College Curries: Mistress of Spice Blends

Nils Lalleike is German-born currently living in Auroville with his family.

It all started when Renuka* came to Nils and his wife, asking for help to finance her child’s education. Knowing that paying the fee would be a quick fix but not a foolproof solution, Nils looked for a way to make this more sustainable.

Nils’ love for Indian food and his experience of having lived in India, told him that each household in India has a unique spice blend which they use in their cooking. Each spice blend told the story of the person and the family making it, which would make it unique.

Team Edible Issues with Nils at Terra Madre, Turin.

Hence came the idea of *College Curries*, authentic and fresh spice blends based on recipes from South Indian housewives sold in Germany (currently) which would in turn pay fees for higher education for more such Renukas.

College Curries sells its spice blends by telling the stories of Renukas on their packaging.

In the day and age of chai tea and naan bread, where curry is easily appropriated and unified as one spice blend (*no it varies from home to home), College Curries looks promising. It was refreshing to see Nils working on bringing authenticity to our masalas, thus enabling the women to support their children’s education.

Currently, Nils pays fees based on requests directly at the universities. He is in the process of setting up a system with the universities to set up payments directly.

We asked Nils about an important Edible Issue and he said:

“Hygiene of food is an issue. Regulations in India aren’t in place. Although FSSAI does a commendable job, there’s still a long way to go.

It would take a lot of stress out of the Indian health care system because a lot of people fall sick due to the contamination of food. The same applies to sanitation. When necessary systems and regulations are in place, other externalities related to this would be fixed automatically”, he said.

Read more about College Curries, their products and details, here.

The story of Nils is a part of #Edible25, a series of 25 stories we’re doing on people working towards a change in the Indian food system. Do you have suggestions/ideas for anyone we must talk to? Write to us!