Planting the Spice Seeds in Ann Arbor
All praises are due to Mom Arora when it comes to Arora Creations Authentic Indian Spice Blends. Our story begins during my undergraduate studies at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Many of my friends were becoming more disciplined and conscious about their diets. Vegetarian and vegan cuisine was becoming more mainstream, and our city had an incredible presence of natural foods stores, not to mention the legendary Zingerman’s.
At first I was a bit amused watching my friends attempt to prepare great-tasting vegetarian/vegan natural and organic dishes. The ingredients were always fresh and healthy, but the final dishes seemed to lack that “one more bite” edge.
My mother’s amazing variety of North Indian dishes always came to mind while watching my friends’ commendable culinary efforts. I remembered watching her cook these authentic Indian dishes, opening her secret drawer next to the stove and flinging a variety of exotic Indian spices into my family’s meals.
I decided to give my mother a call. I had no idea of the life transformation that I was about to undergo. “Mom, could you make me some Indian spice blends and send recipes along with them? The boys are lacking serious flavor in this house, and I think we need to continue Columbus’s voyage by providing this city with some real Indian spices.”
The change had begun, and my first attempt to recreate her authentic Indian dishes was a huge hit. We prepared the Indian cuisine on holidays, for late-night feasts, and at dinner parties with our professors. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I would return home from class to chopped tomatoes, onions, ginger, and cauliflower — all prepared by my friends who eagerly awaited the next opportunity to indulge in authentic Indian cuisine. All I had to do was fire up the wok, follow Mom’s step-by-step recipes, and add the “secret dust”.
Seeing the Arora
When Whole Foods finally came to town, I was simultaneously overwhelmed and inspired. After browsing the products their store offered, the idea finally hit me – why not just package up the blends with Mom’s simple ingredients and recipes, then introduce the line to stores nationwide? After all, it’s the master Indian spice blend that brings the mouth-watering flavor to the food. And it’s so easy to cook! I figured that the name “Authentic Indian Spice Blends” would not only fare better than “secret dust,” but also would serve as a complete description of the package’s contents.
Years went by, and everyone from school was still talking about the authentic Indian food we had eaten during college. Since then, I had traveled far and wide, always carrying some Authentic Indian Spice Blends with me just in case I had a craving for “soul” food. Everywhere I went, whenever I prepared the authentic Indian dishes, the food was a hit.
I debated long and hard about my next step — I could continue my education, I could work in a variety of careers, or I could embark upon the life of an entrepreneur. I decided that I did not want to constantly wonder what the Authentic Indian Spice Blends “could” have been. I knew I had a gift for enlightening and engaging people from all walks of life, and thought I could use my natural drive, passion, and energy to expose the wonderful world of Indian cuisine to as many individuals as possible.
So I promised myself to see this project through.
From India, to Brooklyn, to a plate in your home
I quickly settled down in Brooklyn, NY, “the big borough of dreams,” and went to work. It’s been an exciting ride the last couple of years, and I still feel like we’re just getting started. Even today, as I travel from flea market to retail store, coast-to-coast trade shows and international events setting up demos of the authentic Indian dishes inspired by my mother’s Indian spice blends; one taste usually does the trick.
Please enjoy our line of Authentic Indian Spice Blends, and know that you’re experiencing the original flavor of North Indian cuisine and food in its most nutritious and potent form.
Dhiraj C. Arora Founder, CEO & President Arora Creations, Inc.