Masala Mama’s mission


It all started when…

…I moved to New York from India in 2002 for a Master’s in Fine Arts. To my surprise, I found that good Indian food, the kind that I grew up with at home in India, was nowhere to be found in New York (outside, of course, of my Indian friends’ homes). All my artist friends kept asking me where they could find affordable and authentic Indian food in NY, and I had no answer.

Indian cooking can be daunting because of the multitude of spices (masala), their nuanced use, and the long cooking process. It is critical to properly saute the masala and get the balance just right, and this takes a lot of patience and expertise. It seemed to me that no one did a good job of this, and Indian restaurant food was invariably greasy and heavily spiced.

I eventually started Masala Mama as a way to make good homestyle Indian food available to everyone.

What makes my sauces special is their homemade taste, and that comes from taking care at every step of the cooking process. I use fresh ingredients and premium spices, and my sauces have a “clean label”—i.e., the ingredient list reads like a list of groceries you would normally buy, with nothing artificial being used. When I make the sauces I sauté the spices in a skillet in the traditional manner rather than cook them in a steam kettle like other commercial producers do. So the sauces are made exactly like they are at home. That’s why they taste so fresh.

It has taken me a long time to get my sauces to the point where I am happy with them, but the journey has absolutely been worth it. Now, whenever I sample the sauces in a store and someone tastes them for the first time, they can’t believe that you can get this taste from a jar.  The look of delight on their face is the biggest thrill for me.

I love hearing from people who use my sauces, who I think of as the Masala Mama family. So, dear family, write and tell me what you think, what you make with the sauces, and what your favorite Masala Mama dishes are. Pictures are welcome too! I look forward to hearing from you.