If you frequented the Downtown Farmers Market this past season, you might have met Lavanya Mahate (right), the founder of East India Pantry. Lavanya—director of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Women’s Business Center and originally from Chennai, India—began packaging spices as a hobby, which evolved into a business to help fill the need for ethnic-inspired products in the market. “I started this company with a vision to popularize Indian cooking in Utah, and I’m determined to broaden the range and quality of our offerings and services,” said Mahate. “By selecting only the best organic ingredients and spices together with accurate premixing, we have taken the guesswork and tediousness out of Indian cooking.” Current products offered by East India Pantry include spice blends, tea blends, flour blends, rice blends, whole spices and breakfast blends. I’ve made meals utilizing East India Pantry’s Punjabi masala and korma masala spices with great success. Mahate also teaches Indian cooking classes at the Viking Cooking School. For more about East India Pantry, visit EastIndiaPantry.com.
Show Me the Dough
On Dec. 1, Tami Cromar—the owner of My Dough Girl—will unveil the new name for her cookie company. You might recall that she recently ran into the buzz saw of General Mills’ legal staff over the trademark right to use the name “My Dough Girl.” Ultimately, she couldn’t afford to fight the multinational mega-corporation. On the 1st, Cromar will be giving a free cookie to anyone who brings in a General Mills product for donation to the Utah Food Bank (how’s that for being a good sport?). In addition, she’ll also introduce a new line of cookies that will be sold at Whole Foods markets. The currently named My Dough Girl is located at 770 S. 300 West.
The CasaBlanca Resort in Mesquite, Nev., will host the International Chili Society sanctioned Smokin’ Big Chili Cook Off on Sunday, Jan. 16, to help benefit the Mesquite Cancer Help Society. For more information, visit ChiliCookOff.com.
Quote of the week: Grits is the first truly American food. —Turner Catledge