When, at a trade show, a Whole Foods’ buyer approached Chitra Agrawal, owner of Brooklyn Delhi, a small-batch Indian condiments company, admitted to being a fan of Agrawal’s award-winning achaars (Indian pickled condiments) and asked her for a sample of her curry ketchup, she immediately returned to her AirBnB rental and whipped up a batch. “It’s basically a recipe I would make at home,” she said. “It’s homemade ketchup infused with my tomato achaar.”
When the same buyer, having loved the curry ketchup, asked for a companion curry mustard, Agrawal once again returned to the kitchen—this time, her own Brooklyn kitchen—and perfected a recipe that she had been tinkering with for ages.
This month, both products will be available at Whole Foods nationwide as well as on her website. This is Agarwal’s first national product launch; her other products are only available in regional Whole Foods stores as well as specialty stores in and around Brooklyn.
Like Brooklyn Delhi’s achaars , the company’s new condiments reflect Agrawal’s modern, mash-up approach to home cooking, popularized on her blog, “ABCD’s of Cooking,” and in her debut cookbook, Vibrant India: Fresh Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Brooklyn. “These [condiments] are things we use and eat in our house,” she said. “I felt like I was going back to my ‘roots’ with these two products.”
Agrawal’s stresses that Brooklyn Delhi’s curry ketchup is nothing like Currygewürzketchup, or German curry ketchup. “I liken its flavor to Maagi [ketchup],” which is ubiquitous in India, she said. She pairs her fiery and tart condiment—flavored with fresh garlic, ground chili peppers, tamarind, fenugreek seed powder, mustard seeds, turmeric and asafetida—with scrambled eggs or grilled cheese; her husband dollops it on bratwurst or burgers.
Her curry mustard, in contrast, is sweet, tangy and earthy: it features both brown and yellow whole mustard seeds, brined overnight and ground, as well as yellow mustard powder. This toothy condiment is infused with tamarind, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, garlic, ginger and cinnamon. Agrawal’s also pairs this with grilled cheese—“sharp cheddar with raw onions and cilantro,” she said—or folds it into potato salad along with mayonnaise combined with Brooklyn Delhi’s roasted garlic achaar.
“I’m really thrilled to unveil something new,” she said. “The curry ketchup is very South Indian in flavor, so it’ll be interesting to see if consumers grab for it.”