(Paisley Notebook / Instagram)

Kelowna chef breaking down cultural barriers one spice at a time

Aman Dosanj is on a mission to make authentic spices more accessible while fighting racism

Chef Aman Dosanj has been bringing the community of Kelowna together with innovative cuisine one pop-up dinner at a time since 2017.

The former Poppadoms owner and Western Living Magazine ‘Foodie of the Year’ has raised over $60,000 for local charities with her widely-popular, seasonally focused pop-up dinners.

Dosanj organizes pop up dinners and collaborative events across the Okanagan aimed at bringing the community together and telling stories using food.

It was this ingenuity that helped the Kelowna-based chef win a national culinary tourism experience award by turning locals into tourists.

Dosanj has now embarked on her next endeavour: The Canadian transplant by way of Southhampton, England is attempting to spice up kitchens across the country with her new line of crafted Indian spice blends.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s International Women’s Day dinner raises $13,000 for local charities

“My food is a reflection of me, my diverse four-country background and my experiences, so it’s pretty hard for people to label it,” she said.

Throughout history food has often broken down cultural barriers and brought people from different backgrounds closer together — something Dosanj also strives to achieve in her work.

One per cent of sales from her spice blends will be donated to anti-racism organizations.

Dosanj is particularly passionate about tearing down the stereotype that all Indian food revolves around curry powder.

Curry powder, Dosanj explained, isn’t even Indian at all.

According to Dosanj, the term “curry” was invented by British colonialists who created curry powder in an attempt to replicate the flavours they had experienced in India. There is no equivalent word for “curry” in any of the 22 officially recognized languages spoken in India.

Curry — as many westerners know it — is simply a British concoction that blends large amounts of turmeric with cumin, chilli and fenugreek, and has little resemblance to anything you would get in India, Dosanj stated.

All of Dosanj’s ingredients are Canadian grown (except for her arsenal of imported spices). She hopes her new line of spices will encourage people to leave their culinary comfort zone.

“The best thing about Canada is that the land is super edible,” said the chef. “I’m super excited to see how others play with my blends and break-down.”

Dosanj practically doesn’t leave the house without her spice arsenal. She’s even been harassed at airport security for having a bag full of fresh seasonings.

Her spice blends can be purchased via PaisleyNotebook.com/Shop.

For more information on Donsanj and her various culinary endeavours check out paisleynotebook.com.

READ MORE: Okanagan chefs come together for International Women’s Day fundraiser



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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