she’s got the beat: Arvinda’s

she’s got the beat: Arvinda’s

Spice it up!


Arvinda’s Indian Spice Blends is an all-natural line of cooking masalas and unique spice blends derived from family recipes. Arvinda Chauhan developed these spice blends to help time-pressed home cooks prepare quick and easy authentic Indian meals. She initially sold her curry masala to her cooking school students in small pouches and jars, and soon her unique blends gathered a loyal following. Arvinda’s blends are all gluten free and contain no oils, additives, preservatives, dairy, nuts or MSG.

As an added bonus, most of the products (except for the Garam and Chai masala) contain turmeric, an orange-coloured spice from India that is bestowed with many health benefits. Arvinda’s daughter Preehan Chauhan, who along with her brother Paresh runs Arvinda’s retail line, touts turmeric as “India’s super-spice used for centuries all over the subcontinent.” She adds, “Many Ayurvedic home remedies use turmeric, as its health benefits are multifold! It’s an anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant, it aids in digestion, purifies and detoxifies the blood and also has antibacterial functions. This is why we say when you eat a curry, you’re healing yourself inside and out!” (Chicken Curry recipe to follow…)

Since 1993, spice girls Arvinda and Preena have been serving up a variety of premium Indian cooking classes. Voted by blogTO one of the top 10 cooking schools in Toronto, Arvinda’s healthy, easy-to-follow recipes make it easy to create home-style Indian meals. And check out the online video demos of classic Indian recipes! Arvinda’s also leads guided walking tours of Little India.

Arvinda’s Spice Blends are available online and at retail stores and specialty food shops across Toronto.

You can also spice up your life with Arvinda’s at the Gluten Free Garage on November 11th!

Read on if you want to make classic chicken curry…

Classic Chicken Curry
(serves 2-4)

2 tbsp oil
2 each Arvinda’s Whole Spices (cardamom pods, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns, star anise)
1 large onion, finely chopped
½ cup ground or crushed tomatoes, canned
1½ tbsp Arvinda’s Curry Masala
1 lb chicken breasts (boneless or bone-in), cut into pieces
1 cup water
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish
½ tsp Arvinda’s Garam Masala, to garnish

In a large pan, heat oil on medium-high. Add Arvinda’s Whole Spices. Fry until spices sizzle and slightly brown. Add onion and caramelize until golden brown, approximately 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add Arvinda’s Curry Masala and mix for 2-3 minutes until masala paste is thick.

Add chicken pieces and coat with masala paste. Cover with lid and cook chicken on low heat for 10-15 minutes. Add water and then salt, to taste. Simmer until chicken is cooked.

Garnish with cilantro and a sprinkle of Arvinda’s Garam Masala. Serve with basmati rice and a salad.


Rebecca Feigelsohn is a recent graduate of McGill University who now works as a freelance writer interested in food, culture and social justice. Read all about her gastronomic adventures at

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