So thrilled to share with you yet another amazing woman who is following her dreams and has created her own line of custom spice blends. Virginia-based Deepa Pakte is a super geek (I am happy to say!) and has a Ph.D in Microbiology with two post doctoral fellowships in Applied and Basic Immunology. So why the spices?  Deepa answers, “I first came to the US after being awarded a Fogarty AIRTP fellowship for AIDS research at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. In between several years of research and then a high profile job at a local biotech company, my son came along as a miracle for us. Being there for him seemed the one thing I did not want to miss out on. So armed with a lot of support from my husband, I decided to pursue my passion for cooking by providing those around me with the spice blends that would enliven their cooking. My husband has been a great fan of the spice blends I create at home…it was his idea to have my spice blends for a larger audience. He would often wake himself up in the morning by taking a whiff of the blends I have in the cabinets!!”

I asked her about her spice blends and her response, “I cover most of the essentials for Indian cuisine, but also dabble with blends that would suit lighter palates and those that compliment fusion cooking. Currently I have Garam Masala, Pilaf Blend, Tandoori blend, Spiced Mustard , Lentil Blends, both for Dhansaak as well as Sambar, Chai Spice, Coffee Spice (nutmeg based) and a new customer favorite which was featured in the Fairfax Times, the Vindaloo Blend. Blends with a more worldly feel include Juniper Berry Spice Rub, BBQ rub, a zesty rub for poultry, and roasted spices that impart flavor and texture to meats and vegetables alike.”

You can buy all these love blends on her website — Aromatic Spice Blends.

Deepa is offering on lucky US-based reader a taste of her spices: gift pack of Indian Cuisine Pantry Essentials (which includes Garam Masala, Lentil Spice Blend (Dhansaak), Vindaloo Spice Blend, Ground Cumin, Ground Coriander and Turmeric packed in 10g quantities).

To enter: Please leave a comment here and tweet or FB this giveaway. I will pick a winner on Jan 18th!

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  1. YAAY for another scientist in the culinary world! Good luck with the venture Deepa.. (Opting out of the draw)..

  2. I would love to win this. I have always said Indian food was to hot for me so we didn’t have. Finally agreed to try small family restaraunt near us. My husband is thrilled after 2visits & sev conversations with the husband & wife who own it they talked me through differant dishes & levels of heat. I would love to start making at home. Having these spice lends would be wonderful. I’m really enjoying info from blog.

  3. great idea – will check out her website! and if i win it will be a great bday present (Jan 18th 😉

  4. I tweeted about Aromatic Spice Blends

  5. wow, this sounds wonderful, and since I am just ‘exploring’ some Indian recipes in my so-called spare time, I would love the benefit of intelligent blended spices to keep my ‘honest’ in my experiements. So, even if I don’t ‘win’ I’ll be a customer !

  6. I was delighted that this woman understood that, for most of us, our legacy is not our career …. it’s what we leave in this world, which, usually is our children. Perhaps, her son will grow up and find the means to eradicate cancer.

  7. This is a great product idea. Since it is also made here , the flavors will be so much more fresh and intense (this is what tends to be missing at times in the branded masalas being sold in stores)

  8. The smell of fresh spices is so wonderful! I would love to win so I can try some recipes that need doing,Best wishes to your success.

  9. I would love to try all of these. Having freshly-made spices is a rare luxury.

    1. Hannah, you won! Please email me your address so that i can get you the spices.

  10. It’s so nice of you to showcase another woman pursuing her dream:) I love opening my spice cabinet and inhaling the aroma that greets me every time!

  11. I would love to win this giveaway! 🙂 I don’t have a twitter or fb page but I’ll tell my friends about it.

  12. I love Indian cuisine and am always looking for new spices or blends to try.
    I’d love to win these!

    1. And I posted this to my FB page.

  13. Great web site with wonderful blends and kits! Can’t wait to try your blends!

  14. All men know their children mean more than life. Euripides
    What a wise choice you made for both you and your child. I hope it brings you and your family happiness.
    I am very interested in your spice mixes and wishnyou well in this endevour.

  15. I recently dabbled in mixng my own herb blend and was pleasantly suprized as my results were so much fresher and vibrant than the mix I had been purchasing. I would treasure Derpa’s spice mixes knowing how much care and knowledge went into their creation.

  16. Hello,

    Could you please tell me what the spice in the upper right hand corner is called? I can’t seem to remember it and it’s driving me crazy!

  17. Thank you Monica for the support. Thank you all for your kind words, support and encouragement. Spices made fresh, right here in the USA 🙂

  18. The winner is Hannah B.! Please email me your address and we will get the spices to you.

    Thanks everyone for participating and encouraging Deepa. Please be sure to check her website for updates.

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