A SPARK OF INSPIRATION
In 1993 at a Canada Day festival, Arvinda, Paresh and Preena volunteered to prepare Indian snacks to sell to raise funds for a women’s charity. The festivalgoers were enticed and intrigued by these Indian flavours, hungry for the know-how to make these delicious savoury pakoras and samosas at home. Enquiry after enquiry, Arvinda promptly offered ‘ad hoc’ cooking demos at the booth, enthusiastically describing how to make these tasty appetizers with only a few simple ingredients. The patrons scratched these directions out on napkins, craving to learn more about Indian cooking. Throughout the weekend, more and more people enquired about Indian cooking lessons which sparked the family's entrepreneurial spirits. Arvinda was inspired and truly wanted to help others learn about the incredible cuisine of India.
HEALTHY GOURMET INDIAN COOKING
Over that summer, the mother-and-daughter duo worked to put together a series of cooking classes to run that coming fall. Under the name, Healthy Gourmet Indian Cooking, they created their new-found Indian cooking school. At a time when Indian cooking was relatively unknown, Arvinda aspired to share her knowledge and passion for Indian cuisine with others, demonstrating how to prepare healthy Indian foods at home, with easy cooking methods. Of utmost importance, Arvinda sought to teach about spices, the cornerstone of traditional Indian cooking. In an eight-week Indian Beginner's Cooking course, participants learned about the storied history of spices but most importantly, she emphasized that quality spices and ingredients are essential for the best tasting Indian foods. Arvinda and Preena traveled to the exotic spice growing regions of India and Sri Lanka to understand how spices are cultivated, harvested and brought to market, meeting passionate farmers, traders and spice merchants along the way.