Aiming to be India’s first meat snack brand, Doki launches chicken chips and buffalo jerky

The Delhi-based start up offers meaty chips and jerky in a range of local and International flavours including teriyaki, gochujang and smoky masala

April 14, 2023 02:57 pm | Updated 05:12 pm IST

Offerings by Doki

Offerings by Doki | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

First came the grasshoppers. Next, an entire emu arrived, delivered via a 28 hour train journey from Madhya Pradesh, in drippy ice bags. Then, the pandemic struck. 

For a young brand, Doki foods has an unexpectedly tumultuous past. Fortunately, the founders, Bharat Kaushish and Bharat Dhody are cheerfully resilient. (PS: They helpfully suggest that we call them BK and Dhody, like all their friends do, to avoid a ‘Bharat and Bharat’ situation.)

Aiming to be India’s first ready-to-eat meat snack brand, Doki makes high protein jerky and chips, with chicken and buffalo, which come in a thoughtfully curated range of flavours including Korean Gochujang, Tokyo Teriyaki, and Telicherry pepper. “We don’t have a culinary background — both of us work for non-profits. We just wanted to start our own business... something we could start on a low budget with our savings,” says Dhody. After multiple ideas, this side hustle was sparked by a craving for crisps. 

“We were in a fitness phase, and wanted something high protein to snack on,” says Dhody. Inspired by BK’s brother Madhav, who shared his home-made jerky, they bought a home dehydrator off Amazon, and started experimenting with chicken, buffalo and at one point, that emu. (The grasshopper idea was a non-starter.) 

Bharat Kaushish (left) with Bharat Dhody

Bharat Kaushish (left) with Bharat Dhody | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The defrosted emu was terrible. And their chicken chips were not much better. “We were going to give up, andmy cook,who is from Darjeeling didn’t want them to go to waste, so she took the meats home and added her own blend of spices to the western marinade,” says Dhody. The results were so impressive they still use her recipe for the chicken chips and are thinking of a sukuti flavour next.

The snacks, which began selling under the name ‘Tom and Jerky’ made their debut at a food fair. “We sold out, and that gave us the confidence to get an industrial dehydrator and go all in,” says BK. Then, Covid hit. 

Nevertheless, the two Bharats persevered, adding new flavours, and staff, including a cook named — you guessed right — Bharat. They also got Neha Gautam, a food scientist on board to supervise the curing. “With meat, safety is very important. She figured out how to make it using a naturally cured way, which really levelled up our flavours,” says Dhody.

They quickly discovered the advantages of using buffalo. India is the world’s biggest market for buffalo export, so the leanest cuts are much cheaper here than they would be in the US,” says BK. Doki gradually moved from being a ‘side hustle’ to a business, as the jerky began finding fans online.  

A snack by Doki

A snack by Doki | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“‘No other snack in the Indian market gives you as much protein for as few calories/carbs,” says Dhodhi, admitting that they worried about the price when they launched. “It’s a 30-gram packet and it like looks so little, but it takes 100 grams of meat to make that. So, a 30-gram bag of jerky actually has as much meat as a small steak.” He adds, “We finally decided there is no way we can make this snack cheap, so we may as well focus on quality. We get the best cuts of meat, the buffalo is grass-fed and we are working towards sourcing free range chicken.” 

Stating that they take social responsibility seriously and are wary of greenwashing, DK says “we track the excess carbon from our whole process, and set aside 2% of our revenue — not profits — to buy good offsets.” They also committed to charities that promote ethical livestock rearing practices. 

Although their first set of launches have caught on with the fitness community, particularly people on paleo and keto diets, the duo plan to expand to all kinds of meat snacks soon, including more indulgent treats like pork crackling.

More details at Each pack is priced at 199.

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