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Magnificent Obsession: Squeezable Chutney

Bandar Foods' sauces aren't just playing catch up.

Bandar Foods' chutneys

Bandar Foods' chutneys 

 

To those who hold the belief that chutney isn’t just for Indian food—and that it’s best served in liberal portions—Bandar Foods is something of a godsend. The three-year-old company’s genius concept? Take chutney out of its conventional glass jar and put it into a squeeze bottle.

The idea, explains Dan Garblik, who cofounded Bandar with Lalit Kalani, came to him one night at an Indian restaurant: “My food wasn’t spicy enough, and they brought me Tabasco.” When Kalani, who hails from Mumbai, explained that Indians spice their food with chutney, the pair began brainstorming a way to market Indian hot sauce to an American audience. Their solution? Purée it.

In the past two years, they’ve debuted a line of four sauces: spicy mango, mint cilantro, tangy tamarind, and a masala-spiced ketchup. All are deeply flavorful and incredibly versatile, equally at home on kale chips, tacos, and hot dogs. The San Francisco–based company is debuting a sweet mango chutney and a chili-garlic hot sauce in April. “We want to be part of the second generation of indian food in the U.S.,” Garblik says. “Not simply taking what works well in India and placing it in the U.S., but actually starting to develop a true Indian-American identity.”

 

Originally published in the March issue of San Francisco

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