Panache with pastry


By Zieman

Product diversification: Alya (left) and Monarr with the curry pastes offered by Kampong Kravers.

THE HUMBLE curry puff is proving to be a sound investment for Kampung Kravers Sdn Bhd

For Alya Abdullah, founder and owner of Kampong Kravers, the ultimate aim is get all Malaysians to taste what she considers the best curry puffs and curry mixes money can buy.

“No more hassle of buying ingredients or spending hours sweating over the stove to cook curry or sambal. Our offerings taste as good as your home-cooked food, in addition to the convenience as it saves you a lot of time.

“Best of all, you can carry it anywhere you go or you can entertain friends and family members with a full range of curries, hassle-free,” said Alya, who started her business in 2013.

Kampong Kravers kiosks are now in Nu Sentral, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Lot 10 Hutong, Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya, IOI City Mall in Putrajaya, Skypark Subang Terminal and at the “home cafe” — the company’s head office in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya.

The company’s curry puffs are made using an old family recipe that consists of freshly blended spices, herbs and a light melt-in-the-mouth layered pastry.

The products are made daily and have no trans fat, added preservatives, colouring or MSG. They are also touted as being low in cholesterol.

Kampong Kravers’ products conform to halal guidelines and food safety requirements.

They make 14 curry puff flavours, including staples such as chicken, beef, mutton masala, spicy tuna, chili sardine, and more unusual flavours like mushroom mayo, pineapple, kaya (coconut custard), peanut butter, sweet potato, durian, cempedak and apple custard.

The company’s other major product line is curry paste, which comes in eight flavours such as chicken, beef, mutton masala, squid, prawn, fish, dhall and sambal.

A pack weighing 250g is priced at RM12.90 and is available at all Kampung kravers kiosks. The latest paste is “hot bilis” priced at RM9.90. It is apparently selling like hot cakes.

Cream puffs are also offered in flavours like vanilla cream, chocolate, nutella, strawberry and durian.

“We have decided to offer diverse flavours in the sweet selections, too, after getting suggestions from our customers,” said the company’s commercial manager Monarr F. Basarrah.

She said so far, only their frozen curry puffs were exported.

“We can’t export the cream puffs yet because they have a short shelf life since we use fresh cream. So it should be consumed within one or two days. We are still in the process of diversifying our products for export and, at the same time, expose the brand locally and abroad,” added Monarr.

The idea behind the Kampong Kravers brand began with a simple need: to find a solution to cravings for great Malaysian food, especially during our long trips overseas.

Alya has always had these cravings and decided to set up Kampong Kravers with her friend, Rosanna Rashidi.

During their student days, the two went through the homesick-and-craving-for-Malaysian-food stage, like all Malaysians who spent time trips overseas for study or work.

“I used to pack ready-to-eat meals and stuff them into my luggage. To this day, I can still remember the familiar aroma of fresh galangal, turmeric, chillies, lemongrass and star anise lingering around the check-in and customs counters at the airports.

“While the aroma was comforting, it was a cause for concern as we were always worried that our precious cargo might be confiscated by customs.

“These experiences from our student days and long trips overseas for work were the seeds that drove us to find a solution for these cravings. Hence, the birth of Kampong Kravers,” said Alya, 51.

Kampong Kravers’ products have become a hit because they cater to those who want that familiar fix of Malaysian curries overseas.

“It’s also the best and most convenient solution for unannounced dinner guests. You can whip up great-tasting authentic curries in a jiffy, with no stress and minimal preparation time,” Alya said.

“Our frozen curry puffs always come in handy, whether it’s for an impromptu party or dinner or simply for those moments when you have that craving for a delicious hot curry puff.

“We designed our products to meet international food safety and halal standards, as we realised that there was a demand for such products. There’s a demand from Malaysians seeking higher quality halal products, and from local and overseas buyers,” said Alya, a mother of three.

Kampong Kravers was something that Alya had wanted to do for a long time.

“In Kampong Kravers, we believe our food must be tasty, healthy and safe enough to serve our families for every meal, every day. This is because we are, first and foremost, mothers too. All our products are made from scratch to ensure that it has that home-cooked taste every time.

“We go to great lengths to source for the freshest ingredients every day from the neighbouring markets, and even grind our chillies daily.

“We do not add any MSG, colouring or preservatives to our food products and we make sure our oils are trans-fat and cholesterol free. This means the cost of our food is slightly higher and can change at times as prices for fresh ingredients are seasonal,” says Alya.

Kampong Kravers is expanding through kiosks and cafes, in shopping malls and office complexes, where Malaysians are able to experience the products served piping hot.

Soon, the Kampong Kravers retail packs will be made widely available in leading supermarkets, grocery and convenience stores.

“We plan to have 50 Kampong Kravers outlets in the Klang Valley by the end of this year. We hope to expand our business when our modern multi-million ringgit factory and central kitchen in Subang 2 opens by the end of this year.

“This is to cater to our growing menu and to support our aggressive expansion plans.

“The variety of Malaysian food is wide. We are a melting pot of diverse colours, cultures and tastes.

“The potential for Kampong Kravers to diversify is simply enormous,” enthused Alyah, who has worked closely with Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation in international trade shows and exhibitions.

Beyond their own efforts, Kampong Kravers has received tremendous backing and assistance from Matrade, which has been instrumental in the company’s growth and taken them to the various trade exhibitions worldwide.

“The support from the Agriculture Ministry, Fama, Health Ministry and SME Bank has been invaluable.

Not forgetting, Jakim’s and Jais’ unlimited advice in helping us develop our full-fledged halal kitchen, both in ingredients, hygiene and export compliance,” said Monarr.

They also supply to select supermarkets and stores in the Klang Valley. Besides the popular frozen curry puffs and curry pastes, their other best-sellers are baked curry puffs and Nasi lemak XL cooked with basmathi rice for that extra healthier (diabetic friendly) and tastier option.

Pick-up service is also available from at their headquarters at No 6, Jalan SS20/10, Damansara Kim, Kuala Lumpur. .

The company is planning to implement an e-commerce and delivery service by year-end and a revamped website with YouTube cooking tips from a Malaysian celebrity using Kampong Kravers curry pastes in simple, step-by-step method.

New kiosks are expected at Sunway Putra Mall, Star Avenue and Atria Damansara in May.

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