Friday, June 20, 2014

ZOUQ South Asian Snacks

I hadn't heard of Zouq's South Asian snacks before being contacted for a review, but as soon as I read what they are all about, I couldn't wait to receive the samples.

Every single variety of the snacks were extremely appealing, but the first one I dug into was the fiery sticks: delicately trimmed potato fingers tossed in a signature blend of original Indian red chilies and granulated mango powder, fried to crispy perfection.

They were like grown up hot fries crossed with potato sticks; I happen to be particularly fond of grown-ups, hot fries, and potato sticks, so I was immediately impressed.  The only reason I didn't eat the whole tin at once was because I had three other tins competing for my attention.


I meant to just taste one at a time, but I couldn't resist tucking into the curry crunch: a potpourri of sweet and sour taste, harmoniously blended with rice flakes, chickpea flour, peanuts and turmeric powder.

Unsurprisingly, this combination hit all the right notes of sweet, salty, and crunch.  There was no spiciness to this one, but an incredible amount of flavor.

The golden lentils: a selection of carefully sorted lentils, perfectly sauteed in oil and sea salt, resulting in a lively bite-sized snack were the plainest looking snack of them all, but I was on a roll and I wasn't going to stop until I'd sampled each of the four varieties.

On first taste I was ready to dismiss them as plain, but there is something about them that makes them just as enjoyable as the others- even though they accomplish that feat without any pizzazz.  I wouldn't necessarily choose this variety first, but the light, pleasant, crunch meant that nary a lentil went to waste.

Finally, I'd tasted my way through the assortment and made it to the jubilee mix: a blend of chickpeas, green peas, cashews, cumin seeds and coriander to give a perfectly balanced vibrant snack.

In theory, this variety reminded me of the curry crunch- solely by virtue of the assortment of flavors, textures, and spice.  But this one had so many elements- including the spiciness that was absent (but not lacking) from the curry crunch, that it may have even exceeded that one in flavorful impact.  I found myself eating a bit of each intermittently and never did decide on a favorite.

I'm no stranger to these types of snacks that can be found in South Asian markets in the U.S., but Zouq's options are in a class of their own.  I haven't seen them in the northeast as of yet saw them at Homegoods the other day, but you can also order them online; I highly recommend that you do.  They don't seem to currently be offered as a variety pack, so Zouq- if you're listening, that's my suggestion!  Happy snacking.

From the company:

ZOUQ – A New Line Of South Asian-Inspired Snacks – Launches Across The West Coast
 Made from all-natural ingredients, these exotic, vegan and gluten-free snack mixes offer a cultural experience in every bite

Los Angeles, CA (March 4, 2014) – Created by foodies that adhere to the mantra, “Share your food, share your culture”, ZOUQ is a new line of exotic snack mixes that offer an array of South Asian-inspired spices and ingredients in convenient, transportable packs.

“The name ‘ZOUQ’ came from a blend of three different words with origins in ancient languages that all relate to taste, flavor and marketplace,” said ZOUQ Founder and CEO Uzair Anjarwalla. “This blend of ancient language represents what we’re looking to do with this company, that is, create a brand that aims to connect cultures through the medium of consumer packaged foods.”

ZOUQ was inspired by the idea that food is the easiest and simplest way to participate in a culture, no matter its geographic location. With a background in entrepreneurship and a lifetime of global travel, Anjarwalla quickly realized the need for cross-cultural connection. Strong family ties in the South Asian region led to the launch of ZOUQ snack products using authentic flavors sourced directly from the culture and fabric of the area.
Each ZOUQ product is made with wholesome, all-natural ingredients and is vegan, gluten-free, cholesterol-free and MSG-free. ZOUQ South Asian-inspired snack mixes come in the following flavors:

·      Fiery Sticks: Delicately trimmed potato fingers, tossed in a signature blend of original Indian red chilies and granulated mango powder, fried to crispy perfection.
·      Golden Lentils: A selection of carefully sorted lentils, perfectly sautéed in oil and seal salt, resulting in a lively bite-sized snack.
·      Jubilee Mix blends in Chickpeas, Green Peas, Cashews, Cumin Seeds and Coriander to give a perfectly balanced vibrant snack.
·      Curry Crunch is a potpourri of sweet and sour taste, harmoniously blended with rice flakes, chickpeas flour, peanuts and turmeric powder.
The ZOUQ snack line will be available in both an easy, transportable and consumer-friendly can and single-serve pouches. The can, which is equal to roughly three/four servings, will retail for $3.99 and the single-serve pouch has a MSRP of $1.49. ZOUQ is currently available for purchase at select retail locations and online at

“We’re excited to be bringing these flavors and textures to market that are so near and dear to our hearts,” said ZOUQ President Talib Fakhri. “We want to make unique, exotic ingredients - spices and flavors we grew up with - accessible in the everyday experience.“

For more information, please visit and like us on Facebook.

About ZOUQ:
ZOUQ Foods International® is a company that loves exotic foods and flavors. ZOUQ connects cultures through the medium of food, with the goal of sparking international cultural discussion and experience. ZOUQ was created by a passionate group of foodies who want to find and preserve exotic foods and flavors from around the world, and to bring them to mainstream markets and consumers of the United States in premium packaged goodness. For more information, visit:


  1. I reviewed these in May and really liked them — except maybe the curry crunch, which is a little too sweet for me. I like my snacks to be savory and spicy. In fact, although the other three flavors are long gone, I just realized that I still have the curry crunch. The sticks and the lentils were my favorites.

  2. These all sound fun! Is there a way to use them in a recipe, or are they mostly just for snacking on their own? (Which I am totally down with.)
    The lentils look like little rice crispies!

    1. Exactly like savory rice crispies! I did think of putting them on a salad, but decided that would be a waste since they're so good on their own. I just reviewed the documentation that came with, and there were no serving suggestions other than snacking.

  3. That top canister does remind me of those Andy Capp Hot Fries.

    1. Right!? If I remember correctly, the salsa fries were the only ones that were vegan, but then they all disappeared.

  4. I'd go for the sticks every time! If you've got any left over rice crispies, you could always use them in bhel puri Yum!


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