Our spices are:
Fresh: "We source directly from quality suppliers in small quantities, anywhere from twenty-five to one hundred pounds in a delivery. This method of buying and receiving smaller shipments ensures the freshness of the product not only for our benefit, but for the benefit of our customers. This is also why we roast, grind, and pack our spices to order.
Chef-driven: As a spice company founded by a 5x James Beard-nominated chef, it is our pursuit of superior flavour and taste that drives us. We carry that "taste-making" approach into selecting our spices and creating our Signature Blends.
Vast & Diverse: From our takes on the classics like Garam Masala and Herbs de Provence, to our Signature Blends like Cowboy Steak Rub and Pumpkin Pie Spice, professional and home chefs alike can find every spice they need. With over 100 different herbs and spices in our stock, and more than 30 original specialty blends, Spicewalla can fulfill all your spice needs.
In 2009, Meherwan Irani quit his day job in sales to open his first restaurant – Chai Pani, a unique Indian street food joint in downtown Asheville. Whether it was a midlife crisis or a stroke of genius is debatable. Since then, the self-taught chef has opened six restaurants, one bar, and now, Spicewalla. With five James Beard Award nominations for Best Chef in the Southeast under his belt, he’s finally confident this crazy idea of getting into the food biz might just be working out. His restaurants have been written up in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, GQ, Food & Wine, Saveur, USA Today, and Bon Appétit, among others.
Growing up in India, Meherwan noticed that spices, like produce, are part of the natural rhythm of the seasons. Seeds are planted, and grow until procured at different times of the year. Then they're used in making blends and masalas. The entire family is involved in this process. Each family’s blend is distinctive and a source of pride. Every fall, a whole week was dedicated to making their own dhansak masala in Meherwan’s grandmother's home.
“Whole spices were brought to our home, often in jute sacks from the spice merchants. For days the air would be heady with the scent of roasting coriander, mace, cumin, and cinnamon.
After the spices were roasted and cooled, we would blend and grind them in our old, large hand grinder using recipes written on scraps of paper that my grandmother would keep in a box in her dresser."
Many of these recipes are handed down for generations. In this case from Meherwan’s grandmother, down to his mother, and eventually passed on to Meherwan. When Chai Pani first opened, Meherwan’s mom came to the U.S. and spent two months teaching the staff of Chai Pani about her blends and how to work with spices.
Now Meherwan has found his own tradition as a chef and his spice blends reflect that journey.