Brooklyn Delhi was born in a small Brooklyn kitchen, after founder Chitra Agrawal discovered that she couldn’t find sauces that genuinely reflected the time-honored Indian culinary traditions that are a part of her family heritage. The salty, heavy curry bases and condiments that line most supermarket shelves are “so different from what you find in a home, even from a North Indian home,” as Agrawal explains it. “There’s a preconception of what India is like. You think about it as such a monolith, and there’s so much. It’s just so vast.”
To address this lack of representation, Agrawal created a range of simmer sauces, chutneys, and pickles that reflects both a wider range of Indian influences as well as her own personal imprint. These items are something of a pantry powerhouse: you can use them to quickly dress up veggies or proteins, or to add a boost of flavor and aromatics to recipes. From a lusciously creamy coconut cashew korma to the lemony, piquant garlic achaar, Brooklyn Delhi demonstrates a few of the many ways that Indian cuisines encompass a diversity that’s not always represented or understood.
Brooklyn Delhi first launched in 2014, when Agrawal and partner Ben Carthus began selling their handmade sauces at small farmers markets around New York City. After gaining a following and accolades, the brand grew and began to sell its products in stores across the country. Entering the retail market and partnering with businesses like FreshDirect has allowed Agrawal to realize her dream of introducing the flavors she holds dearly to home cooks everywhere: “FreshDirect is definitely helping us to connect the flavors that we’re creating that are really bounded and rooted in my heritage and traditions to a wider audience. And so I feel like Brooklyn Delhi fits in so well to what [FreshDirect’s] mission is.”
We had a chance to follow Agrawal and her family at their current location in Kingston, New York. Watch the video below to get a glimpse into the globally-inspired, deeply personal approach that Brooklyn Delhi is bringing to the plate.