Our Chili Sauces
At Spice Mama, we make addictive chili sauces that are spicy and sweet, combining our rich, traditional indian heritage with the beauty and freshness of clean California cooking.
Drizzled over your eggs or avocado toast. Made for your next mezze platter. A perfect complement for cheese and charcuterie. Whether you use them as a sauce, dip, or marinade - Spice Mama can't wait to see what you do in the kitchen.
Food was the Center of our Household.
Everything happened in our kitchen. Important conversations, schoolwork, meetings, connection, laughter, and joy. It was the center of our lives, and the food that filled our spirits and bellies was a way of living. Every day, our table was covered with rich, homemade meals. My immigrant mother and aunt rarely left the kitchen, creating aromatic curries and rice dishes (from lemon to coconut to biriyani); frying up delicious samosas; and filling us with dosas and idlis every morning before school. Our house overflowed with the sweet smells of cumin and coriander, cloves and cardamom, and fenugreek and fennel seed.
But the Sauces were Everything.
Served with each main course was the heart of Indian cooking—condiments that were gooey, sticky, sweet, and spicy and brought life to every meal. We stuffed ourselves and our guests with spicy mango chili sauce (lovingly known to every South Indian child as ‘avakaya’); chutneys that incorporated every ingredient I now can’t live without (ginger, cilantro, mint, and coconut, lemon and lime chili pastes); and even a chili pickle with dried shrimp (don’t knock it ‘til you try it!). On my first day of preschool, my teacher asked each of us what our favorite meal was. I was so unfamiliar with what my classmates named--grilled cheese, lasagna, and spaghetti. I then named my favorite--coconut rice with homemade Indian yogurt...and avakaya.
At college I Smeared them on pizza.
My love for Indian sauces never slowed down. I packed away my mother’s chili sauces for college and put them on bagels, pizza, pasta, and sandwiches. After that, wherever I moved, jars of my family’s sauces came with me. I wish I could say I spent those early years with my mom, aunt, and grandma, learning their magic, but I mainly just ate. I was not a dedicated cook. I was a devoted eater.
As an adult, I doctored by day and crafted at night.
When I moved to California in my 20s, far away from my family on the east coast, the urge to cook finally overtook me. Inspired by the exotic spices I grew up around and blown away by the abundance of fresh and organic local produce that surrounded me year round (My first farmers’ market was a thrill!), I began to combine authentic Indian flavors with an application outside of traditional curries. Medical school and residency couldn’t keep me out of the kitchen. I consulted my mother and aunt over the phone, paid rapt attention whenever I was with them, and absorbed everything I could about authentic Indian cuisine from these masters. I experimented every day crafting new flavors from the fresh market produce, lamb and pork from my local butcher, and the spices my mom brings every year from India.
Now, I can’t help but bring these flavors to you...something more than curry.
When an injury took me away from medicine, I finally had time to think about what I really wanted. I couldn’t ignore the pull I have to bring satisfying and addicting flavors I experienced in my home to anyone and everyone that has taste buds. I love combining the incredible spices I grew up on with the best ingredients the west coast has to offer. Spice Mama’s signature sauces, Sweet Chili Tamarind, Zinging Ginger, Sweet Heat Tomato, and Sweet Heat Cilantro, are the first of many flavors we are thrilled to bring to your table. I hope you enjoy these addicting sauces and experiment with them as a unique, new way to marinade and dip, as a killer secret cooking sauce, and as the most soul-satisfying topping for your morning eggs. I can't wait to see what you do with them.