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Maker Spotlight: Doosra

Maker Spotlight: Doosra

SW: So who is Doosra? Where’s the team from, and how did y’all get Doosra started?
 
D: Doosra makes modern Indian snack mixes that deliver nostalgia to the South Asian diaspora while introducing the Indian snack aisle to the rest of America. I run Doosra as the only full-time employee, but we’ve been built with help from friends (Audrey Loke designed our bag and website), Cait Khosla (helps on & off with our social media), and Danya Li (new, unreleased photos & brand assets).
 
I started Doosra after finishing culinary school and staging at an Indian restaurant called Kricket in London. I knew I wanted to bring Indian snacks out of the Indian stores and into mainstream grocery but with my perspective of being a third culture kid. I still make every bag myself and pride myself on being a small batch manufacturer so that every bag retains the crispiness and freshness that our snackers are looking for!

SW: Tell us about the Doosra mix!
 
D: Our award-winning "The Mix" is a sweet & savory blend of spiced boondi (crispy chickpea flour puffs), roasted peanuts, and caramelized white chocolate that's great on its own, as a topping for yogurt/oatmeal/ice cream or as a beverage pairing with chai or your favorite happy hour drink. Every bite will take you through an insane experience.
 
SW: And how did you come up with your recipe and flavours? What was the inspo?
 
D: The inspiration for The Mix were the mixtures I’d eat with chai when visiting my grandfather in India. They were often crispy & crunchy with spices, curry leaves, nuts and a puffed element. My perfect bite is often one with varying textures & the contrasting yet complementary nature of sweet & savory flavors, so I wanted to combine my Indian nostalgia with my newfound culinary background. I fell in love with caramelized white chocolate during a stage at Kricket and started experimenting with ways to incorporate that with Indian mixes.
 
I knew I wanted to introduce America to Indian ingredients, so I was intentional about using boondi (a very common puff made from chickpea flour, that I loved eating as a child), spices like amchur (dried green mango powder) & kala namak (black salt) that are the base of chaat masalas and even sourced Gujrati peanuts with the perfect crunch and saltiness! A few over the top iterations and quite a bit of editing led us to The Mix as we have it today.

SW: How’d you choose Spicewalla to source your ingredients? How’d you hear about us?
 
D: I knew that Meherwan was introducing Indian Dhaba food to the US (doing stuff outside your classic northern Delhi food), and so I was always interested in following his journey. I met the Spicewalla team at the 2023 Summer Fancy Food Show walking around with my snacks in my backpack. Laura Fairley, James Grogan & Nadine McCowan all tried our snacks and loved them. So I asked if there was a way for us to work together and since then, our partnership has been fantastic. We’re so excited for a very successful future together.
 
SW: Where can folks purchase Doosra?
 
D: Naturally, we’re available at the Asheville Spicewalla store in the Grove Arcade & eatdoosra.com but also at Botiwalla and a range of gourmet stores which can all be found here. We’re available in stores in New York City, Connecticut, Phoenix, Austin, Chicago, and Seattle as well!
 
SW: What do you think sets your product apart from others? 
 
D: For one, there’s nothing that’s both combining traditional Indian flavors & ingredients with decidedly non-traditional flavors (like the caramelized white chocolate). Our spices are awesome, the product is gluten-free, delicious, and provides a wonderfully unexpected crunch & flavor. Most importantly, it’s the kind of snack that you’ll want to eat yourself, share with your friends, your kids or younger family could get into, work into a salad bowl or over some mango ice cream – it’s so versatile!
 
SW: What’s your favorite thing about your products in general? Favorite experiences?
 
D: I love it when people who are either new to or a little reticent to try Indian flavors because of spice or other preconceived notions give this a try and I watch their facial expressions go through a rollercoaster and they come out loving our mix, the flavors, and most importantly now say that they will give Indian food a try. They didn’t know it could taste so good. That’s the goal isn’t it? Cultural understanding and acceptance through food!
 
SW: Indeed! What are you excited about in the food world right now? What inspires you?
 
D: That culturally relevant foods are helping introduce people to new ingredients, flavors, cultures and identities! Delicious is delicious regardless of where it comes from in the world, and that’s great to see.
 
I’m also glad to see cultural foods being represented not necessarily in traditional ways, but authentic to the founder experience of being an immigrant, a first-generation minority, or just their experience as a third culture kid. There are so many more delicious foods and methods of eating waiting to be discovered.
 

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