India Base: Two Saucy Sisters and a Dream
Do you love Indian cuisine? If you don’t, you are no friend of mine.
Two ladies who do qualify to be friends of mine are the sisters behind India Base, a base sauce for a host of Indian dishes. Harjoyt Kang and Kash Chahal aren’t technically sisters (one is the sister of the other’s sister-in-law, if that’s confusing enough for you), but as “partners in crime” who love to cook and laugh together as they do, they may as well be sisters.
Harjoyt and Kash watched their mothers spend hours in the kitchen each day and they thought there had to be a better way. It turned out, there was. After weeks of experimentation, Harjoyt and Kash came up with a North Indian base sauce that passed the scrutiny and experienced palate of their mothers. Taste-tested and approved by Indian mothers? Fresh, real ingredients; homemade in small batches; no preservatives; gluten-free and vegan friendly? Ok, I had to try this.
I contacted Harjoyt and Kash for an interview and requested to try their products. Not only did I procure a jar of India Base and some lentils, but they also whipped up two of the recipes they’ve created for their sauce. I was able to sample Chickpeas with India Base and Cauliflower & Potato with India Base, along with some naan and yogurt.
Although these two dishes had the same base (made with onions, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, chilli peppers, and lemon juice), they were unique. The Chickpeas with India Base was a soup loaded with chickpeas, onions (from the sauce), and cilantro. Mmm, was this ever yummy coupled with the warm, soft naan!
The Cauliflower & Potato with India Base was a thick vegetable dish with chunky pieces of potatoes and cauliflower, topped with fresh cilantro. It had the same base sauce, but tasted very different. Perhaps due to the concentration of the sauce (it wasn’t thinned out like in the soup), this dish had a bit of bite to it. The seasonings in the dish, which were spicy with a pungent, mouth-watering aroma, were complemented by the cool, tangy homemade yogurt. Nom nom nom nom.
As I was scarfing down my prize, my husband came home early and I was caught! The first words out of his mouth were, “Mmm, what smells so good in here?” Even my son, the pickiest eater ever, wanted—yes, actually wanted—to try the dishes. I didn’t want to share, with anyone really, but I did. The Big Man was impressed with the “nice, mellow aftertaste” and the Little Man wanted me to cook this again.
So about a week later, I tried out Harjoyt and Kash’s Indian Lentils with India Base recipe.
The soup (or the stew, as I made it, because I overcooked the lentils) was yummy and filling and, again, tasted different from the other two dishes somehow. How is this possible? I have no idea, but I love the versatility of India Base. It truly is “Indian food—from scratch—made easy!” These lovely ladies have taken the guesswork out of making Indian food. They have also provided their customers with loads of recipes on their website, so you could use India Base each day of the week and still have more recipes to try!
If you want to try India Base for yourself (and I highly recommend that you do), you can meet Harjoyt and Kash and sample their sauce at the Farmers Market at the Port Moody Recreation Complex this Sunday (March 4th) from 10 am to 2 pm or at the Abbotford Farmers Market on Saturday, March 17th, also from 10 am to 2 pm. Jars of India Base are only $5!
Try it. You will love it.