Thursday, November 11, 2021

Looking forward to a spicy November 2021!

2021 has been all about learning, engaging and exploring. And as we approach the end of the year I have been reflecting on all the wonderful conversations and people I got to meet and learn from this year, like the culinary chroniclers both established and aspiring, various small business owners who have been doing exciting work, and of course all the wonderful guests on Spice Chronicles with RMG! On that last note, November is packed with all things Spice! Just what the chilly weather here in Doon calls for!

A New Segment on this blog - November will see a new segment introduced on this blog called #FoodBizInFocus. The last two years have caused the whole food industry to reorganise itself. And while it is still picking itself up, one area that has seen massive movement and innovation has been food entrepreneurship through small businesses. And thanks to the mentoring session I did in May as well as SpiceChronicles I have had a chance to interact, discover and work with a number of start-ups and small businesses, doing seriously cool things. As someone who consults with small businesses, supporting small business owners is extremely important to me, and via this section I hope to share with you some inspiring stories of great brands and fabulous products.
Look forward to our first story about White Mountain Collectives run by one of my oldest friends and sources of inspiration, Janhavi Prasada, early next week.

Talking about #SpiceChronicleswithRMG and all that I got to learn because of this project (technology included!). I started this project to explore the Indian sense of spice. This month we will embark on the last series exploring the North East. And considering over 125+ episodes recorded, the lineup of awe inspiring speakers and the community we have built on the way, I think it is time to #LookBack at the spice infused journey I have travelled, refreshing memories! For those who joined us midway through the journey or want to revisit past episodes, click here to read all about the project, which will further lead you to the recorded IGTV lives.

Announcing FINEST CULINARY WORKSHOPS with RMG. You might have read about my recent association with Finest Journeys of India. More on that soon, but let me tell you about something else I have cooked up with the founder of Finest and my long-time friend,
Savio. All the online study and education we embarked on with food in the last year, brought the realization that online workshops allow us to transcend geographical borders to go anywhere, explore anything. And I believe this will continue to thrive even as borders reopen. Savio and I are excited to present a new kind of travel and discovery with carefully curated workshops. Our aim is to transport you to the far reaches of our country and bring fascinating morsels of our culinary heritage right to your screen! Join FINEST CULINARY WORKSHOPS to meet, learn from and cook with subject matter experts like spice growers, food producers, chefs and home cooks right in your own home and get a window into the finest spice, ingredients and delicacies from various parts of India! These workshops will be multi-sensory experiences. On signing up, each participant will also receive tasting kits containing the ingredients in focus so that you can recreate the sensory experience in your own home!

And for our first Finest Culinary Workshop, we are starting with Saffron!

Zafran, Kesar, Saffron… Say the name and one is instantly transported! It is not a mere spice, it has the power to transform any dish into a thing of indulgence. In Indian cuisine saffron is an emotion! No other ingredient can replicate that precise red-gold color, luxuriously heady fragrance and that ineffable flavour. Sweet smelling, earthy and instantly recognizable! As cliched as I may sound, you know Saffron when you taste it. And with strands that are thicker and more fragrant than any other, Kashmiri Saffron is the sweetest smelling, most precious of all Saffron in the world.
Something that I have come to appreciate thanks to Afan Basu of the Basu Kesar company who I connect with through my explorations with the Spice Chronicles. Until I connected with him, I never thought of Saffron beyond that precious little box we bought from a store. But after hearing about the journey of Saffron, I understand why my Dadi kept her Kesar under lock and key and why my Bua carried a dibbi in her batua throughout my cousin's wedding feast preparations!

So without further ado, let me invite you to be part of an exclusive chance to experience the Saffron Harvest journey from the Saffron fields of Pampore in Kashmir straight to your plate! Register for the Saffron Harvest Workshop for a deep dive into the Farm to plate journey of this legendary spice with Afan Basu, scion of the Basu Kesar Family and yours truly! Workshop Date: 19 Dec 2021. For more information, write to

Hope you enjoy these delicious offerings we're lining up for you! Watch this space we have workshops like never before coming featuring chillies, salts and more!

Happy Festive season! 


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