Spice up your life and help disadvantaged women living in Kerala
PUBLISHED: 08:55 02 February 2019
Sunny Kerala might seem very far away in chilly February, but Hatfield has a fascinating connection with the spice capital of the world.
Did you know that award-winning food product Spice Drops is based here?
Although the spices are grown in Kerala, the heart of the UK business is right here in Hatfield.
Spice Drops is a range of spice extracts, including red chilli, cardamom, chai, lemongrass, rose, ginger, cinnamon, mint, lime zest and turmeric.
Spice Drops has won many Great Taste Awards and you can buy them in Sainsbury’s, Wholefoods and Ocado.
You can also buy them in Aaroh in Hatfield town centre.
I met Gouri Kubair who runs the UK office, and she explained the family history behind the business, which was started by her grandfather.
Gouri grew up in Kerala with her younger sister and parents, who grew the business.
In 2013 Gouri left her job with Deloitte to bring Spice Drops to the European market.
The company in Kerala is a good local employer, with long-term working relationships with local farmers.
Over 80% of the workforce is women, many of whom were disadvantaged.
I was surprised to learn that you can add Spice Drops to all sorts of recipes: cakes, coffee, tea, cocktails and of course to add flavour to main courses such as stir-fries, risottos, curries and stews.
The rose flavour is very popular for baking, and is more intense than rose water.
You could add cinnamon to baking, coffee or porridge, as Gouri suggests.
Lemongrass is useful for stir-fries, and much cheaper and longer-lasting than fresh.
Spice Drops contain no added salt, sugar, artificial colouring or preservatives.
They are gluten-free and suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets.
The drops last for years, unlike dried herbs and spices.
They have a growing fan base amongst well-known chefs including Nigella Lawson, Rachel Khoo, Tom Kerridge, Atul Kochhar and Cyrus Todiwala.
It’s a clever product, and an easy way for us to add flavour to our cooking, without the chopping, peeling and grating.
You are also helping to support a local business, with international roots!