Meet Our Family

Arvinda Chauhan

Arvinda Chauhan loves to cook! As an artist, she uses spices like a painter’s palette, cooking up endless Indian and international meals in her home every day. No matter how busy, she makes the time to cook, taking simple, seasonal and wholesome ingredients from her kitchen and garden, cooking up an incredible array of mouth-watering healthy meals using Arvinda’s spice blends, which helps her to create meals easily and supremely delicious!

She cooks with love and passion and believes that this positive energy will transfer to loved ones, making the kitchen the most scared and welcoming part of the home. Fresh flowers, soft music (and disconnecting from electronic devices) creates a peaceful and harmonious environment to enjoy a home-cooked meal. She believes sharing wholesome cooked meals with loved ones and others is the best gift you can give, nourishing others with good health, joy, wellness and delicious flavours.

Spices are Mother Nature’s medicine chest and Arvinda believes you are healing yourself inside and out anytime you are cooking with spices. Through meditation and yoga, she sends good wishes and gratitude to people around the world.

Favourite spice: Green cardamom (and ginger!)
Loves to teach: Indian-style flatbreads
Favourite kitchen tool: A good quality mandoline

Preena Chauhan

Preena's first foray into the kitchen was as a toddler, when she played with mixing pots and pans as toys, pretending to stir and make food. She was always in the kitchen, helping her mother sort through lentils and beans for that night’s dinner or adding veggies into a pot over the stove. She found her way into cooking through baking, and she loved to bake so much her Grade 6 Science Fair project was dedicated to the science of cake baking, winning her the 2nd place prize! As a teenager, she entered the world of Indian cooking assisting her mother in her cooking classes at a time when Indian cuisine was widely unknown to many. Enamoured by the heavenly aromas, health benefits and bold enticing flavours of Indian spices, Preena wanted to learn about the diversity of Indian cooking traditions first-hand, and more about the storied spice lands she had only heard and read about. Her studies through her Masters degree took her to the spice growing regions in India, to learn more about traditional small-scale and biodynamic farming practices, native Indian species of vegetables, Ayurveda and sustainability in rural areas.

Having a panache for entrepreneurship since she was in high school having an array after-school side hustles, Preena is the co-founder of Arvinda’s Indian spice blends along with her brother Paresh, and has taught Indian cooking classes since the 1990s. Through working with spices at Arvinda’s, she’s mastered the art of mixing, blending and tasting spices from not only India, but also from other regions of the world. She earned her Master in Environmental Studies degree with a focus on business and sustainability at York University, and a Specialist in Environmental Management from the University of Toronto. Preena is an Indian food expert who has conducted in-depth cooking classes, and talks and seminars for different audiences on many Indian cooking subjects and also works as a consultant.

Preena aspires to get as many people to cook, create and learn about India’s fascinating and storied food culture and wants to inspire people to discover the amazing and healing powers of spices which she talks about in the mother-and-daughter's new cookbook, New Indian Basics.

Favourite spice: Turmeric
Loves to teach: Indian-style basmati rice
Favourite kitchen tool: A trusty stainless-steel masala dabba