In this age of blatant consumerism, I was recently introduced to two home grown, 100% desi brands that epitomize the concept of ‘Make In India’. Read on to know more about Himalaya2Home and Aromazeia, and my recommendations from both these webstores –
I was introduced to the Himalaya2Home brand by Mr. Alok Bhatt, who shared detailed insights into Garhwali and Kumaoni food practices with me post my return from Mussoorie. I was looking for a platform for my readers (and myself) , where they could order grains and pulses that I devoured during my trip and vouched for – and Himalaya2Home fulfilled all our requirements. Here you’ll find cereals, pulses, spices, herbs, honey, oil and personal care products all originating from the mountains.
The brand attempts at preserving Himalayan diversity through it’s ‘Eat Right – Live Well – Be Well’ motto; providing natural, organic, and home grown produce by acting as a liason between the farmer and the consumer. I was pleasantly surprised to come across difficult to source ingredients on this webstore, each categorized according to the Himalayan valley from which it was obtained – Bhagirathi, Yamuna, Henval, Johar. What I loved about my shopping experience from the Himalaya2Home store, was reading the stories of each of their partner farmers.
Check out www.himalaya2home.com for more details.
1. Bhangjeera Himalayan Rock Salt
I first sampled flavoured salts in a Garhwali village home, paired along with a simple meal of Rajma Chawal, and I was blown away by how this simple concoction could change the flavour profile of the dish completely. H2H retails these home made flavoured salts that can be used to season your dishes, or as an accompaniment to your meal. Bhangjeera is a seed found in the upper Himalayas, and is used widely in cooking due to it’s spicy taste as well as health benefits.
Bhangjeera Himalayan Rock Salt available here. Priced at Rs. 95 for a 100 gm jar.
2. Harshil Rajma (Kidney Beans)
The Rajma from the mountains just tastes so much better, so much more wholesome and flavourful even though the dish is prepared with lesser spice and oil. I was introduced to the Harshil Rajma recently, that derives its name from Harshil- a place near Gangotri – where it is grown. This variant is whiter in colour, far softer in texture, and doesn’t require to be cooked as much as the city Rajma.
Harshil Rajma available here. Priced at Rs. 140 for a 500 gm tin.
3. Mix Masala
This masala variant is prepared after stone grinding whole chillies, turmeric, bay leaves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, black pepper, cloves, black cardamom & cinnamon on a watermill. Masalas that are hand pounded and ground on stone leave behind this rich aroma, and strong flavour that is hard to find in store bought masalas.
Mix Masala available here. Priced at Rs. 125 for a 250 gm tin.
Aromazeia is yet another brand that taps into the rich natural resources that emerge from the Himalayan mountains, and create products that are all organic. A brand that was founded by a father-daughter duo; Aromazeia uses ancient techniques and handpicked ingredients from the rare plants and herbs spread across the terrain, to create quality products. The duo channelized their own personal tribulations into creating this brand, after the use of Himalayan herbs and oils helped them overcome medical conditions. In addition to edible products like herbs, chutneys and teas; it is the different types of fragrant oils and natural scents (attar) they retail that intrigued me the most.
Check out www.aromazeia.com for more details.
1. Mitti Attar – The Scent of Rain
Are you a pluviophile? Do you love the smell of the first rain as it hits dry mud? Have you wished you could have captured the scent of petrichor in a bottle, to sniff at later on non-rainy days? The folks at Aromazeia have attempted to recreate this scent, and capture it into a bottle in the form of a traditional attar. This is a mild fragrance, not as strong as a conventional ‘attar’, but does encapsulate the concept near perfectly.
They strongly recommend using this in mild quantities as a relaxant and anti-depressant if you’re stressed. I’ve been dabbing a bit on my pillow at night and falling into a deep, peaceful sleep almost immediately.
Mitti Attar available here. Rs. 950 for a 10 ml bottle.
2. Carrot Seed Oil
I have been reading up on carrot seed oil and the many health benefits that one can obtain from regular usage. Carrots are a fabulous source of Vitamin A and carotene, and frequent usage therefore leads to healthy skin, hair, gums and teeth and is also associated with good eyesight. The oil has a mild carrot-y fragrance, and is not too sticky to apply.
Carrot Seed Oil available here. Rs. 440 for a 15 ml bottle.
3. Black Orthodox Tea
I’m not a huge fan of black tea, and tend to have it occasionally owing to the strong bitter taste I’ve come to associate with it. However, Aromazeia’s black tea is far more fragrant, with a complex flavour profile, and definitely among the better black teas I’ve sampled. They claim it helps build immunity, fight infections, is rich in antioxidants and also aids in weight loss.
Black Orthodox Tea available here. Rs 400 for a 100 gm packet.