Alak Nanda

I first heard about Alak Nanda from Keya Wingfield of Richmond (Episode 83), who raved about the podis – or Indian seasoning blends –  that gave Keya a taste of home. This is an Atlanta, Georgia business that was began as a way for Alak and her mom to reconnect during COVID lockdown in India, and it’s grown from there.

Favorite Kitchen Tool or Gadget:

I love my cast iron dosa pan.

In My Refrigerator (3 Things):

Tamarind Pulusu, which is like a souring agent like a citrus. And Shiro Koji, a Japanese marinade made from fermented rice. And cheese.

In My Pantry (3 Things):

Podis, of course. I’m a bit of a chili collector, so chilies, and a great quantity of spices.

Comfort Food:

A soup called Rasam, it’s a light Indian sour soup. Pair that with a mango and it’s incredible!

Favorite Smell:

In the summers in India, they would hang mats of vetiver at the windows and the wind would go through them and the whole house would smell of vetiver. That’s my favorite smell.

Favorite Drink:

I’m going through a phase of really appreciating sparkling water.

Most Under-rated Ingredient:

I wish a lot more people appreciated vegetables!

Favorite Meal to Cook at Home:

I love doing a simple roasts chicken or fish and I use a lot of podis to season them.

Best Advice a Mentor Gave You:

There are two things I come back to. One is to be authentic and to come from place of love, not fear. That’s from Chef Aisha Gomez. And learn to trust your intuition more. That’s from my mom.

What’s Next?

We’re starting to work with small farmers in India and Mexico. And, my mother loves textiles so we are trying to figure out how to add that to the roster of our products. And I want to do more community building.

For more about Alak, check out the companion podcast

Check out Alak’s resources including some holiday gifts!

Check out where it all began in Charleston with Hidden F&B Charleston!

Still thirsty? Check out Helen’s lifestyle podcast, Keep it Juicy!

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