The Journey

On a passionate mission to empower everyone to cook delicious Indian cuisine with ease.

Harish with products
I don’t see myself as an entrepreneur. I see myself as an activist, and Inner Flame is the window to my activism. What am I trying to change? The state and perception of Indian cuisine.

~The Seed~

I come from a southern Indian heritage and grew up in Mumbai, the food capital of India, and my mom was an excellent cook. I was pampered with the best of South Indian home cooking and the best of street food. When I came to the US in the year 2000 for grad school, I was armed only with a survival-cooking crash course from my mom. I struggled to recreate my favorite dishes with traditional garam masalas and curry powders. My occasional, much-anticipated visits to nearby Indian restaurants, on a frugal budget, always turned out to be a disappointment. Here is why…

~The Problem~

I was caught by surprise when I was offered a choice: “How spicy I would like my order on a scale of 1 to 5?”. In India, you are never offered such a choice. The food in India is very flavorful with the perfect interplay of spices, taste, and texture. Spicy, or heat as it is commonly misinterpreted, is just one of the 6 fundamental tastes. Simply scaling one taste will only overtake every other taste and flavor the dish has to offer. Do you see the problem? If the very fundamentals of cooking a dish is wrong, the resulting dish will be off. I tried different dishes on a scale of 1 to 5 in many restaurants over a period of time. They were not true representations of the food I grew up with and love so much.

The desire to do something about it grew stronger, but I was not sure how.

~The Cultivation~

The idea began to take shape in 2016 when I was volunteering in the kitchen at Ananda Ashram in Upstate NY. Now I was cooking full time and for a bigger audience. This was my opportunity to offer the authentic flavorful taste of Indian cuisine. I spent my time recreating popular Indian dishes, chasing the tastes imprinted in my memory from India. Through this process, I learned the delicate interplay between complementing spices and fundamental taste spices, understanding how their balance can enhance the flavor of any dish. Guests were asking for recipes, I was on a roll, and I was enjoying every moment of it. The thought to start a restaurant crossed my mind several times. I did not pursue the idea because it wouldn't have a wider reach to solve the bigger problem.

~The Bloom~

The idea truly blossomed when I embarked on a cross-country living adventure, embracing #vanlife. I was cooking every meal from scratch every day, and juggling all the spices in the precise ratios I had developed at the ashram became very time-consuming. It was during this time that I turned those spice ratios into ready-to-use blends to save me time.

When I experienced the ease of cooking delicious meals with my ready-to-use blends, I wondered that making these available to everyone, along with a cookbook of popular recipes, would enable anyone to cook better Indian cuisine than restaurants and rightfully address the problem.

~The Harvest~

I am thrilled to share the harvest of this journey. At Inner Flame, we sell these carefully crafted spice blends and meal kits so that everyone can cook delicious Indian cuisine with ease—like what you would eat in India, and way better than what you would eat in most restaurants in the US. Each blend is designed to bring the rich, authentic flavors of Indian cuisine to your kitchen, making cooking a delightful and flavorful experience.

~FREE Cooking Lessons~

If you have any questions about any blend or would like a free cooking lesson, drop us a note from the contact page. If you like what we have created, you can write a nice review here or on Amazon or Connect with us on instagram @innerflamekitchen to help others struggling with Indian cuisine find us.
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