1) Where does your passion for food come from?
It comes from my mom and grandma. Their culinary skills inspired my love for food at an early age.
2) Tell us about your culinary journey.
I love color, textures, and food. I formally trained as a textile designer, which led to a career in the New York fashion industry where I designed high-end home accessories for Ankasa and fabrics for Oscar de la Renta. Eventually, I moved to Seattle in 2006 and worked for Nordstrom as a fabric specialist. In early 2008, I decided to take a break from the long work hours and focus on health, nutrition, and fitness. I also found time to pursue my other passion–vegetarian Indian cuisine. I have enjoyed cooking traditional Indian meals since an early age and am a self-proclaimed chai connoiseur.
While chai has recently become quite popuIar in the US, it was difficult to find authentic Indian chai outside of home. So, when I discovered that my husband’s high school friend had formulated an all-natural instant chai that tasted just as good as the freshly brewed homemade kind, the idea for “”Jaipur Avenue Chai Company”” for the international marketplace was born. We experimented with different spices, lowered the sugar content, and created six chai blends that would appeal to the modern palate. I worked on the packaging with a Seattle-based graphic designer and launched the company in late 2010. Today our chai is available at several retailers and cafes in Seattle and beyond.
3) Where is your favorite place to eat?
My favorite is Araya’s Place–the first vegan-Thai restaurant in the northwest.
4) Where do you source your ingredients?
Our black tea comes from Assam in northeast India, the spices are sourced from various plantations across India, and milk is obtained from cooperative dairy farms in the state of Maharashtra in western India.
5) Tell us about a new product you are working on.
We are currently working on creating a Turmeric Latte–a wonderful blend of turmeric, spices, milk, and jaggery.