection was intriguing. There’s a bottle of date and tamarind sweet sauce that Hyatt says to use as a dipping sauce. The second seasoning selection is a bottle of Bombay chutney. There’s also a jar of masala seasonings. I did not try the dipping sauce or chutney, but I used the masala seasonings on lamb and really liked it. The rub was a perfect blend. Though my lamb didn’t taste as good as if made in an Indian oven, it came close. I think the rub would be great on chicken, too.

One item that was fun to sample was the Dosa pancake mix. I never make pancakes, so this was motivating! As I said, I’m not a pancake maker :( However, even though my Dosa came out thick and didn’t look anything like the photo on the packaging, it was edible! And with butter on it… delicious :) I actually liked the Dosa because the batter is rice-based, so it was quite different than a traditional pancake.

It seems to me that the bottom line with these box of the month ideas is whether it’s worth the money and would you use the items. Also, would this make a nice gift for people? The answer to this making a nice gift is absolutely YES. The packaging was lovely and if you know anyone who cooks and enjoys Indian food and treats, this is a very creative gift idea. I have family and friends who loved traveling in India and enjoy spicy food. They would love this gift! For me, most of the items in this box were good and as I said, some of them wouldn’t last very long! I liked that the items were all very different in what you’d use them for. The $35 price point seems fair. Not a great deal, but neither does it seem overly priced. If you were to go to Trader Joes or World Market and try to replicate these items, I think you’d spend close to the same price, or more.

Did you take Hyatt up on their Try The World box of the month idea? Did you think it was worth it? Do you use, or gift, other box of the month clubs? I’m curious which ones people really enjoy, so please let me know in the comments below.

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